Sunday Snapshot: My Little Angel

Have you EVER seen anything so sweet??

I didn't think so ;)

Sunday Snapshot


Shout Out for Blog Help!!!!

As much as I wish I could say that I designed my own blog.... I just can't. I had to have help (usually I can figure things out, but blogger and the html format with a zillion codes confuse the mess out of me) I really want to change the font on my blog.... Do any of you have any tips on how I can do that myself?? I have tried a few tutorials I found online, but so far.. no luck! It's just not in the budget to pay for a blog redo or update right now, so any pointers would be SO appreciated!!

And... if you have any other great blog additons or things that you love, please do let me know!!! ( along with how I can do them of course!!)


Have a blessed week!!


Happy Chinese New Year!!!!

Today is Chinese New Year. I have to admit that while I knew this was a very important and special holiday in the Chinese culture, I never really understood the tradition and significance behind it. When Tulah joins our family, I don't want to just "Americanize" her, have her conform to our ways, and let go of those cultures and tradions that help make up who she is. It is my hope that our family will embrace where she came from and celebrate her heritage with her for years to come.

Here are some facts on Chinese New Year:

Chinese New Year: 2012

The Year of the Dragon
by Holly Hartman
4710 (or 2012) is the year of the dragon

  • Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4710 begins on Jan. 23, 2012.
  • Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest.
  • In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year. ( Great for the people in China, but a REALLY long week for those of us back here waiting on China to issue approvals )

  • Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality. (Tulah was born in 2009, the year of the Ox. Those born under the influence of the Ox are fortunate to be stable and persevering. The typical Ox is a tolerant person with strong character. )

  • At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper, and give children "lucky money" in red envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck. The fireworks that shower the festivities are rooted in a similar ancient custom. Long ago, people in China lit bamboo stalks, believing that the crackling flames would frighten evil spirits.

  • In China, the New Year is a time of family reunion. Family members gather at each other's homes for visits and shared meals, most significantly a feast on New Year's Eve.

  • The lantern festival is held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. Some of the lanterns may be works of art, painted with birds, animals, flowers, zodiac signs, and scenes from legend and history. People hang glowing lanterns in temples, and carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full moon.

  • In many areas the highlight of the lantern festival is the dragon dance. The dragon—which might stretch a hundred feet long—is typically made of silk, paper, and bamboo. Traditionally the dragon is held aloft by young men who dance as they guide the colorful beast through the streets.
Next year, we will get to start having a Chinese New Year Celebration of our own!!!


Sunday Snapshot: Mama's Night Out!!!!

So, it's really unusual ,I know, to post about myself. Let alone a night out with other moms... and NO kiddies..... But.... I had the most fabulous time this past Friday night that it seemed worthy of a blog post!! Months ago, in Septmember I think, some of my friends invited me to the Jason Aldean concert here in Charlotte. ( Yes, I am a big country music fan!!) It was a last minute kind of thing, but it turned out to be such a fun night with friends. Shortly after that, those same friends found out that he and his buddy LUKE BRYAN would be coming in concert together in January to Greenville, SC (only about 2 hours away), and asked me to come along!! Of course, I said I would love to come!! Well, so much happened in the months since then ( bunches of adoption paperwork, Christmas, my graduation from grad school) that it kind of snuck up on me and before I knew it... it was time to go!!

Seven of us moms headed out on Friday and made our way to Greenville, SC for the concert that night. We had a fun lunch downtown, checked into our hotel (yes, we stayed overnight!!), and just chilled out and had great converstations until time to get ready. { Oh... here I will mention the part where we had to switch rooms because we found a HUGE, furry, long legged creature in our room. } YUCK!!!! We then dolled ourselves up and took off!! We were so excited we didn't even let the POURING down rain bother us!!

Little did we know that the fabulous LC had scored us some awesome seats for a great deal.... 15th row back on the floor!! { Insert high- pitched squealing from grown women}!! Miss Lauren Alaina from American Idol opened the show... and guess what... her mom sat just a few seats away from us on the same row! That was pretty cool! But, then..... oh, my.... LUKE BRYAN came out and rocked it!! ( I know, I sound like a giddy teenager... but it was so great!!) Jason Aldean was great as well. They even did a few songs together. They are buddies in real life, so it was cool to see them perform together.

After the concert, it was back to our room to order a pizza (yea, that pretty much went straight to my hips at 1:30 in the morning!!) and get to bed. For fear of grossing you all out, I won't mention what we found in the bed when we pulled our covers back, but, as a result, the trip was made even more affordable by getting ALL our money back from the hotel fee. (And, the sad part is we stayed at a nice hotel.. not a dump!!) Oh well, despite the few "friends" we found at the hotel, it was still worth every single minute!!

A big thank you to my husband and my in-laws for helping with my kids so that this mama could have a night out!! Though they are few and far between, getting a little break from the routine can really be refreshing and it is so appreciated!! I hope all you mama's out there get a night off once in a while to refresh and recharge as well!! In all the excitement, I didn't even take one picture, but thankfully LC to the rescue again!! Here are a few pics from our night!!

Check out Stephanie's blog for more Sunday Snapshots!! Have a blessed week everyone!!

Sunday Snapshot


Pinterest Project: Valentine's Wreath

Have you checked out Pinterest yet??

Well.....if you haven't, you simply must! Pinterest is an online pinboard where you can tag, or "pin" some of your favorite things! Anything is game... recipes, crafts, inspirational quotes, organizational ideas.... the list goes on and on and on!! It can also link to your Facebook account, and then you can see what all your "friends" are pinning. Warning though..... it is very addictive!! I heard someone recently say, "if only I could get off Pinterest, so I could do some of the ideas I've found!!" And that is totally true!

If you read this post a few weeks ago, you might remember that one of my goals for this year was to be more crafty and to take on some DIY projects. So, this Valentine's wreath was one of my first projects!! It is actually a variation on something I saw that I really liked, but I couldn't find exactly what I needed for that project, so I just worked with what I had.

Supplies I used:

  • 12- inch Styrofoam wreath form
  • 1 yard burlap
  • strip of pink satin
  • strip of red felt
  • straight pins
  • chalkboard heart
  • hot glue
  • pink ribbon
How I Did It:

1. Start with your Styrofoam wreath form: ( I purchased this one from the floral section of the craft store)

2. Next, cut your burlap into strips and then into approximately 2.5 x 2.5 squares. Believe me... they do not have to be perfect, but you do need A LOT of them.

3. Fold the square in half, and then in half again.

4. Then, pin through the bottom and onto the wreath. Keep going like this until you have filled the entire wreath. I liked the look of a very full wreath, so I used a whole yard of burlap for this 12-inch wreath form.

5. To add in some color, I repeated this same process with a few pieces of red felt and pink satin and just pinned in a few here and there. It looks kind of neat to have all the different textures of fabrics.

6. I added a wooden heart sprayed with chalkboard paint by attaching it to the top of the wreath with some hot glue and a left over strip of the burlap. I used pink paper ribbon from World Market to hang it on the door. And whala.......

Here is the link to the actual tutorial that inspired this project. I really like this one better because it actually uses a heart shape wreath..... which I could not find:( Oh well! I had fun making it. I will be doing more projects as I have time and I will post them here. I have to have something to do while waiting on China!!!

On the China note, we were officially logged in to the system on 1/12/2012. So, now we wait on the Letter of Acceptance (LOA). Please join me in praying for a speedy one!!


Sunday Snapshot: Photo Shoot for Poppy!!

Every year it happens.

About a month before Christmas my sisters and I have a monster brainstorming session about what to get my dad... aka "Poppy".

I mean, the man has anything and everything he needs and doesn't want anybody to spend one penny on him.

But, he's our dad and we WANT to get him something, and we want him to really like it, because he has given us SO much!!

So, my sister came up with a great idea to have our kids pictures taken for him.

But, not just anywhere.

At the tire store.

My dad's tire store.

The place where my dad has worked since he was 12 years old.

And the place that supports our entire family ( the hubby and my brother in law work there too)!

And we had Cross Roads Tire Store t-shirts made to wear!

And we framed them and hung them all in the office of the store!!

On Christmas morning we had a scavenger hunt for my dad's gift. And we all loaded up and drove to the tire store.

And... He LOVED it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was great!!!!!

And, I thought I would share some of the pictures with you all !!

(all the grand kids)

( My Zoee girl)

(My sweet buddy Grayden)

(My precious niece Averie)

( My Handsome nephew Kannon)

(Me, my sisters and the kiddos)

Oh, and we left plenty of room on the wall for sweet Tulah's picture to go when she gets here!!!

Have a Blessed Week!!

Sunday Snapshot


Happy New Year!!!!

I can't believe that 2011 is behind us and that 2012 is here. 2011 went by ridiculously fast, and I have no doubt that 2012 will flash by us as well. Last year brought so many changes to our family. We had no idea what would be in store for us!! I have never been very good at keeping New Year's resolutions, and honestly I can't remember ever really seriously making any. However, I do like goal setting and accomplishing goals, so, for a fun post.... here are some things that I would really like to do in 2012... some are serious, some are fun!

  • Sharing our story: Our family is such an example of how God works in HUGE ways. This time last year, adoption was definatley not on our radar, and now we cannot wait to fly across the world to get our little girl! Earlier today Michael and I had the honor and privilege to visit another church and speak about our story and journey of faith, and how God can change hearts. It truly was an honor and I hope that this is a way that God can use us in the future to spread His word and bring glory to Him.
  • Getting to China: I SO hope that we can check this one off the list by May!!!!
  • Reading the Bible: I really want to stick to my reading the Bible in a year plan. This is one goal I have had before, and did not accomplish... yet. I spend time in God's word, but haven't gotten cover to cover. I hope this is the year!
  • Taking the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) Exam: Since I officially graduated with my MSN, I can sit for and take the CNE exam. Once I finish this, I really think I will be educated to my fullest potential and DONE!!!!
  • Take on some DIY projects and become more crafty: I really, really want to take on some of the cool DIY projects and crafts that I have seen on other blogs and Pinterest. I have been using the left side of my brain for way too long, I want to knock the rust off of the creative side of my brain and put it to good use!
  • Learn to sew: Super, duper want to learn this. I have a feeling that this would be really difficult for me to learn how to do, but I honestly do want to try.

There you have it!! Sure, there are more I should list like cut out sugar, caffeine, exercise more... but................ well, we'll see:)) Wishing everyone a Happy, joy-filled, New Year!