Thursday, December 30, 2010

Working it!

Last night my friend, Ashley and I, went to our first Zumba class. We had a great time! We both were worried we wouldn't be able to keep up but when we saw a lady who could have been our Grandma walking in, we thought we'd be ok! I loved it! It's so much fun and you can feel the burn as you're working out. I think we're going to try to go a couple of times a week. My arms are a little sore this morning :) It's all of those places where you never knew you had muscles!

Tommy took off today and he's with some of the guys from church on a disaster recovery trip. They're helping build a deck and ramp for our Pastor's wife's dad, he had a stroke a couple of months ago. I'm trying to absorb in as much as I can in these last few days off! I can't believe tomorrow is the last day of the year.

On the adoption front, just in case any of you haven't heard. I did some researching yesterday and found out that the adoption tax credit has been extended until December 2012. It had currently been extended until December 2011 and had been increased by $1000 and is fully refundable. The article from adoption council said they aren't sure if the amount will change but they felt like it would stay the same. I'm so thankful it's been extended. Not only will it help us but will also help others who want to adopt.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Peace

I really have a great sense of peace these days. I think it's in part due to the holidays and not working and just having the extra time reflect on all of the things that we do have. I am so encouraged by so many of you and your stories. We can see how God is working and providing and that's an awesome thing!

Our niece and nephew came over Monday night and spent the night with us. They are staying all week with Tommy's mom and dad. They are pretty funny and have grown up a lot. My niece informed us that her favorite food was ribs so along with spaghetti we also had ribs for dinner. I was surprised she actually ate them. We watched one of the Home Alone movies and it was great to listen to them laugh. It makes me remember all of those care free days of being a kid. Bailey loved having them over and having someone to play with.

I have been really praying hard this week for all of us waiting. I pray that this is the year that God does awesome things for our families. This was in my devotional this morning and I thought it was really appropriate for everything we do.

"The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but rather the one who moves on in spite of failure." "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Priceless

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I was a little worried that it would be a time of mixed emotions for us. However, after a lot of praying, it was one of the best that we've had. Who says two people aren't a family? We could prove that one wrong any day! I'm thankful for the reminders of how blessed we are and what an awesome life we have together, as a family--even if it is just the two of us for now. Of course throughout the events of the holiday we wonder if this will be the last one with just the two of us and because of that we decided to make the most of it! We even saw a little bit of snow on Sunday! That's a rare occasion here on the beach!

We ended up going over to Tommy's mom's for a bit on Christmas Eve. It was nice and we had a great time. I'm glad all of our families live so close. We then headed out to our church's Christmas Eve service which was in a hotel on the river. The room is an older one and it was a really neat place to have a service. I'll have to post some pictures later of the service. One of my "little friends" sat with me. She is so cute and for whatever reason always runs to me when they come to church.

Tommy is like a kid when it comes to Christmas. I waited until he got into bed and then put a few things in his stocking. We weren't supposed to do a lot for each other because we bought the bedroom furniture but he never follows through with his word. I bought him some new hunting gear and a new brush for the grill. He bought me a gift certificate to get a new coat with and a necklace to match the earrings I bought in Savannah (silver, shaped like the old ornate iron). We then headed over to his mom's house to give our nephew and niece their gifts. Mind you, my nephew (he's 10) was so excited about getting up on Christmas day that he called us at 6:30 to see if we were up :) My 6 year old niece told us this was the best Christmas ever :) They were pretty funny. After spending a little bit of time there we headed over to my parents. Tommy was dying to go over there. Santa still visits us at my parents (there are no grandchildren yet) :)

This was the best surprise ever! I didn't write anything about it before because I didn't know if Tommy would get a wild hair and decide to read the blog. He really wanted this new camo shotgun. We decided it was best to wait and he could get it later. He's been duck hunting with one of his friends from work (I know, poor duckies). Well he's been so excited about going, he would come over and tell my dad all about it. My dad is an avid outdoorsman. Always has been. It was just my sister and I growing up so he never had "the boy" to take with him. So after one of these talks, my dad told my mom to go buy the gun for him. I told them I would give them half but my dad wouldn't hear of it. They decided to "trick" him and wait until after we all had opened presents and then give it to him. My mom made him close his eyes and then she brought it out. When he opened his eyes, he couldn't believe it. He starts crying, I'm crying, my mom and dad are crying, it was pretty funny. But he was so excited and humbled that they bought this for him. My mom was like, I never expected that reaction. It was great! Here are some pictures from Christmas day.

Our niece unwrapping presents

Our nephew trying to figure out where the gift card was to :)

Tommy said they needed some "old school" games to playTommy with his stocking at my parents

My dad trying to figure out what was inside the box
My mom with her sea glass earrings
Their dog, Pee-wee who wasn't excited to be up this early
My sister, she's getting married in May
Close your eyes!
Don't open them yet
Commence the crying :)
My mom and I
My Grandpa, Grandma, and Mom

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

First things first, I lost 1 pound last night! That brings my total to 22 pounds lost. Tommy lost 6.2 pounds (that was over 2 weeks)!! I am so proud of him and his total is 15.4. Hopefully we can make it through this weekend! We also actually have a chance of snow on Sunday! It never snows at the beach so it would be pretty cool to see it this weekend.

From our family to yours I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and that you are able to take in and be thankful for all that we do have. My prayer for all of us that are waiting (no matter what we're waiting for), is that we would feel God's presence in an awesome way this upcoming year.

"When the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons." Galatians 4:4



Thursday, December 23, 2010

The bad luck bug has bitten

Instead of an early visit from Santa, we got a visit from the bad luck bug :) Tommy went duck hunting this morning (4 am) and on the way back to his friend's house our truck (4runner but it's a truck to us) started making noises and the check engine light came on. They dropped the boat off at his friend's and he called Toyota so we could drop it off. We're still waiting on the final word but a trip there is never cheap. Either a coil has gone bad or it's from bad gas. I don't know which would be better at this point. I guess it could be worse :)

Besides the fun this morning, we've had a great day. He's off today, tomorrow and Monday. I have really enjoyed my time off. Everything is clean, the laundry's finished and now I can just relax. I even baked sugar cookies, crescent layer bars, and chocolate oatmeal cookie drops for our friends and neighbors.

We still don't know what are plans are going to be for Christmas Eve. We've always gone to Tommy's Grandma's so it's weird to not have her here. His mom really hasn't wanted to talk about it so we've just left it alone. If she doesn't do anything, then I think we're going to make homemade lasagna and go to our church's Christmas Eve service. We've been enjoying our time together and wonder if this will be our last Christmas without a child.

Tonight's the big weigh in night so hopefully the scales will be kind :)

Here's some pictures from our trip to Mike's farm last weekend.

Enjoying some hot chocolate and hot apple cider

On the hayride

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Christmas Miracle of 2002

On this very day in 2002, God spared Tommy's life from cardiac arrest. I'll never forget that day and the emotions that were racing through me. It was a lot for a 25 year old to take in and not to mention we had only been married for 3 years. But God is so good and He brought us through that time. We wrote a letter to all of our family and friends and I thought it would be nice to share it here. Here's the story:


(January 31, 2003) We hope all is well and you all are in great health and happiness. Sorry for the mass mailing here, but we wanted to take a few moments of your time and let you know what has been going on in our lives. Many of you already know “the story”, but for those of you that don’t, we’re sorry you had to find out this way! We would call everyone if we could, but time just doesn’t permit that. After you have read this story, please feel free to share it with others.

On December 21, 2002, Tommy went to Greenville, SC for a professional bowling tournament. He was really excited about it because this was the first one he has bowled in quite some time. Trisha was on her way to Wilmington, where we were supposed to meet up for Christmas. However, our plans changed. Just a bit of history, again for those that don’t know, Tommy has had a pacemaker since the age of 5. He was born with a congenital heart defect. Over the past three years, he has had surgery for a new pacemaker as well as several surgeries to correct irregular rhythms. However, for the past year he has had no problems.

Back to the story…He traveled to Greenville with a friend that he bowls with here in Charlotte. Tommy had completely bowled through one game and had begun the second. After his turn, he went back, had a seat and fell from the chair to the floor. By the Grace of God, there were two EMS first responders (one was bowling), another medically inclined person, and a man who has had numerous trainings in CPR. They all had no clue that he had a pacemaker or what was occurring at that time. They couldn’t get his heart to start again because he needed a shock from a defibrillator, so they continued with the CPR. At this point, they are thinking that he has had a seizure.

Tommy’s mom receives the first phone call and then calls Trisha to find out what medications he is currently taking. After we got this through to them, Trisha, Tommy’s mom, and Tommy’s brother started the drive from Wilmington to Greenville. During this time we had our dearest friends, Kara and our “Preacher” (our former pastor from Wilmington who lives in Charlotte) and his wife drive from Charlotte to Greenville because we knew that they could make it there faster. The doctors from the hospital constantly called during our drive to let us know what was going on with Tommy. He arrived there by helicopter and they had put him on a respirator.

After a few hours we finally arrived in Greenville. Tommy was irritated (partly because of the medicine) and he didn’t have a clue as to what had happened to him. In the meantime, many prayers are going out, all down the eastern seaboard. Trisha talked with the doctor and he explained that Tommy had gone into cardiac arrest, not a heart attack. His heart stopped beating and it took three shocks from the defibrillator to get his heart started up again. He also said we were very blessed that there were people around him that could carry out CPR, without them being there, Tommy would have either not made it or had serious brain injury. He also told us that because of the lack of blood flow and oxygen, there may be some permanent brain injury, but it was just too early to tell at this point.

On Sunday, Tommy was taken by helicopter to the hospital in Charlotte. This is where all of his doctors are at and we knew this would be the best place for him. He was very emotional and all of his short term memory was obsolete. He couldn’t remember bowling at all or to that matter anything dealing with the “event.” Once he arrived in Charlotte, they took him off the respirator. The doctors came in and told us that they would need to put in a new device, an ICD or internal cardioverter defibrillator. This would automatically shock his heart if this were to happen again. It also has a pacemaker function.

On Monday, he had numerous visitors and he started remembering little by little who had been by to visit. He was still having trouble remembering what day it was and he still really didn’t know what exactly had happened to him.

On Christmas Eve, they performed the surgery, implanting the new device. It went well. They put the heart back into that really irregular rhythm twice and it shocked it back to normal within two seconds. As to why this happened, we still really do not know except that it was part of God’s Perfect Plan.

Tommy was able to come home Christmas Day, although he doesn’t remember much about it, except that Trisha’s family was there and he ate lots. On Friday, the 27th of December, his memory began to come back. Although he still doesn’t remember the “event” or many of the days after it, he can remember everything from that Friday on. He also can’t bowl or golf for two months and he is not allowed to drive for six months. We see the doctor for the first time on January 31st.

We are writing this letter to thank each of you for all you have done, most importantly all the prayers. If you’re just finding out now, it’s still OK to pray! As our former pastor would say, “We need the prayers, you need the practice.” We also want each of you to know how much we love you. You all mean so much to us. We believe that God allowed this to happen for a reason. Although we don’t quite know what it is yet, we feel like writing this letter could be part of it. We want you to experience the same joy we have everyday, knowing that our Savior loves and protects us. We have been told that only 5% of people that experience what Tommy did, live to tell about it. Therefore, we want you to know. We’re also praying that if you don’t know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior like we do, that you will find Him and accept Him as your own. We also feel it’s very important to be in church, around Christian friends, who can help guide and support you through all things, including one such as this. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” So we know from the beginning, God was in this! We wouldn’t want it any other way! We hope to see you when our Lord calls us home.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

10 months

We hit the 10th month of waiting on Friday. Really, in most ways, it doesn't feel like we've been waiting that long. But when I look back, it seems like it's been forever ago since we started the process. I had a rough week last week. I don't know if it was because of the potential situation that my friend told me about (we've heard nothing) or just that time of getting closer to the holidays. I can't wait for the day when we have a child to share in the joy of this season. I mean let's face it, it's great to see and hear kids talk about this time of the year.

I had to get myself together though and get my focus back. I know God is protecting us and He'll bring the perfect situation to us. Tommy and I were talking and we both said it's better to be "just waiting" than to have to go through a failed match or placement. We emailed our social worker this week too and she said they have been busy but that a lot of expectant mothers have changed their minds at the last minute. She said the birthparent counselor in Raleigh was pretty discouraged. We're just continuing to pray that God will bring these women to our agency and will work in them-no matter what they decide; we want them to know and have a relationship with Him above all else. So after I spent some time in prayer and had some nice chats with my wonderful husband, I'm back on track. I can't wait to see how God is going to use us this upcoming year.

We've had a pretty busy weekend but we've also had lots of fun. We went with some friends to a place about an hour away from here called Mike's farm. It started out as a Christmas tree farm but now they have a restaurant, bakery, and hayrides. There's always a really long wait to eat so we went up early and got our names on the list. While we waited, we decided to go for the hayride. They go through the tree farm and it's all decorated with lights. They play music as you go through and in one part it snows on you (probably the closest thing we'll see to snow) :) We had a great time and have decided that will be our yearly tradition. We also had a Christmas party last night with Tommy's family and some close friends. We had a great time and laughed so much that our stomachs hurt!

We finished up our shopping yesterday and we're ready! I love giving gifts to others and I'm excited about giving our parents their gifts. I'm also very excited that I don't have to wake up early this week or next!

I almost forgot to add....I lost 1.2 pounds this week (WOOHOO!) and (are you ready for this)..met my 10% goal! I'm ready to tackle this holiday eating season :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Adventures

It's always a week of adventures before a break! This week has proved no different :) It's one of the reasons I am one of those "crazy" people that actually love teaching middle schoolers. You just never know what is going to happen from day to day. They are really sweet, most of the time, and always give me a reason to smile. I may change my mind about that once we have a middle school child :) Yesterday, we had a reason to laugh. One of my students, we'll just call him Pepe, is a very active boy. Very active :) Anyways, during my 4th period class my boss comes in and says, what homework do you have tonight? Then he says, you're never going to believe what has happened. In between, 3rd and 4th periods our students have a 15 minute break. Most of them go to the cafeteria and have a snack. Well "Pepe" was hanging with his friends and eating some chips. His tongue then gets stuck in his braces. When my boss tells me this, all I can do is laugh and think about the Christmas Story where the boy gets his tongue stuck to a flag pole. They couldn't get up with his parents so they called another parent in to take him to the orthodontist. I know it hurt and he couldn't talk. The orthodontist took the bracket off and freed the tongue :) He then came back to school, of course, halfway through my class. He proudly told us that he survived and I responded with and I guess they didn't have to take off half of your tongue. He said, when my dad finally got there, he couldn't even look at me he thought it was so funny. (glad I wasn't the only one that thought it was funny) He also said his orthodontist said, in his 21 years of practice he had never seen anything quite like this. All of the other kids were worried about their tongues after this incident. See I told you we seldom have dull moments :)

I also forgot to post about my weight loss last week. Weight watchers kicked off a new plan so last week was my first week giving it a try. It's really different from the old one but I think I like it. Anyways, I was down 2.4 pounds!! I really needed that little boost. After Christmas, my best friend and I are going to tackle a Zumba class.

On the adoption front....My best friend called this afternoon and told me that one of her clients came in today and began talking about her daughter. To make a long story short, basically, the woman's daughter is pregnant. The Grandma (my friend's client), is already raising one of her children and she said she can't afford to raise this one. They both feel that adoption is the best plan for her daughter's baby (she's due in January). She then goes on to say, wouldn't it be great if we knew of a couple who wanted a baby. So of course, my friend passed along our information. Now I have learned not to get too excited about these situations but you just don't know. She told me that the woman was really excited to get our information. She said I don't know if she'll call but I wanted you to know. I told her that in these situations you just don't know what may happen. We'll just continue to pray that God will send us the child that is supposed to come home to us. I guess at least that was a little news though :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes

On Friday, during my last period class, which happens to be a study hall, my students began talking about "kids." Then they asked if I wanted kids, a frequent question lately. Some of them said they could see me with a daughter, others said with a son. One said, she's going to be a great mom. It really lifted my heart to hear them say that about me. One of the girls said, you should have kids, then I could babysit. I told Tommy I really wanted to tell them what we are in the process of doing but I know it's better to just wait. I know they know about adoption because several of my students have been adopted but I don't think they'd quite "get" the whole process. Anyways it really turned out to be a sweet conversation.

We've had a pretty relaxing weekend, thank goodness. We had a Christmas party last night with our church and it was a lot of fun. We went caroling through one of the neighborhoods and I told them all that we were like the group of "misfit carolers." It was pretty funny and the kids that went with us thought it was great.

We've almost finished all of our Christmas shopping. I have two more things to pick up and then we're done! I also got everything wrapped yesterday so that was a good feeling. Thursday is my last day at school with the students and then Friday is a teacher workday; I'll be off until the 3rd and I'm so excited for a little break!

It seems a lot of us have talked lately about some of the "stupid" things people say. Well it's been a while since I've encountered one of these conversations, until today :) And of course it was at church. We were cleaning up after service; the kids were running around, just being kids and one of the women I go to church with says, aren't you guys ready for some of these? Ok, really? And yes she does know we're adopting. I had to bite my tongue to withhold the sarcasm that was going to say, nah we just thought we'd enter the program for fun. Ah, the joys of people not knowing what to say to you. And just for the record, yes we are ready, we have been for 4 years now :)

Speaking of which, I can't believe we started this process to have children 4 years ago. I remember the last day I took the pill and we *thought* we'd be welcoming home our child that year. 2006 seems like it was so far away and we had these huge hopes of becoming parents. Over the last 4 years, we've been through it all. Waking up bright and early to take my temperature, Tommy getting tested, more poking, more testing, IVF, the miscarriage, a FET, and then the process of adoption. Now we wait once more but this time for the phone call that will change our lives forever. We pray it comes soon but we know and are assured that God is holding us and is guiding us through this process as we wait. If it weren't for Him, we know, we'd have never made it this far!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Need a Christmas gift idea?

Well I have one for you! Kari and her husband are also adopting domestically. They have been matched with an expectant mom and are trying to raise funds to bring home their baby. They have these great cookbooks that they are selling to try and raise the funds they need. So not only can you knock out a Christmas gift, you can also help a waiting family! I bought one and there are some great recipes in there! Check out her post here for more information!

Hope you all are having a great day!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

7 more days..

Seven more school days with the kids and then we're out for break! School is a crazy place to be at right now, especially with pumped middle school kids! They are so excited for Christmas :) It's funny listening to them and all of their stories. One of my students gave me the prettiest poinsettia with greenery today. I've never seen anything quite like it and it is beautiful.

Our bedroom furniture gets delivered tomorrow and I'm excited about that. I can get all of my clothes off of the spare bed :)

It has turned soooooooo cold here. You know me, I am all about warm weather so I am not liking this too much. It was in the 20s here this morning and only made it to about 40 for a high. I know some of you are laughing at that but for this beach going girl, that's COLD! It has also been really windy so that doesn't help matters.

Our Christmas parties over the weekend were really fun. We had a great time and I got to catch up with my "country friends." What I was most impressed with though was Friday night. We went out to dinner with Tommy's co-workers and their wives. One couple lives near us and they rode with us. She is about 2 months pregnant. They had been trying for about 6 months. She talked about the pregnancy and I was truly happy for her. I *think* I am almost to the point where it doesn't bother me anymore. Don't get me wrong, I still have my days but this was a great feeling. At dinner, towards the end they all started talking about it and different things about what they are and are not going to be able to do anymore. At first it was a bit awkward but I really didn't have any of those angry, sad, or why can't this be me thoughts.

I really thought about it on the way home and I have realized that God has really changed my heart. I remember feeling sad around this time of year because we don't have children, because my parents aren't Grandparents, because there aren't children running all over the place at the different houses that we visit. This year it feels different. Don't get me wrong, I can't wait until that happens but right now, I feel very blessed to be where we are. To know that God is working and that His plans are always better than what our feeble minds can come up with. I feel renewed and full of hope and I thank God for changing my heart into what and who He wants me to become.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Busy, busy!!

Well the holidays are upon us and boy are our calendars filled! I actually don't mind because I love getting together with our families and friends.

Last night I went to a dinner with Tommy's mom. They honored Tommy's Grandma by starting a silver platter which will be awarded to someone who shows excellence in service. They spoke so highly of her and the woman (one of our state representatives) who was given the award last night also said really remarkable things about her. I know she would have been humbled at this. It was a special night.

Tonight we are going down to Myrtle Beach for Tommy's work party. I have no idea why they decided to go there but we will do some shopping before we meet them all to eat. Tomorrow we are going to our friends little boy's 3rd birthday party and then we have another Christmas party at Tommy's Great Uncle and Aunt's in the country. "Up there" I'm known as "city girl." (ha ha) Every summer Tommy's uncle grows corn and has us all come up to help with the shucking and then we freeze it to use during the winter. One of his friends used to make fun of me because we live in "the city" and he was surprised that I knew how to do it. So from that point forward, I became "city girl."

At some point during this busy weekend we have to clean out our drawers, night stands etc so we can donate those pieces to Goodwill. Our furniture comes on Wednesday :)

My mom called this week to let me know that we are "celebrities;" we were pictured with some friends from a benefit dinner/auction we went to for cystic fibrosis. You can see it here (we're on the bottom of page 62).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Recipes Galore!

Well I promised that I would give you some yummy recipes. These are easy and great to take along for all of those parties this month! Recently I was chosen to host a "MyGetTogether" party courtesy of General Mills. To join "Pssst" to get a chance of learning more about these special offers, click on this link

They provided me with coupons for Pillsbury crescent rolls, a baking pan, apron, recipe cards and many other goodies. My friends and family were anxious to grab up the extra coupons that were sent along as well as a recipe card highlighting the following recipes. The following are the recipes we tried out and they were great (these are my own opinions). Here's a picture of some of our goodies:Crescent-Wrapped Brie*
Serve this elegant, yet easy, appetizer with one or more of the following toppings: chutney, jalapeño jelly, fruit preserves or salsa.
Prep Time: 20 Min
Total Time: 1 Hr
Makes: 12
INGREDIENTS:
-1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
-1 round (8 oz) Brie cheese
-1egg, beaten
DIRECTIONS:
  • Heat oven to 350°F.
  • If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough; separate crosswise into 2 sections. Pat dough and firmly press perforations to seal, forming 2 squares. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; cut crosswise into 2 rectangles. Pat dough to form 2 squares.
  • Place 1 square on ungreased cookie sheet. Place cheese on center of dough. With small cookie or canapé cutter, cut 1 shape from each corner of remaining square; set cutouts aside.
  • Place remaining square on top of cheese round. Press dough evenly around cheese; fold bottom edges over top edges. Gently stretch dough evenly around cheese; press to seal completely. Brush with beaten egg. Top with cutouts; brush with additional beaten egg.
  • Bake 20 to 24 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. Serve warm

Mini Crescent Dogs*
Mini sausages are all wrapped up in flaky crescents in an all-time favorite appetizer.
Prep Time: 15 Min
Total Time: 30 Min
Makes: 48
INGREDIENTS:
-2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
-48 cocktail-sized smoked link sausages or hot dogs (from 16-oz package)
DIRECTIONS:
  • Heat oven to 375°F. Unroll both cans of the dough; separate into 16 triangles. Cut each triangle lengthwise into 3 narrow triangles.
  • Place sausage on shortest side of each triangle. Roll up each, starting at shortest side of triangle and rolling to opposite point; place point side down on 2 ungreased cookie sheets.
  • Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown, switching position of cookie sheets halfway through baking. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.
Crescent Layer Bars* (these were a HUGE hit)
Refrigerated crescent rolls form the crust for bars stacked with chocolate and cashews.
Prep Time: 25 Min
Total Time: 2 Hr 20 Min
Makes: 36
INGREDIENTS:
-1can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
-1 cup white vanilla baking chips
-1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
-1 cup slivered almonds
-1 cup cashew halves and pieces
-1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
DIRECTIONS:
  • Heat oven to 375°F (350°F for dark pans). Grease bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan.
  • If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough into 2 long rectangles. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough. Place in pan; press over bottom and 1/2 inch up sides to form crust. Bake 5 minutes.
  • Remove partially baked crust from oven. Sprinkle vanilla chips, chocolate chips, almonds and cashews evenly over crust. Pour condensed milk evenly over top.
  • Return to oven; bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of pan. Cool 1 hour. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until chocolate is set. For bars, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows.
Bacon-Cheddar Pinwheels*
Ranch dressing perks up a crowd-pleasing, cheesy crescent appetizer.
Prep Time: 15 Min
Total Time: 35 Min
Makes: 16
INGREDIENTS:
-1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
-2 tablespoons ranch dressing
-1/4 cup cooked real bacon pieces or 4 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
-1/2 cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)
-1/4 cup chopped green onions (4 medium)
DIRECTIONS:
  • Heat oven to 350°F.
  • If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough; separate into 2 long rectangles. Press each into 12x4-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; cut lengthwise into 2 long rectangles. Press each into 12x4-inch rectangle.
  • Spread dressing over each rectangle to edges. Sprinkle each with bacon, Cheddar cheese and onions.
  • Starting with one short side, roll up each rectangle; press edge to seal. With serrated knife, cut each roll into 8 slices; place cut side down on ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 12 to 17 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.
***ALL RECIPES COURTESY OF PILLSBURY

Monday, November 29, 2010

The weekend review

First, I love having a teacher workday on Mondays! Especially the ones that fall right after a holiday. I am now planned and ready to go until 2011! That seems really strange to say that.

Tommy and I did some shopping this weekend and we are almost finished with our Christmas shopping for everyone! I like to finish before I get out for Christmas break so I can use those 2 weeks to relax. His parents are really hard to buy for but his mom mentioned that they needed a new storm door. We took her to Lowe's on Saturday and let her pick out the one she wanted. I hate that we can't surprise them but at least it's something that they need. Afterward, we went to lunch with her and she was talking about some of the drama that's still going on with her brothers. She got teary eyed when she was talking about Tommy's Grandma and about Christmas Eve. We've gone there every Christmas Eve so it will be really strange this year. We're trying to do something completely different so hopefully it will be easier on her.

While we were at lunch, she mentioned that Tommy's brother's little girl (she's 6) had called to ask if Tommy's mom was going to put up a Christmas tree. She told her of course that she always does and asked why. Our niece told her that her Dad said he wasn't going to put up their tree this year because they would be down here (they live 2 hours away). She had it in her mind that Santa doesn't come to houses that don't have trees so she was clearing the bases for that :) Tommy couldn't believe that his brother wasn't putting the tree up, only a small one in each of their rooms. Tommy's Grandma used to always go up there and decorate for them. Anyways, he then looks at his mom and says, he just doesn't get it. Does he know what Trisha and I would do to be able to do those types of things for a child? Wow. It's in these situations like this that you realize and are reminded that they long for these children as much as we do, they just show it in a different way. I had to fight back tears from him saying that. It warms my heart so much and I know it's those "little" things that will make him such a great Dad!

We also went furniture shopping for new bedroom furniture. The pieces we have really don't match and they are probably older than I am :) We found a set we really liked and we thought about just using the same bed we have now. Then Tommy realized it had drawers underneath it and he was sold! It should be delivered next week. This will be our Christmas/birthday etc presents to each other. :)

When we got home I had to make 19 pairs of those Christmas earrings that I posted about; my mom sold them to some of the girls that she works with. Needless to say they loved them. I think I may try to enter some craft shows next year.

Then yesterday after church we started getting down all of the Christmas decorations. We finally got finished last night. I love the way those decorations make the house look; I guess it's that feeling of making it seem more like home!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Woohoo, we survived! I have to admit, just like I said in the last post, we LOVE hosting Thanksgiving but boy it is a lot of work! My dream kitchen will have double ovens :)

We couldn't have had a better time with family and friends; there were 14 of us total. The turkey was great and Tommy did a great job with the pig. All of the sides came out perfect and everyone raved about how good the food was. Needless to say, we were wiped out last night but the time spent with those we love was well worth it.

Of course with all of the running around and cooking, I didn't even have a chance to take one single picture. My Grandma, who will be turning 79 this week, was here and we surprised her with a new digital camera. Her old one broke and she was giving my Grandpa a hard time about buying her a new one. My parents and Tommy and I went in together and bought her one last weekend and we knew she'd want something to take pictures with for Thanksgiving. She was so excited she almost cried. It was so sweet. I can't wait for our baby to meet this precious woman of God. I'm thankful she's still here!

So now, we are back on the WW wagon and exercise routine! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

"May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from His glorious power,...while joyfully giving thanks to the Father." Colossians 1:11-12

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Great intentions

I always have great intentions of coming on here and posting something but something always comes up! It has been a whirlwind of a week so far. I ended up with a stomach bug over the weekend and that put all of my plans on hold. So today is catch up day, thank goodness I don't have to work today! The one plus, the weather here has been beautiful! It was 77 yesterday!

We always have our families over for Thanksgiving. I know to some it's a huge ordeal and creates a lot of stress but we really enjoy doing it. Our families get along great so that's never an issue. We always invite people who don't have family here or who aren't traveling so they won't have to spend the holiday by themselves. I thought there would be 11 of us for tomorrow but last night we ran into some old friends we haven't talked to in a while. Then Tommy invited a couple of others so there may be 17 of us now :) I hope we have enough chairs :)

We had already planned plenty of food so that won't be an issue but getting all of the cleaning and grocery shopping completed today is the main chore! Tommy likes to cook something "different" for Thanksgiving so he's cooking a pig (for all of you non-Southerners), a pig-pickin' and then I have a turkey with all of the trimmings, mainly for my sister who doesn't like barbeque.

I leave you with some pictures of Savannah (finally) and of my newest creation (my therapy)!

Tybee Island Lighthouse

Yep, Forrest Gump

Us on our 11th wedding anniversary

The Lady & Sons
My therapy away from school :) Christmas tree earrings

Snowmen

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

9 months

You know when talking about pregnancies, 9 months has a huge significance. With adoption, we know that this process can be shorter or longer than 9 months. While we don't have to go through "the pains of labor", we have our own that we face--mounds of paperwork, a complete stranger asking you intimate questions about every aspect of your life, putting yourself "out there" to expectant parents, and waiting--waiting for "the" call, waiting for placement, waiting for finalization.

On the way to Tommy's doctor's appointment yesterday, we were talking about our wait. He knows that for the most part my days are good, but he also knows that there are some bad ones too. I'm really glad that God has stepped in on those bad days and helped me to remember why I'm here and I'm trying really hard to listen to what He would have us to do and what He's trying to teach us.

In some ways it's hard to believe it's already been 9 months (officially on the list-17 months total). I'm thankful that we have busy lives because that helps me stay occupied. I also know that each day we wait, we are one day closer to welcoming home the baby God has for us. That's what continues to give me hope and gets me excited about the future.

"Failures are only temporary tests to prepare us for permanent triumphs. Start doing something that you've put off because of the risk of failure." "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The restaurant review

At the request of joyfortheseasons (you should check out her cute soaps!), I'm going to give you the play by play of the restaurant scene in Savannah. We love to eat, probably too much, hence the reason for weight watcher meetings on Thursdays :) I was really excited about the trip because of my cooking idol, Paula Deen--all of her meals are WW friendly, right?!

I should tell you that we stayed in downtown Savannah at this place. It was really nice and has the same feel to our favorite place in Charleston, The Mills House. The other nice thing about the hotel is it is within walking distance to everything. So we parked the car and walked for the weekend.

On Friday night, we ventured out, not really sure where we were going (we got lost trying to find the hotel, thanks mapquest). We were both in jeans so we knew Ruth's Chris was going to be out of the question. We found this little restaurant called Churchill's. It's a British restaurant and upon entering we were greeted by a young British guy (love those accents). The atmosphere was great. I tried the shepherd's pie and Tommy had a dish called bangers and mash (sausage with mashed potatoes, basically). It was really good and the potatoes were very good. We then decided that we should, of course, try some dessert. We decided on the "British" donut (spelled correctly). It was basically like a huge doughnut hole with cinnamon, sugar, and drizzled with chocolate syrup. It reminded me of the churros from Mexico.

On Saturday, I had booked a tour of Savannah/all about Paula Deen. With that tour we were given a special number to call ahead and get reservations for The Lady and Sons (Paula's restaurant). Just in case you don't know, they open the hostess stand up around 9 in the morning to take names for lunch and dinner reservations. Usually by noon they are full. I made the reservations on Friday so we wouldn't have to worry about going to stand in line. The tour was pretty neat, our guide was not the best, but we still had a good time. The tour included a lunch buffet at Uncle Bubba's Oyster House. We had no idea what to expect but we were hoping to try a good assortment of seafood. We live at the beach so not liking seafood is just not acceptable :) (even oysters).... The buffet had an assortment of different sides, a shrimp boil (shrimp, potatoes, sausage, and corn on the cob), some fish, and then they brought us one of their roasted oysters (roasted on the half shell sprinkled with parmesan cheese). It was all pretty good; I think it would have been a lot better to order from the menu there. The restaurant sits on the waterway so the view was beautiful.

Then that night we went to the Lady and Sons. It's also a buffet, they do have a menu but we were told to get the buffet because the menu items weren't as good. Of course they had the staple, fried chicken and then fried catfish along with a dozen or so southern sides. It was good but man was it salty!! We don't eat a lot of salt because of Tommy's heart and we've gotten to the point when we go out, we can taste it. She has these little cornbread cakes (she calls them hoe cakes) that everyone talks about but honestly, my mom makes them better :) When we told her that she thought it was a huge complement! We had the banana pudding for dessert. Then we were stuffed and waddled our way back to the hotel!

So hopefully that will help if you are planning an eating trip to Savannah :)

Some good news--Tommy went to the doctor today for his 6 month check-up and everything looks good! This is the longest stretch we've had with him being in a normal heart rhythm so we are very thankful!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My neglected blog :)

Well I'm back! Needless to say it has been an extremely busy week and not much time for blogging. I've been trying to read and stay caught up with everyone else and I have been praying for all of you!

We had a great time in Savannah! I didn't want to come back home :) I should say we ate our way through Savannah but we did a lot of walking too (I'm hoping the scales aren't too hard on me this week). We ate at The Lady & Sons and at Uncle Bubba's seafood as well as a little British restaurant. We did a lot of shopping and went on a tour. It was nice to getaway, just the two of us and enjoy some time together. It's hard to believe we have been married for 11 years now. When I think back at everything we've been through, from moving away from family, to Tommy's heart problems and then cardiac arrest, buying our first home, a job lay-off, moving back "home", and our infertility struggles and miscarriage, it's been a wild ride. But, I wouldn't change it for anything. When I look at where we started to where we are now, I wouldn't want it any other way. Sure I'd love to have a house full of kids but I know that God has us here for a reason. I know we've been put through the "test" more than once and God has always been there to pick us up and put the pieces back together. I also am reminded at how short life really is and can be taken from us at any moment. I am just so thankful; God truly has blessed us.

Work this week was crazy! The kids have been crazy and it's just a busy time of year. I'm glad we have a break coming soon! Thankfully this weekend we had no plans so I've been able to rest some (and do some more shopping)!

I'll be posting some pictures soon and some recipes that Pillsbury sent me that we tried out this week!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

11 years ago today God blessed me with a great gift-a wonderful husband. We've been through a lot but I wouldn't change a thing!

Friday, November 5, 2010

We made it to Savannah this afternoon! We got here early so we decided to go exploring and check out Tybee island. We climbed the lighthouse. It is a little chilly but we are having a great time!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

So excited!

Today is my last day of work for the week, yippee! Saturday is our anniversary and my wonderful husband is taking me on a little getaway to Savannah, GA. I love Paula Deen so we're going to check out her restaurant and of course we'll do some shopping. We're staying right in the middle of things in downtown Savannah. With everything that has happened over the past couple of months, I think this will be good for both of us. I love to travel so it doesn't take much to excite me :)

Tomorrow is my Dad's birthday so we'll be spending time with him tonight. Tommy bought him a new fishing pole at the charity auction/dinner we were at last week and I know he'll love it.

Today as I was walking down the hallway at school from lunch, one of the 6th grade lockers were open. I noticed on the inside of the door was a magnet that read, "Everything happens for a reason." So true, I guess I needed to see that today :)

If I can figure out how to blog from the i.phone, I'll try to post while we're away! I can't believe it's already been 11 years! (that doesn't mean I'm getting old, ha ha)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I need your help!

We received an email from our social worker today giving us a little bit of encouragement. She said they have had quite a few placements lately so that's good news. Hopefully we'll hear something soon.

I need your help though! The more I get into all of this, the more I see how many people hold fundraisers to help with their adoption costs. So, my questions....for those of you not doing this (even if you aren't adopting) what do you think about it? For those of you fundraising now, what do you think about it? What are some of the best ones to do? How did you get involved doing it?

We both have super supportive family and friends so I'm pretty sure most would back us. I guess I just wonder if people will question us for doing it.

I'd love to have your thoughts about it though.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Awesome testament!

I just finished typing this email but thought it would serve as an encouragement to some here.

You all know our dear friends in Florida, K&D. Many of you also know that they are in the waiting stages of adoption. They've had 2 failed adoptions and were chosen last weekend by another birthfamily. They were really nervous after the meeting on Saturday because the birthmom made several references to things and it happened to be some of the same things that one of the birthmoms from the failed adoptions had told them. We talked Saturday evening and I could tell K was really worried about jumping in again and taking the risk but she said there are always risks with adoptions, you either have to take it or get out. So they accepted and were waiting to hear ultrasound results from today.

She called this afternoon to tell me a little story. An older couple at their church had seen them after baby dedication in May and told them that they seemed sad. The lady told K that they wanted to pray for them. K was appreciative of this act from this lady. She said as time has passed, every time they see them, the lady tells her-we're still praying and we're praying that God will bless you double.

Well they found out today that the birthmother is pregnant with TWINS! A boy and a girl, due in January. My words fall inadequate when I say how in awe I am of this and how awesome our God is. Of course, nothing is final yet and I told them that we would be praying for them and I would ask all of you to pray as well. I told her to also tell the lady at their church to pray for us :)
Thanks for praying for them (and for us)!
Our God is awesome!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

What a thrill!

What a thrill! Woohoo! We had so much fun today at the Paraclete SkyVenture. It really was quite a thrill! We had planned to do this in September for my best friend Ashley's birthday. They had to reschedule us because they were doing work on the tunnel. I really had no idea of what to expect. Tommy was uncertain he was going to do it because he has a huge fear of heights.
Ashley and I upon arrival :)

We were early so we got to go up and watch a group of guys from France; they are the "champions" with their tricks and movements. Some of their stuff was crazy to see but they made it look so easy!

Here's a shot of the main part of the wind tunnel; it goes up 60 feet from this point
While we were watching Tommy was a bit nervous not knowing if he was going to be able to do it. You actually go into the tunnel right through the door (towards the right side of the picture). You stand there and basically fall right into the air, it's not like you're dropping 60 feet and then stopping. Ashley and I finally pressured (ha ha) him into doing it. We then had to go for our instructional class so we'd know the hand signals and what to do with our bodies :)

Demonstrating proper technique

Then we were equipped and ready to go!

With the flight time we had today it was equivalent to skydiving from 13,000 feet and we did it twice. I actually didn't do bad. The instructor said we all did really well for our first time. He had to spin Tommy and Ashley to get them in the "spinning mode" but for some reason I just had this au natural spin. When we were finished, Tommy said, I want to do it again---he loved it! Actually, we all did. We have a video of it too, we weren't allowed to bring the cameras into the holding chamber for obvious reasons, and if we can get it uploaded, I'll post it for you to see.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Positive thinking

Tommy and I had the privilege of attending a dinner auction benefit for cystic fibrosis last night. It was a lot of fun. Tommy ended up with two fishing poles by the time the night was over :) One will be an early birthday present for my dad.

One of my student's has cystic fibrosis and I never really knew much about it until her mom came in to talk to us. It's a pretty scary and serious disease that affects so many children. One of the men who spoke last night was very encouraging in his words. He was diagnosed with CF at age 2 and had a double lung transplant 20 years ago. He is the longest living survivor of a double lung transplant. Anyways, during his speech, he said his parents were always positive. He said he never knew how to think any other way. He said of course he was nervous when the time came for transplant but he just thought to himself, this will work. He said the best advice he can give is to think positive and believe in impossibilities.

Those few words rang so true in so many areas of our lives. My heart hurts for people going through diseases, cancer, and then of course IF. When I look back now, I see how IF has changed us and while we didn't know it before, it has changed us for the good. We started this process almost 4 years ago, so I've been there. I've cried over those negative pregnancy tests, mourned the loss of our babies, and felt frustrated when all seemed out of control. Almost 2 years ago (next Saturday), we transferred our last frozen embryo. It didn't work and it was after that time that we felt God pulling us in another direction. We knew we couldn't go through more treatments.

There are many people around us right now that are pregnant. I am truly excited for them but I hope they bask in the blessing that God has given them. I think so many people take that for granted. See the last post for more on that!

This week has been a good one. I have received many notes, emails, calls etc from friends and family just to let us know that they were praying for us and thinking about us. That gives me hope and keeps us going on this journey.

Just an update about our hairdresser's friends in the car accident. The husband is still in ICU; they had to remove half of his skull because of the swelling in the brain. They are not sure yet how much brain damage there is. He still doesn't know that his wife is gone. Please continue to pray for their families.

Tomorrow we have our much anticipated, long awaited, trip to try indoor skydiving with my best friend. I can't wait to try it out!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Taking things for granted

My eyes were opened yesterday. My heart was filled with sorrow and regret at all of the things I've taken for granted. I'm very blessed and often times I go through life and don't realize just how fortunate I am. Almost 8 years ago, Tommy went into cardiac arrest and I was blessed that his life wasn't taken. After some time had passed, you tend to "forget" about those feelings because you get consumed with the day to day. Yesterday that reminder came back.

Our hairdresser is a great friend. We love him just like he's a part of our family. We learned yesterday that his co-worker, she's in the booth right next to him, was tragically killed in a car accident. 30 years old. Her husband is fighting for his life, in critical condition with possible brain injury and he doesn't even know that his wife is gone. I can't imagine. We would often talk to her when we were getting haircuts and she was so sweet. They were trying to have a baby. Like a lot of us, they had problems and she had just begun taking fertility drugs. All of that doesn't even matter anymore.

Even though we really weren't that close to her, it made my heart hurt. It made me take a close look at my life and realize just how blessed we really are. I'm so, so thankful that my Tommy is still here. I can't imagine my life without him.

I think we get so bottled down in the day to day, whether it be wondering when "the call" is going to come or that positive pregnancy test or a new job, that we forget about the blessings. We forget to just stop.......and realize what we really do have.

Hug your family a little tighter tonight and bask in the blessings God has given all of us.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Family Reunion

We've had another great weekend here. The weather is beautiful and it's still warm (thank goodness, I'm not ready for winter)! I will be glad when we have one weekend where we don't have anything planned so we can just kick our feet up and rest! But honestly it looks like it will be a while before that happens :)

On Friday night I had to chaperone the first middle school dance. They are always quite entertaining. I remember going to those dances and being goofy and it really hasn't changed much! On Friday afternoon before I left from school, 2 sixth grade boys were talking in the locker hallway. Here's how the conversation went:
Boy A: "Are you going to the dance?"
Boy B: "Yeah, are you?"
Boy A: "yeah"
Boy B: "are you going to ask someone?"
Boy A: "yeah"
Boy B: "who"
Boy A: "the list just goes on and on"
I thought I was going to fall out of my chair laughing at them. It was pretty funny! The dance was a neon theme and most of theme looked like they came right out of the 80s.

Yesterday we had a family reunion. It was for Tommy's Grandma's side of the family. It felt really strange being there without her. We did have a lot of fun though. We go out to the "country" where Tommy's Great Grandpa used to live. He was a farmer so there is a ton of land and fields there. We brought along our 4-wheeler and borrowed one from a friend. Tommy's brother and our nephew and a few of Tommy's cousins all met us up there early and we rode all through the trails. I'll post some pictures later of the riding :)

Our friends in Florida were supposed to be meeting with an expectant family today who are considering an adoption plan but the meeting was moved to next Saturday. Please continue to pray for them; we really hope that this is the one for them.

We haven't heard anything but are continuing to pray and seek God's will through all of this. Today on Bethany's facebook page they had this quote that I thought was appropriate for a lot of us, no matter what we're waiting for. "Waiting? Don't ever forget! "We have a God who delights in impossibilities!" - Andrew Murray

Sunday, October 17, 2010

8 months

First, thank you so much for all of your prayers and sweet comments for our families over the past few weeks. It's been tough but with God's help we have made it through. We know He is working and we're eager to see what He has in store for all of us.

It has been a beautiful weekend here. A little chilly in the mornings but warming up to the 80s by the afternoon. I really am not ready for cold weather so this is great! Yesterday we participated in the American Heart Society's Heart Walk in honor of Tommy. It was a lot of fun and we were so thankful to have some of our family and friends there to support us. Here was the poster we were asked to make in honor of Tommy. They liked it so much, the director of the event asked us if she could keep it for a few days. The top left picture of him (I know it's hard to see) was at the hospital for his first surgery. This was the first year we participated and I'm glad we did.

Last night we went to the movies to see "Life as we know it." It is a really cute movie. It is a bit of a tear jerker but was a good movie to see.

Today marks our 8th month of officially waiting. It's hard to believe we started this whole process 16 months ago. While some days are hard, most have been pretty easy and I'm so thankful for that. Of course our arms and our hearts long to have a baby in our home but we know that God will provide when the timing is right. We know that He's using this time to mold us and He's preparing that perfect child for us. We also know that with each day we wait, we are one day closer to bringing our baby home.

Today we also met my sister and her fiance down at the beach house to take their engagement pictures. They are getting married in May. Here's the one that I think is the best :)
Here's one of Tommy and I.

And one last one of my sister, my mom, and I.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More sad news

My aunt passed away last night. It's been pretty hard on my dad. It's really hard seeing him upset; I guess mainly because he just doesn't get that way often. I know she's better off, no more suffering, no more pain.

I'm really praying we get some good news to share with our families soon. We sure could use it!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Weekend recap

With having yesterday off from work, I thought I would get a chance to update my blog but that wasn't to be :) Our weekend was packed with fun stuff so I had to play catch up yesterday on laundry and all of my chores!

Tommy started back bowling this year. He's actually a really good bowler and I'm quite proud of him (he'll never admit to his ability). Anyways, he took last year off with everything going on with the adoption paperwork and we just needed a break from it. He's bowling at a new place close to our house which is great. He had to have some work done to his bowling balls so we took care of that on Friday night. Afterward, we had a great dinner at Outback, just the two of us. It was really nice.

On Saturday, we took the boat and followed my parents in my dad's boat to a small island near here (only accessible by boat). It is still really warm here, for which I am so thankful--I'm not a cold weather person, so it was really nice. Tommy was impressed by my cast net throwing abilities---I caught half of the bait and my dad caught the other half. My dad doesn't like to admit it but I was the first one to catch any of the bait :) When we got to the island, Tommy and my dad started surf fishing. My mom and I decided to take a stroll and "shell shop" as Tommy calls it. I think we walked about 8 miles, so much so that my feet had blisters from the sand that night. We ended up finding all kinds of cool shells. I even found a sand dollar and a huge conch shell. I'll have to post some pictures once I get them loaded on the computer. They didn't have much luck with fishing. We were trying to catch red drum but they only caught blue fish and my dad caught a stingray as well. We did get to see a huge school of dolphin that came by playing in the water. We stayed until sunset and had a beautiful boat ride back to the marina.

I'm reminded each time we're out like that at how fortunate we are and how blessed we all are at the beauty of the things God has put all around us. It was a perfect day and very relaxing, something we both needed.

On Sunday, Tommy got called in to work and I went to church. We then went to his parents and had dinner and I helped her with writing the thank you cards for flowers/memorials that people had sent for his Grandma's funeral.

We also learned that my aunt, my dad's sister, is back in the hospital. Her cancer has returned and has spread. My mom called this morning to let me know that her oxygen level dropped about 50% and they don't think she's going to make it much longer. It seems almost unreal that we're about to go through this again.

After my pity party last week about waiting, I have felt much better about things. My hope is renewed and I know God is going to provide; we just have to wait for His timing (I have to keep reminding myself of this). Thanks again for your continued prayers and know that I am praying for all of you as well!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Back in the groove

It's been so hard trying to get back into the swing of things, not only at work but at home too. Thankfully I have a 3 day weekend this weekend so I can catch up on some sleep :)

It's been one of those weeks. The past few days have been downers. I have no idea why. It's probably a combination of a lot of things and I've been worrying about the adoption lately. Something I try not to let myself do but I'm only human and it happens. I just have to boost those prayers up a bit more and try to fully rely on God and what He has in store for us through this process. I checked in with our social worker at the beginning of the week and it sounds like things have been pretty slow. I know God is just molding us during this time and I just need to stay faithful. He will provide! That's how this whole adoption thing goes, at least for me anyways, you have good days and bad days but thankfully the good outweigh the bad.

A friend was placed with their second adopted son this week so that's very exciting and I'm so happy for her. They waited for the China program for almost 4 years and then switched to domestic. Also, our friends in Florida got a call today that their profile was chosen and they'll meet with the birthparents at the end of the month. I pray this is the one for them. They've been through so much already but our shining examples of how to stay strong and keep the faith through things like this.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Remembering

Thank you all for your sweet words and for all of your heartfelt prayers. We had the funeral today and I think she would have been very pleased. We have received such an outpouring of love from family and friends. You hate when things like this happen but you also realize how blessed you are to have such a great support system surrounding you. The graveside service had to be postponed until Saturday because of all of the rains we've had here.

Speaking of rain, we are now at 21 inches of rain since Sunday. It hasn't stopped raining all week. Hopefully it will ease up soon; I don't think I've ever seen this much water. Forgive me for the lack of commenting this week as things have been so hectic!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Heaven welcomed a new angel

Tommy's Grandma passed away around 12:30 last night.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tommy's Grandma

We received word this morning that Tommy's Grandma is unresponsive. We've spent most of the afternoon/night over at her house. She looks very peaceful and doesn't seem to be in pain. The hospice nurse doesn't think she'll make it much longer.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Being too busy=getting sick!

We have been so busy lately! In one way it's nice because it keeps our minds occupied but in others, it wears you down! We had a busy weekend. Our church is a new plant church in our area and we had a big launch weekend. We helped out with that almost all day on Saturday. Then we were back over there at 8 Sunday morning to help get things set up for the service. In between the volunteering times, we were at Tommy's Grandma's. We visited with her for a while on Friday night and then took her and Tommy's mom dinner on Saturday night. Sunday, we had a big "Sunday lunch" with a lot of the family. It was nice having everyone together. It seems like none of us do those big Sunday lunches anymore.

Needless to say, last night we were exhausted. I had a little bit of a scratchy throat but when I woke up this morning, I felt like a truck had hit me. It feels like a head cold, probably something I caught from one of my "darlings" at school, but the running all weekend probably didn't help. I've been resting since I got home from work so hopefully tomorrow will be better.

On a fun note, my best friend's birthday is Saturday. We've been friends since the 9th grade (18 years now--that sounds scary) :) We've been talking about going to this place that offers an "indoor skydiving" experience (sky venture). So we are taking a little road trip on Saturday to try it out. I'm really excited. Tommy will decide when we get there if he's going to do it (and if they'll let him) :) It should be fun and I'll definitely post some pictures once we get back.

Friday, September 17, 2010

7 months

Today marks 7 months of "officially" waiting and being on the list! In many ways I can't believe it's already been 7 months but in others it feels like forever. I can't believe we are almost at the 4 year mark of trying to have a family. I would have never guessed in a million years that we would have gone through all of these things to have a family but I know it will be worth it. We have no clue when we're shown or even when someone is considering us so we just wade through this and wait. Our social worker doesn't mind us asking her but since she works from home and is not in one of the main offices, I don't know how much she really knows about our profile going out.

I feel confident right now that with each day we wait, we are one day closer to bringing our baby home. I walked in the nursery the other night and I can't wait to see those little onesies being "occupied" by a little person.

If you want to pray specifically for us, there are a couple of things we are praying for: that either we will be able to take advantage of the adoption tax credit before it is set to expire in December 2011 or that the tax credit will be extended-this will help us pay for a big chunk of the expenses. We are also praying that we won't have to update our homestudy again (that would be in August of next year---and another $500). We know God will provide through all of this!

On another note, Tommy's Grandma is continuing to worsen. My heart feels heavy and on the way home tonight I began crying at the thought of not having her around anymore. Tommy says he's been trying to prepare himself for it too. Hospice is coming everyday now and she is really weak. While the selfish side of me wants her here, the other side of me definitely does not want her to suffer. It's such a hard thing to pray for but we know God's will, will be done. I lost my paternal Grandmother to cancer 9 years ago this same month so I think a lot of those feelings are coming back too.