Friday, August 31, 2012

I Can't Believe I Forgot This!

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 Go. Enter. It's a ton of fun to win
and there's such a huge variety of stuff
to try for this year.
I can't believe I forgot all about it
until this morning.
But do it quick. It ends tonight at midnight.
Sorry! I know, it's really short notice.
My bad. The month kind of got away from me.

And while I'm sitting here, can I just say
"Sheesh. How on earth did it get to August 31st already?!"

There's loads and loads of craziness
crammed within the events
around here since my last post:
Shaggy's 18th Birthday.
Week 1 of  Football Camp.
Adoption Agency Reunion.
School Shopping.
Kindergarten Bus Orientation.
Crash Course in How to Be a Parent Advocate.
Week 2 of Football Camp.
Doctor Appointments.
Lab Appointments.
Dentist Appointments.
Oh. My. Word.

Listed out like that it doesn't really seem like a big deal.
Trust me when I say, the last two weeks have been

Am I the only mom that will be using the first day of school
to catch up on her sleep?
Somehow, I don't think so!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Wouldn't It Be Fun?

I found this cute adoption fundraiser going on in one of the adoption forums I belong to. I don't normally enter these kinds of contests, but I think it would be fun to win Bitty Twins for Aidan and Brynna to play with together.

Sigh. To play with together, someday, anyway!

Head over and see what it's all about at

And yes, I know it's been a while since I've blogged. I don't even really know why. But I'm working up to resuming a semi-regular pattern of blogging. I miss it. And I know The Boss sure misses it when I use all  most of my words on all ya'll as opposed to saving them all up for him. Especially while he's still on the learning curve of the new job and getting lots of everybody's words as the new guy on the block.  :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy Birthday, Li'l Empress! {F.I.V.E.}

I thought you might enjoy a little look back with me at the Li'l Empress,
while we celebrate the wonderful amazing day she was born.

February 2008
This isn't the earliest picture we have,
but it is the first picture we ever saw of her.
Her referral picture at about 6 months old.
And already stealing our hearts.

 I think this is the closest pic I have to her actual
1st birthday. Or the closest I have saved on disk, anyway!

Turning 2 in grand summer style!
Mmmmm, corn on the cob.

Really getting into the Gang's tradition
of birthday balloons by now!

Four years old and so excited to celebrate!

And now, five.
FIVE? Oh my goodness.
Truthfully, she wasn't all that excited about turning five
this morning...

After a somewhat rough start to the planned morning surprises and what we thought would be a low-key way to kick her special day off and celebrate with her, she's smiling now and embracing the joy of pink sparkly balloons, flower-patterned bike helmets and big girl bikes. One thing we know for sure: there is NEVER EVER a dull moment with this girl of ours.

Happy Birthday, Li'l Empress!
The gift of your life and your presence in this family has enriched us all.
And we are soooooo grateful God saw fit
to place you in our home and hearts. We love you sweet girl!

I'm Under The Big Oak Tree!

Just wanted to mention to you all that my guest post at Under The Big Oak Tree is going live today.  I'd sure appreciate it if you'd stop over there and leave a comment. Surf around her site a bit. Check out some of her awesome recipes and menu ideas. And leave a comment. Take some time to look over the cool organizational tips and the weight loss challenge she has going on. And leave a comment.

Yes, please. Leave a comment. Encourage others to think about adoption. Cheer Alison on for being a voice for little ones who wait for mommas like me. Tell the other readers how much you love your Wild Olive tee. Tell them which one you've already ordered. Leave a comment. You get the idea!

And by way of updating you about our Wild Olive tees fundraising project, I wanted to say thanks to those who have ordered already. We are a little less than half-way to the crazy goal we set for ourselves. But we know that God loves to blast crazy goals out of the water. And the gals over at Wild Olive have graciously extended our sale to allow us to "go for it!" So we are!!!!!

If you are interested in purchasing your own Wild Olive tee, click on the pretty little button to the side of this post, the one that says "Help Bring Our Child Home." And when you get to the Adoption Fundraising Tees pages, put our family code (WHITNEY407) in the coupon code button at check out.

But first, go read my guest post at Under the Big Oak Tree. And leave a comment. Pretty please?!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

More Partying than Olympic Village!

I'm back. Did ya miss me? I've been soaking in family time and getting my love tank filled to overflowing by hosting my side of the family for the weekend. We planned a big get together just to celebrate our family and the great things God is doing in and through all of us.  It's becoming a bit of an annual tradition that we enjoy, usually in August since we have soooo many August birthdays.

I wish I had thought to snap some "Before" and "After" pics of the refrigerator and pantry to show you all. Use your imagination when I tell you that I prepared well for the 25 bodies that descended upon our home for a family Sunday of grilling and swimming and hanging out. Here's the spread we all put together for Sunday dinner.

And that most of those same bodies came back again on Monday. D*min*e's Pizza was running a special for on-line ordering so I chose that option for the evening meal and made it easy on all the mommas. My poor dishwasher ran 4 times on Monday alone, even with paper plates and disposable utensils!

Sigh. I've said it before and I'll likely say it again. Those are THE.BEST.DAYS. of the year to me. THE.BEST. bar none.

Are these not the best looking kids ever?! We're so numerous now that we had to have one table for the teens, one for the "youngers" and one for the adults!

2012 has already been quite a milestone year for just our family here in the Gang's household, but it's also been a big one in many respects for my whole side of the family. Big moves from state-to-state, new jobs, graduations, missions trips, retirements, and other big life changes to celebrate in addition to the birthdays. I'm so grateful to navigate those changes and this journey with them.

And it certainly didn't hurt that we gathered to celebrate our family around big platters of juicy steak. Mmmm, steak.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Guest Posting for Adoption!

I'm very excited to be a "featured mom" on the online magazine called MomColored Glasses today.  If you aren't reading over there, really, you need to. Not just cuz you like me, although heading over there and sharing some comment-y love is so appreciated. But also because they are doing a great job highlighting all kinds of issues that affect us moms.  It's a really great read, no matter what day you head over there, no matter what topic they are tackling.

It's an honor to be sharing a re-post of one of my favorite posts ever. It's always an honor to share my heart and our story in this way. I pray that you are blessed. And if you are, please share it with someone else!

In addition, I am set to be a guest blogger on another resource-type blog next week, called Under the Big Oak Tree. The owner of the site is a member of the online yard sale community that I joined this winter. She was very intrigued by our adoption journey and the purpose behind my new "part time job" of online selling. So she offered me an opportunity to share a different part of our story.  When that one goes live, I'll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, head over to her site and check out the great meal ideas and de-cluttering challenges she runs! She's a gal after my own heart, for sure.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

In Between

In between the moments of greatness and inspiration that the 2012 London Olympics have already provided for our Gang's viewing pleasure, we've had a couple other moments worth noting.

Friday night, for the Opening Ceremonies, we feasted on a plethora of international delights. There was Italian sausage and German franks on the grill. In between bites of old-fashioned American baked beans and Italian pasta salad, there was plenty of good laughs and shared memories over about the Beijing Opening Ceremonies and Li'l Empress' 1st birthday celebration. It was all followed by ice cream (the origin of which many nations claim!) and red, white and blue rocket pops as we watched London strut her stuff.  

Apparently all the excitement proved too much for Li'l Empress. Somewhere in between Team China's appearance and the Maldives' stroll through the Parade of Nations she crashed on my lap.

Sigh. I love it when she falls asleep on me like that.
I know it won't last much longer.
After all, she is almost five. Sigh.

On Saturday, I took the day to help a friend tackle some purging of possessions and re-organizing of rooms and spaces in her home. She's been working the "one room at a time" process on her own for a few weeks and I really enjoyed helping her see her rooms with a slightly different perspective. In between the purging and the re-purposing, she fed me and plied me with iced tea and great conversation. THEN, she blessed me with a trunk full of donations for our on-line yard saling efforts.

There's about 6 garbage bags full of stuff under there!

So all the new stuff coming in inspired me to pare down my current inventory and freshen up my sale album. I went from this, in the living room, 

and, this, in the garage

to just this, in the garage in between breakfast, lunch,
and a few Olympic profiles and errands to W@lmart.

Meanwhile, the youngest members of the Gang are oooh'ing and aaaah'ing over the Men's synchronized diving competition. Which I am watching in between loading pictures and formulating sentences.

If multi-tasking was an Olympic event, I'd get at least a bronze for Monday's labors alone!