Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in pictures!

What in the world happened to this year? Where did it go?  What in the world did we DO for 12 months?!?! :-)

We thought we would hi-lite yet another memorable year in pictures... In no particular order...

We had so much fun with far-away cousins... who all suck their thumb or have a paci :-) 

We wore paper hats...

Love from Nee & Tata!

Licked the spoon with belly hanging out... the ONLY way to properly lick the spoon.

 Second birthdays!!
 Lion bouncy houses!
 Learned to "smile" on command!
Wore bowl hats...

Wore shrugs without a shirt underneath... NOT the way to properly wear a shrug if you're over the age of 3, FYI :-)

Loved on Daddy

Swam with Mommy

 Love from Mommy and Daddy
More FUN cousins came to visit!

 Wore show-girl sunglasses... and wore them well!
FUN visit from Ghee!

 Loved on Bentley...
 Took out the trash with Daddy... in style!
Mommy and Daddy loved each other, too :-)
Wore more paper hats...
Wore tutu's... and made monkey faces
Played in the new ball pit with Daddy!
Sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus!

Ok Ok... so we like paper hats...

Ate cupcakes... Funfetti, to be exact. YUM!
"Cleaned the kitchen" ...with milk...

Wore our sunglasses up-side-down
Wore Zebra masks...

 Went to Costco with friends... and shared a shopping cart!
Loved each other!!

 Loved my Mom!
 Wore furry boots and sunglasses...
Dear 2010~
We loved you so much... but there's a huge possibility that we'll love 2011 even more!! BRING IT ON!!

Joey, Lindsay & Hannah

Coming soon...

I'm working on a post to bring an end to 2010 but it appears that the uploading tool on Blogger has decided to take New Years' off... who does it think it is?! :-)

For now, head over to our Facebook page and 'like' us... we're only 9 people away from 200! This doesn't mean a lot but statistically for every 1 person who 'likes' a page, 10 more have seen it... this means that potentially 2000 people are aware of our deep desire to adopt again! WOW! We know for a fact that God is already using our page to bring us closer and closer to bringing home our newest family member/members. God works in mysterious ways and He certainly does know the desires of our hearts...

Start 2011 believing that God knows your hopes, dreams, and desires... we sure are! In the mean time, we are praying fervently for our next baby/ babies and for his/her/their birth parents... for health, happiness, lots of support for them, and the knowledge of how much we already love them all, even if we haven't met them yet.

Stay tuned for the longest blog-post (in hilarious pictures) with the longest blog-post title... and an AWESOME video, courtesy of Miss Hannah :-)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Philadelphia Double Chocolate Cheesecake


We hope everyone had a very merry Christmas that was full of fun, food, and lots of family! Ours sure was :-) (Emphasis on the 'food'!!) I thought I would let you know what I'm working on tonight... It doesn't take a chocolate lover to covet this dessert!

Philadelphia Double Chocolate Cheesecake

24 crushed Oreo cookies
2 Tbsp. melted butter
4 packages softened Cream Cheese
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
8 ounces semi-sweet melted chocolate chips
4 eggs
1/2 cup blue-berries
1 Tbsp. powdered sugar

** optional: 1/4 cup Hazelnut-flavored liqueur added to the melted chocolate

* Pre-heat over to 325 degrees
* Mix cookie crumbs and butter and press into the base of a spring-form pan- Bake 10 minutes
* Beat cream cheese, sugar, flour & vanilla
* Add melted chocolate chips, mix well
* Add eggs one at a time, mixing on medium until each one is blended
* Pour mixture over crust
* Bake 45 minutes or until center is set
* Cool completely and refrigerate 4 hours
* Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish with berries

I'm making this for our huge family dinner tomorrow night so I'll be sure to report back on how everyone likes it... but since I know my family well, I know it'll be a hit! :-)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

From Our Family to Yours

From our family, to yours!!

We are so thankful for every one of you and for your support... we hope you had a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Will You Like Us, Pretty Please?

Hi Friends!

We have been truly humbled by the response we've gotten to our Facebook page. Our goal in starting the page is to simply spread the word as far as possible about our desire to adopt. We have already received emails and Facebook messages from attorney's, nurses, agencies, and friends of friends who want to know how they can help! It's been so exciting!

We only need 15 more 'likers' on our page to reach 200... can you believe it?? Have you 'liked' us yet? Would you consider helping us spread the word?  We think it would be fun to reach our 200 mark before 2011. If we do, we're considering doing a giveaway that includes the people who follow our blog and 'like' our page... what'd you think? Just as a small way to thank all of you who are supporting us in prayer and by word of mouth... we're so exciting that you're all along for this journey!

Also, feel free to join the discussions on our page, too! We know that some people are weary of using Facebook to spread the word but we're also convinced that our responsibility is to utilize every possible resource that is available to us and leave the rest up to God.... plus, it's just a really exciting thing to see how many people, lots we know and lots we don't, are rallying to support and encourage us.

Do you have a blog or Facebook page that we can follow or 'like' to help you spread news of your journey, too? Let us know... we'll do all we can to help!

Adopting Baby Smith Number 2

Promote Your Page Too

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mary- The Quintessential Birthmom

I've written this post several times. No joke: there are 3 posts waiting to be edited and they all have the same title. Mary gets to me. I've never given her much thought. She's the only woman in the Bible that I haven't studied. I'm not sure why but this Christmas she's been on my mind but I've realized that without this precious woman, the entire New Testament, the ENTIRE second half of the Bible wouldn't exist. So I've been wondering why I haven't given her more thought. I'm disappointed in myself.

In all of my recent reading on Mary, Jesus' Mom, I'm realizing that she is the quintessential birthmom. Perfect. To the 'T'.

What are the facts?

Mary finds out that she's pregnant
She's carrying the Son of God
His name will be "Jesus"

What does this mean for this young, soon-to-be married woman and now, Mom?

Her child is not her own
His destiny, she has little to no control over
She will love Him like she loves no other
She will sacrifice her own perfect plans so that His perfect plan can come to fruition
She will love Him regardless of those who deny Him... or her
She will ache for Him when He is gone
She will cry, she will hurt, she will pray...
and she will never stop.

Mary's love for her child is unconditional. She sacrificed her social status, her reputation, her relationships, her future, and her own plans for a child whom she knew from day 1 would not fully belong to her. She carried Him. She HAD Him. She loved Him... 

And then she lost Him.

I've had the honor over the past few years to have numerous personal relationships with many precious, beautiful birthmoms. One of them is my daughter's first Mom. I've never made the connection before but in the most recent relationship with a sweet birthmom, I was floored by the similarities I saw between her thoughts, feelings, and circumstances, and those of Mary. 

I am a Mom because of a woman just like Mary. A woman who only wanted what was best for her child but who knew, from day 1, that this precious, innocent child was not hers forever. She sacrificed her own plans for the life of this child. I love my daughter with everything that is in me. I will never take her for granted. I will love her unconditionally. But I'm still not sure that I will ever understand the sacrificing, unconditional love of a birthmom. 

A love like Mary's.

** Would you like to learn more about Mary with me? I've been reading the Book of Luke :-) **

I think Joseph deserves a closer look, too...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

To: You. Love: Hannh

I'm working on my Mary post... slowly but surely.

I thought that in the mean time I would brighten your day with a conversation that I had with Hannah the other day:

Me: "Hannah, who's birthday is coming up?"
Hannah: "JESUS!"
Me: "Yes! Um... where is Jesus?"
Hannah: "Jesus is up high (pointing to the sky)"!!!
Me: "That's right! He's in Heaven! And how old is Jesus going to be on His birthday?"
Hannah: "TWO (jumping up and down)!!!!"

~ If only we could all just stay 2 :-)

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Social Network Christmas

I've never given Mary much thought.
I've never studied her.
I've never been in her shoes.
That's changed this year.
I have lots of thoughts about her.
I have a lot to share.
For now, please don't miss watching this video...

Friday, December 17, 2010


I'm actually making Chicken Tacos for dinner tonight but I have to share this recipe for Jambalaya with you! Here it is:

Vegetarian Jambalaya (keep reading if you're not Vegetarian... we aren't either and this is a FAMILY favorite!)

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1 large chopped onion
1 medium chopped bell pepper
2 chopped garlic clove (I've used minced garlic and it worked fine)
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 can vegetable broth
1 frozen corn
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 can drained and rinsed black eyed peas
1 can stewed tomatoes- drained
** Optional: 1-2 links cooked sausage

- Heat oil, cook onion, pepper, garlic for 3-5 minutes
- Stir in rice, cook 3-5 minutes until rice is brown
- Stir in broth. Boil and simmer 15 minutes
- Stir in all remaining ingredients, cover & simmer 5-10 minutes
** Stir in cooked sausage**

This dish has become a family favorite across states for us... colorful, filling, and so healthy. UH.MA.ZING! :-)

So! Try this and let me know what you think... I know you'll love it!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I have a lot of trouble being transparent. I guess you could also say that I have trouble trusting people. No... you could definitely say that.

I've spent so much time comparing this experience of waiting to bring home our next precious baby to the time 3 years ago when we were waiting to bring home Hannah. There are so many similarities but it's the differences that amaze me.

When we were waiting for Hannah, we kept most everything that we were going through to ourselves. It seemed so much easier to go through the infertility treatments, home study, stress, and tears on our own... together. In a way, I guess we avoided lots of questions and inquisitive people...but we also missed out on a lot of support. No, we missed out on TONS of support... all because we were afraid to let people in. We didn't know how to be transparent without it looking like we were seeking sympathy or attention.

This seemed like a good idea for a while. On the outside everything was normal. On the inside we were slowly falling apart, grasping for answers, and hanging on to our faith when we really wanted to question God and ask "WHY?!". What ended up happening is that the flood-gates burst one night while we were meeting in our living room with our incredible small group from church. I mean... they BURST! We're lucky that it happened when we were with these people. Let's flash-back to February 7, 2009...

Secrecy can eat you alive!

Until now, only a handful of people know of our struggle trying to conceive. I feel guilty about our secrecy from even our close family and friends but the truth is, I'm just not ready to divulge the intimate details yet; not that we have all that much to tell as all tests point to "normal"l whatever the heck that means.

Though the last 14 months have been the most difficult of our lives, it has been somewhat more difficult to keep our struggle from our small group; the people who open up to us on a weekly basis, and who rely on us for prayer and encouragement. I want so badly to pray for them, support them, and know when they are struggling so I can offer to help but when it comes to me being transparent with them, I just can't. Will they blame me like I've so often blamed myself? Will they tell us we're over-reacting? So many fears!

Vulnerability has never been my strong-suit. Have you ever been burned? You know the kind I'm talking about. I've been burned so many times by people whom I confided in. In the end, transparency has never come out on my side. Because of this, I am the most independent and private person, in every sense of the word, however I have learned that even I can only stand to be this way for so long. This time, I endured 14 months and was ready to bust!

Though we did not plan it, we told our small group tonight about our struggle and asked them to pray for and with us. As soon as Joey started talking, I lost it. This was a million times worse than 'the ugly cry' people! I was hit with a mix of relief and dread at the same time. Relief to finally be open and honest with our best friends and dread because we were now risking the spread of our intimate struggle. I knew I couldn't handle that yet.

I should have given these precious friends more credit. I was overwhelmed by their response. They, both men and women, cried with us, prayed with us, and were sensitive to our feelings. God is faithful and it helps to know that our second family is praying for and with us and can celebrate with us when God blesses us with a baby! I cannot wait to see what God has in store for us.... and I am SO thankful for friends and their unconditional love for us!

Every one of those friends were among the very first to celebrate with us when we brought our sweet baby girl home. They respected our privacy but we knew that they were praying us through the darkness that we were in... and I know now that being vulnerable with them was one of many steps we had to walk up before we could bring home our baby. Less than 7 months later, that's exactly what we did!

I'm still learning how to be vulnerable. I've been burned many more times since February 2009 but I have to keep trusting. I have to keep making myself trust the people who care about me. How can I expect them to do the same with me if I don't trust them myself? This blog is one more step for me in trusting the people that God has placed in our lives... all of you. I've always envied people who blog. I never thought that I could put my most private thoughts and feelings out on a public forum like this. But I have. And I know that when we bring home our next Baby Smith, you will all be rejoicing with us because you will know the path we've walked and every struggle we faced along the way.

Have you experienced heartache? Infertility? A miscarriage? Infidelity? A failed adoption? Have you lost your job?

Have you told someone? Try it... trust those whom God has placed in your life. Give them the gift of being able to celebrate with you when you do get pregnant, find the person you're meant to be with forever, get the job you've been waiting for, or bring home your baby. I can't promise that you won't regret it, because there are times that I have... but you will learn from it and you will be taking one more step toward your dream.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Going All In!

Well, if you're going to go in, you might as well go all in, right?!

We've started a Facebook page to simply promote the fact that we are in the process of adding to our family once again through the miracle of adoption. If you'd like to, please use the link the the left to 'like' us on Facebook. If you don't want to, that's ok, too :-)

We wish there was a rule book to tell every waiting family and every birth-mom what to do and at what point to do it in the adoption process. Well, there isn't... so we're all doing the best we can. The events of the past few weeks have taught us that God can use every seemingly insignificant situation to ultimately fulfill His purpose for our lives. We still have the responsibility to UTILIZE the resources that He has provided for us.

We are thankful for every one of you and we are so excited to invite you along in the journey of adding to our family. Our experience with bringing Hannah home was unique and perfect and amazing. Even so, we want to keep her story her own and we look forward to creating a new perfect and amazing story for our next precious baby or babies.  Thank you for coming along for the ride... we're positive that it will be incredible!

If you're new here, feel free to start from the beginning :-)

Sweet Wavy

Can you believe that Christmas is only 10 days away?! What happened to January through November?

I've been MIA from my blog because I have been journaling the old-fashioned way... with a pen and paper :-). I have learned some of the most difficult lessons of my life in the past 2 weeks and I will slowly, but surely, try to unwind and unwrap these couple of weeks for you... and me.  I have been painfully stretched beyond the limits of what I thought I could handle. My family has been through some of the darkest times. We have experienced the power of Satan in ways I didn't even think I believed in before now. We have experienced the power of the Lord in ways I knew were possible but never thought I would experience in my life-time. I am still thankful for every second.

I absolutely hate to come back to you all with doom and gloom. If you know me, that's now how I am, nor how I want to be. But for now, with future promises of some funny stories and yummy recipes, I am asking you to once again please pray for this family. They are experiencing darker times than I can ever imagine. I believe in a God who can perform miracles. He reminds me of this each and every day when I look at our daughter. SHE is a miracle. Every child is a miracle and proof of His greatness.

 Please pray for them. Please pray for a miracle.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Giving Thanks After Thanksgiving

How was your Thanksgiving? I hope your Holiday was filled with family, friends, thankfulness, rest, and food! I know ours was! We spent lots of time with out of town family, had a family photo shoot (I can't WAIT to see our pictures... I'll share them soon!), cooked lots of food, ate lots of food, and stayed as far away from Black Friday shopping as we could! We actually have found the same, if not better deals in the last day than we would have had we gotten up at 3am.

Though our Thanksgiving was restful and fun, I found myself feeling much like I did throughout all of the Holidays before we brought Hannah home; do you know what I mean? If so, then I'm so sorry and I'm right there with you.

Holidays are so joyous and fun but they bring with them a feeling of emptiness and longing when you're waiting for a child. I also know firsthand that the feelings are the same when you've lost someone you love; the Holidays are so hard!

I remember the Thanksgiving and Christmas before we brought Hannah home. We were right in the middle of infertility treatments and our 'test' day always seemed to fall annoyingly close to those Holidays. This was tough because we were so hopeful that we would get our BFP (big fat positive) in time to share our exciting news with our families when we were all together. In reality, we always ended up needing to push aside our broken hearts and spirits in order to appear happy and excited about the Holidays... all I really wanted to do after getting BFN after BFN was crawl into bed until next month when we would do it all over again. Are you famliar with the cycle I'm talking about? I'm sorry, friend.

The shower is my place of refuge and it's where Jesus and I have our best talks. I remember crying every night when I took my shower. It's cheesy but I always felt relief when I got out, knowing that my tears and grief had been washed away. The pain took longer to go away but eventually it became so dull that I was ready to move forward and look to the next round of whatever phase of infertility treatments we were going through. The pessimist in me knew that I would be seeking the refuge of my shower the next month, too but sometimes it's nice to have some hope to hold on to.

I don't think it matters if you're waiting for your first, second, or tenth child... the Holidays make it more difficult. Though ours are always full and rich (especially now with Hannah), I can't stop myself from envisioning the rest of our family and wanting so badly for them to be here with us. Patience is hard enough to come by and the Holiday's don't help. I've never been good at memorizing verses but for some reason, Psalm 37:7 has been echoing through my head this week...

"Be still in the Lord and wait patiently for Him..."

What does it mean to you to be still in the Lord? I think it's different for everyone. For me, this verse challenges me to stop the voices in my head (that's how Satan gets to me) and to take time out of every day to sit in the quiet and really listen for what God needs to tell me. I don't hear Him every day but when I do, His words do carry me through until He speaks again.

The rest of this verse is what has shaken me to my core this week. I will share more when the time is right, because I feel that our experiences are learning opportunities and they have the ability to make you stronger or shatter you; only you can decide what you will allow them to do to you. Right now, I am desperately fighting the part of me that wants to choose to shatter... and I have learned that that is OK; for a little while.

Have you ever been on a missions trip and experienced the power and the closeness to Jesus that comes after sacrificing and serving Him and Him only? It has always disappointed me how that 'high' gradually wears off when you return home. I don't want the same thing to happen this Thanksgiving and Holiday season. I have so much to be grateful for and it seems that the list gets longer and longer each year... for THAT, I am truly thankful!

Please pray for us this week... and I will be lifting you up, as well :-)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Lesson in Thankfulness; From my 2 year old to me

I got an email yesterday morning saying that our meetup group needed a few more items in order to complete donations of 10 Thanksgiving meals for families this year. I happened to have a lot of the items in my pantry so I loaded Hannah in the car and we went to drop it off.

On the way to the drop-off house, I explained to Hannah that we had some extra food and we were taking it to kids who needed food to eat for Thanksgiving. Keep in mind that Hannah just turned 2... however, she surprises us every day with how much she knows that we don't give her credit for.

After I explained where we were going, she was quiet for a few minutes. After about 2 minutes she took her pacifier out of her mouth and said, "Mommy? Kids hungry?"

I cried. It may seem like a small, insignificant question but you must know that I never said the word "hungry" to her. Her own compassionate, caring nature came up with that word on her own and she was so sad for those kids.

God speaks to me daily through my daughter. She never ceases to amaze me... and God never fails to teach me valuable lessons through her.

We may have our Christmas decorations up and our gifts wrapped but we have not forgotten the meaning behind Thanksgiving.... We have so much to be thankful for! This year, I am thankful (among so many things) for my precious daughter who reminds me daily, no matter the time of year, how blessed I am.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Have you heard of

Meetup has been the best way for us to meet people (besides church, of course)! When you sign up on, you create your profile and then, using your zipcode, search for groups to join. In our zip code, you can join book clubs, stay at home moms groups, singles groups, adoption groups, Bible studies... anything you can think of and if you can't find what you're looking for, it's easy to start a group.

Hannah and I have met so many wonderful people through our stay at home moms meetup group! We have met other adoptive families, people from our church that we hadn't met before, famlies that we now call close friends, and it keeps us busy every day of the week! Most groups have a small yearly fee (ours is only $10) that helps the organizers keep the site up and keep events on the calendar. Our group dues fund socials, pizza parties, moms nights out, etc. It truly was our saving grace when we moved to a new city and knew absolutely no one!

Anyway, I just thought I would pass on this great site to you... I hope you find a fun group!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Yes, Christmas has come early in our house this year! You must understand, this is a first for us. We are usually the family who begins thinking about Christmas after Thanksgiving (or a few days before Christmas). This year has been different for so many reasons.

First of all, last weekend my mom, hannah, and I took a last minute girls weekend trip to some outlets that are a few hours away. We made such a huge dent in our Christmas shopping that it just jump-started something in me this week. We've been on a Christmas kick since then!

Second, Hannah is really starting to understand the concept of Christmas this year and it is so exciting! She started understanding 'birthdays' a few months ago so we've started with discussions about Jesus' birthday and she's impressed us from there with her understanding of all things Christmas.

Third, have you heard of The Elf on the Shelf? The EOAS craze started a couple years ago and my mom got us one before the stores ran out. The concept is simple and so much fun! Before Christmas, the kids read the Elf book and name him (Hannah named her Elf Kazaar last night.... she cracks us up!). Every morning the kids wake up and have to find the Elf who, while the kids were sleeping, reported to Santa on how they behaved that day. Since the Elf was travelling all night, he is in a different location every morning when the kids get up. So basically, it's a fun morning activity to get the day started, helps everyone get excited for Christmas and want to be on their best behavior, and is a family tradition everyone looks forward to year after year. We are trying it out with Hannah this year to see how she grasps the concept. We read the book last night and named our Elf but Kazaar didn't have a chance to report to Santa last night.... he slept with Hannah :-) She hasn't let him leave her side all morning... we'll keep working on it!

So!! The lights are up outside, the garland is strung on the stairs, the tree is decorated, and yes... the gifts are WRAPPED!!!

Disclaimer that may make me sound like a hypocrite (and that's ok with me on this one); I STILL think it's WAY too early for Christmas music!

Even though we are looking ahead and getting so excited for Christmas and for celebrating Jesus' birth, we can't forget about Thanksgiving and all that we have to be thankful for! We have SO MUCH to be thankful for!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pour Into Me

I belong to an amazing women's Bible study that meets weekly. I have never been a part of something that is designed strictly for women and I can't believe what I've been missing. The simple privilege of spending 2 hours a week with women in all walks of life, yet who are all going through the same motions of balancing being a woman, a wife, a mom, and a friend pours so much life into my heart that I never knew I needed.
Last week, our challenge as moms was to find and memorize one verse that we can pray over our child/ children on a daily basis. Every child is different so we would be exposed to many new verses as each woman at our table shared the one that the Lord placed on her heart. I'll be brutally honest; at  first I thought this was a crazy idea. I don't have time to just sit and pray nonetheless spend who knows how long picking out ONE verse from the Bible! But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that if I don't pray for my baby.... then who will? I should consider it an honor to pray for her! So, I ate my humble pie and set out to find a verse.

My 'life verse' has always been Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future."

I searched and searched for a verse that I could pray over Hannah and I finally decided to share my life verse with her. I pray for Hannah's future daily; that she would come to know the love of the Lord at an early age, that she would find peace and comfort in His Word on a daily basis, that she will always understand that the Lord has promised her so much and no matter how tough life circumstances get, He has her best interest at heart. These are things I struggle to remind myself of every day and I have started asking the Lord to deeply root trust in Him in Hannah's heart now so as she gets older, she will always know the peace that comes in trusting God's plan for her life.

You don't have to have a child in order to choose a verse to pray over them. All you need is a desire for children; God already knows who they are and He can begin a work in the plan for their lives as He continues to mold and shape their existence in yours. Choose one. Pray for your child/ children daily. Do not, for even a second, doubt the power that a Mom's prayer can have over her child's future... it's an honor and a privilege that God has entrusted us as temporary guardians of His precious children.

I was amazed this morning by the verses other moms deemed as their child's verse. If you don't have one for your child already, here are some of the one's that stood out to me!

1 Timothy 4:12
" Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity."

Proverbs 4:23
"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."

Psalm 5:12
"For surely, Oh Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your shield."

So... Did you pick a verse?  I'd love to know!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chicken-Broccoli-Rice Casserole

My Mother-in-law came to visit this weeknd and we had a great time! She is a FABULOUS Southern cook so I asked her to give me some much-needed lessons. Her Chicken Casserole has been my favorite dish since my husband and I started dating and though it is simple to make, it is delicious to eat! (Though, everything tastes better when someone else makes it. Do you have that problem?)

Chicken-Broccoli-Rice Casserole

1- box of long grain wild rice
10 oz.- frozen broccoli
8 oz.- cheese whiz (I substitute grated cheese)
1- can Cream of Chicken soup
3 cups- shredded cooked chicken (I buy a Rotisserie chicken and shred it)
8 oz- water chesnuts


1- box of Pepperidge Farm Dressing
1- stick melted butter

* Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
* Cook wild rice according to package directions
* Add other ingredients, including cooked shredded chicken
* Place all ingredients in a 9x13 greased dish.
*Top with dressing tossed in melted butter
* Bake @350 degrees for 30 minutes


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The "A" Word...

Did you vote today? I hope so!

I felt so honored and proud as I walked out of my voting location. The beauty in living in our country is that we DO have the freedom to think, feel, and believe whatever we want... but sometimes that freedom comes at a high price. My passion has always belonged to youth; babies, toddlers, teens, and beyond (because we all know some adults who haven't grown up yet :-)).  My heart throughout the election this year has been focused on the women who have been entrusted with the decision to give or take life from the child that they carry. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion surrounding the dreaded 'a' word; abortion. (I don't understand why we can't be more comfortable with that word when it is such a huge issue in our nation.... so let's call it what it is.)

No matter your personal opinion, I feel strongly that I can speak for anyone and everyone who has experienced any aspect of the adoption process; being adopted, having adopted a child, knowing someone who is/ has adopted, or walking through the process with any of the above. Experience with adoption changes one's views of so many things. It changes someones view of a birth-parent; those precious, selfless people who choose to give their child a life beyond that which they may be able to give at the time. It changes someones view of what it means to be a parent, what it means to love and it causes someone to think beyond the moment and focus on the purpose that God has in a life,,, any life.

As I got in my car after voting this morning, I stopped to pray for everyone who would be voting throughout the day. I prayed for what they would vote for. I did not pray that they would vote the way I did but I did pray that they would consider the value of a life, even one. A pregnant woman has 3 choices; become a parent, end the pregnancy, or place the child for adoption. As an adoptive parent and one who is going through the process again, I know that every life that is taken through abortion takes away one more opportunity for someone like me to become a mom... and let me tell you, those opportunities can be hard to come by as it is.

I hope you'll watch this video. The purpose for Gianna's life is undeniable.. and I can't stand to think of how drastically different her parents lives would be if the supposed plan for her life had been accomplished.

And no matter what you believe, please vote today :-)

Gianna Jessen from LMF CAM on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

No Words...

I am asking you to please lift this family up in prayer. They faithfully attend our church. They have just lost a 2.5 year fight for the finalization of their adoption and will lose their 2.5 year old baby-girl in 30 short days when they relinquish her to her birth-father.

My heart is broken for this sweet family. I can't imagine what I would be feeling if we lost our baby-girl, who is the same age as Waverley. I don't know how you could possibly move on from this without the strength and power of the Lord to guide you.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Beef Stroganoff

Did you have a favorite food growing up that you requested for birthdays or special occasions? This is mine; My Mom's Beef Stroganoff... Oh my goodness is this yummy!

1.5-2 Pounds Sirloin tip, sliced thinly
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 packet dry onion soup mix
Sliced muchrooms, canned or fresh (as much as you like)
1/2 cup water
16 ounces sour cream

* Saute meat in a little oil
* Add all but the sour cream and simmer one hour
* Fold in sour cream just before serving
* Serve over rice or egg noodles

I made this last night... it's always yummy but never tastes as good as when my Mom makes it :-)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Juno Baby

Look what came in the mail today!! About a month ago I signed up for this free DVD, not completely trusting that I would receive it... and today I did! The one we received is "Juno's Rhythm Adventure" and since the Mom who created the Juno series is a composer, I'm expecting some great new kids' music.

A card was enclosed with the DVD and says that other Moms can get the free DVD, as well! If you want to get one go to

Let me know if you request one and I'll let you know soon how we like ours :-)

Update: We LOVE it! We don't let Hannah watch a lot of TV but she has been transfixed for 20 minutes so far... great music, great lessons, and lots of color! Go order yours... for a gift, stocking stuffer or to tuck away for a future baby. We'll be ordering more Juno Baby movies :-)