Friday, December 30, 2011


We had a wonderful Christmas. We spent some time at my parent’s home in Virginia. My brother and his family were able to come as well as my sister and her family. (My other brother and sister and their families were with the in-laws this year.) One of the nieces got an easel from Santa. It was a huge hit (with everyone)!

We had a great time eating, laughing and telling stories.  Uncle Jake was the hit of the party (as usual!!) He talked football with the nephews. He has not turned them into Dallas fans but isn't giving up. They may see the light soon!!!

My dad is the baby whisperer. All babies seem to love him. He has a magical way of soothing fussy babies too.

Opening presents was an adventure with so many people. We tried to label everything right after it was opened so it all went home with the right family. We also threw all the paper away quickly. We are pretty sure no presents got thrown away. The kids all loved their presents. My dad is a HUGE Star Wars fan (and a huge cookie fan).  He got a great T-Shirt! It was the best present of the day!

We had a wonderful time. It is always great to see everyone! We hope your Christmas was as great as ours!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! 
Thank you for sharing part of your Christmas with us!  We hope all your Christmas wishes come true!
Terri and Jake

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas! 
May you feel the Spirit of the Season!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

New Ornaments

We draw names in my family for Christmas. With so many nieces and nephews it really is a lot of people to buy for. This year I had my sister Lori and her family (Lori if you are reading- STOP NOW).

I made some ornaments for my sister. I have seen them on the internet and they were super easy!!! I rolled the red paper up and put it in the ornament.  After it was as full as I wanted (I stopped adding more paper when the paper didn't move when I shook the ornament), I painted the belt buckle. After that dried, I painted the black belt. I did all free hand. They are not perfect but I think they look great!
Here it is on the tree!

I didn’t have enough paper to make all six ornaments into Santa bellies- so I made two snowmen (I had white paper). I did the same thing rolling the paper and putting it in the ornament. Then when it was full, I painted the nose on. After that dried, I used the handle of a paint brush to make the dots for the eyes and mouth.

 Frosty on the tree !

Waiting for the paint to dry took longer than anything.  I wanted to keep them myself so I am hoping I can get some more clear ornaments (maybe for 75% off) and make some for us. You could fancy them up by adding ribbon by the hanger or a cute hat to Frosty but I like them simpler (and I needed to get them in the mail).

Almost ready to mail!The buckles look more silvery here (and they are silver!)

Here's what you need:
Clear ornaments (mine came from Michaels)
black paint (I had some. It's just regular black acrylic)
aorange and silver paint (I bought the glittery orange and silver at Walmart. It was in the scrapbook section and only 97 cents!)
red and white cardstock (I  had the paper- left over from another project look in the scrapbook section of the craft store!)

 Have fun! Let me know if you try them too!

I linked to Bowl Full of Lemons

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Jake's Ornament

Jake made a new Christmas ornament for our tree! Isn’t it cute?

Jake holding his ornament!

His team (the Dallas Cowboys) isn’t doing too well this year. So the ornament needed a disguise.  My visiting teacher brought over the hat (read more about visiting teaching here) and the creative bug bit Jake. I’m not sure if the disguise will come off when the Cowboys are doing better. Mostly we are hoping the Cowboys will improve!

Monday, December 19, 2011

My Favorite Things

I’m joining the Favorite Things Party at 320 Sycamore. I just love her blog! She has great ideas for decorating your home. (go on and visit! I'll wait here.) 

So here are 5 of my favorite things right now!

1)    Pinterest

I love love love Pinterest. I find tons of great ideas, quotes and pictures there (which you see here a lot). There are great recipes too. We have tried several and they have all been good (so far!!!)

2)   Diet Coke

The bubbles! The noise when you pop the top! What else can I say? It is the Devil's Beverage!  Even room temperature it is good!


3)   Christmas!

 I love Christmas. We are enjoying very nice weather and it makes going shopping and being out and about with all the other people so much nicer. I love the feeling in the air at Christmas time.  I know that we should fell this way all the time but if we did; it wouldn’t be special or make this time of year special.

4)    Michael’s

I’m don’t usually shop at Michael’s but they have been having a Daily Deal that has been great! Sign up for the email and you'll hear about it too! Hopefully they will do it next year!

5)   Bath and Body Works Vanilla Lotions

I love the smell. It is soothing and becomes more soft and subtle as the day goes on. I don’t wear perfume anymore (Jake has allergies) but this doesn’t bother him and makes my skin so soft!

So there you are- a few of my favorite things! What are a few of yours?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Duggars

I’ve been thinking about Michelle Duggar lately. Now I realize they are the ones that decided to have their family on TV and with that decision there are consequences.  One of the consequences is that everyone knows your business and unfortunately has a comment on it.

I don’t watch their show. I have a couple times and know a little about their family. When I heard (well really read since I saw it on the internet) about her miscarriage I was really sad for her. I know many people have an opinion about how many kids they have and her age (Mrs. R has a post about this here and read the comments too they are good also). I have not read the comments on Facebook or on the TLC website. I think the internet offers people an opportunity to say things they would NEVER say to someone personally. It really offers anonymity and a window into others lives that we didn’t use to have.

Here’s how I feel. I was sad when I heard about the miscarriage. Everyone I know who has had a miscarriage is sad- no matter how many children they have or if they are able to get pregnant again right away. But what really bothered me was the lack us support others offered. What happened to “if you don’t have anything nice to say- don’t say anything at all”? What happened to "mind your own business"? (Although by putting their life on TV they do want us in their business or they don’t have a show. . .)

Now I do think 20 children are too many for ME but that is who I make decisions for - me. I really don’t know about anyone else and I don't get to decide about anyone else either.  I only know about Jake and I and what works for us.

I hope Michelle Duggar and her family are doing well and has a way to deal with their grief. I also hope Mrs. Duggar doesn’t see the negative comments. But what I really hope is that we start being kinder and more compassionate even if we are commenting anonymously on a website. There is a primary song that says at the end "Kindness begins with me" Let's use this not only in real life but online too!

I want to be kind to everyone
For that is right you see
So I say to myself
Remember this
Kindess begins with me.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I got the decorating done! It turned out pretty well this year. I really like the mantle. I love all the candles.

I think the tree needs some more ornaments but in this picture it looks great. I saw some wonderful snowflakes online and they are supposed to be at the Dollar Store – but I was too late.  Jake loves a tree with multicolored lights and lots of sparkly things. It was my year to decide and so we have the white lights.  I did put the Dallas Cowboy ornaments on.

We also have a small table in our entry way. I have put different things on it each year. This year I went with the trees. I love how it looks. I wish I had big enough apothecary jars and could put each tree in a jar. My jars are a bit to small.

Here is our table. My sister gave me the place mats.  We had the missionaries over (that is why it is set for four).

I think it really feels like Christmas here! At least it does inside the house, outside it is 60 degrees! We love this weather! How does your house look?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Thoughts


God rest you merry Gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay;
Remember Christ our Saviour,
Was born on Christmas-day;
To save our souls from Satan's power,
Which long time had gone astray:
This brings Tidings of Comfort and Joy.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's beginning to look a bit like Christmas!

We are in the middle of decorating for the holidays. I stretch it out a bit. I do a little here and a little there. When we first moved, I went a little overboard. The house we have now has a different layout and it is easy to over fill a room with Christmas decorations.  I change things a bit each year and enjoy moving things a bit as the season goes on. We put things on the mantle (but not the stockings. I haven’t found stocking holders I like but this year I saw a new idea that I really like! Here’s a picture-what do you think?)

use a drapery rod to hang the stockings on!!!

We also decorate the tree and do some on the outside of the house. It has been either raining or threatening rain for days and not much is done outside yet.

There are so many great crafts and printables on the internet right now! Pinterest is a great resource-not only will you see a picture but most of the time you get a link to the directions! Here’s just a few!

(I just noticed these are ALL ornaments! There is so much more!)

I’ll keep working on the Christmas decorations! Pictures coming soon!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

National Adoption Month


Today is the last day of National Adoption Month. I have not posted about adoption every day or even posted every day. I do think about adoption every day. I will admit that some days I feel sad. Sad we don’t have children. Sad we are infertile. But mostly, I feel blessed. I feel blessed that Jake and I found each other. I feel blessed that we get to go through life and eternity together. I feel blessed that no matter what happens, we can face it together.


This month especially, I have had more opportunities to share our story and our desire to adopt. I don’t know if that is because I am getting better at sharing our story (I am a private person and tend to be shy) or more opportunities happened to come along this month or I noticed them more because I was watching for them.

 I have learned so much on this journey so far (thanks to all the bloggers out there! Sharing your story really helps!). I know I will learn more as we continue on the journey of adoption. Thanks for joining us!

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Day After

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had delicious food, great company and the Cowboys won. (That  makes for the perfect Thanksgiving!)

Somehow this:

always turns into this:

and we had lots of plates that look like this:

We are thrilled to have leftovers! I got food pictures but no people pictures! I need to work on that!

I am not a big Black Friday shopper. I really enjoy sleeping in that day. My brother Tom started the Day-After-Thanksgiving tradition of eating Pumpkin Pie for breakfast. I’m not exactly sure when the tradition started. I think it was when we visited relatives in St. George, Utah one year.  Anyway, I tried to continue the tradition but just couldn’t quite eat the pie at 6:00 am. (Yes, that is sleeping in for me.) So here is what I ate at 10:00.  I think it is close enough to count. It was FABULOUS! (If you haven't tried pumpkin pie for breakfast you should!)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

To you and yours- Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Enjoy your friends and family and count your blessings!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Always Be Prepared

I had a shock the other night. I was woken up from a dead sleep by the smoke alarm chirping- about once a minute! I went downstairs to get some new batteries and found there weren’t any! Actually there were batteries-just not the size I needed (of course).

Why oh why does this always happen in the middle of the night? WHY are we out of batteries in the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT?

So I got dressed and debated on waking Jake before I left. I was shocked that he wasn’t up already. He is a very light sleeper and usually I sleep through things and he wakes up to take care of them. He is really great that way.

I debated for a few minutes (or few chirps!!) and then woke him- I will be honest I was hoping he would just go to get the batteries- I’m not proud of it but we are being honest here. I told him I didn’t want him to worry because I was going to the store for batteries.

He rolled over and went back to sleep. I went to Wal.mart and got the batteries. I came home and started to change them. The chirping DIDN'T stop!! I changed all the batteries (I am so glad I got more than just two batteries!) I checked to see if all the connections were clean. They were. I checked the internet. One place suggested vacuuming the smoke alarms. So I did that. IT DIDN'T HELP! I checked the internet again and it suggested cutting the power (our smoke alarms have both batteries and electricity). So I went to the breaker box and looked for the breaker and none of them were labeled smoke alarms.

By this time it has been a couple hours and I was really frustrated. I didn’t know what else to try so since Jake was still sleeping (and the internet was out of ideas); I went down stairs to try and get a bit more sleep hoping that eventually the chirping would stop –you know by magic or something. Just as I was settling in; I heard Jake get up. Suddenly the chirping stopped. I went up to see what happened. I thought the batteries had FINALLY connected.

Jake had the Carbon Monoxide monitor in his hand. THAT IS WHAT WAS MAKING THE NOISE! I spent all this time working on the wrong problem!!!!!

Luckily the rest of the weekend was much better and I got a great story!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Open Adoption

Amy Hutton of Amstel Llife has a great article on open adoption and how her open adoption works. Read her article here.
She is a great advocate for adoption here in North Carolina and her story has been in the local paper. You can read here story here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day

Today is Veteran’s Day. My grandfather was a Marine during World War 2. He never talked about his experiences during that time. My dad got his journal after he passed away. While he was alive my grandfather was a man of few words. His journal was the same. There weren’t a lot of details. Grandfather was on an aircraft carrier in the South Pacific.

Jake’s brother was in the Army and in Kosovo during that conflict. His uncle was career military. We have a gentleman in our neighborhood that was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge during World War 2. We have many people around us who are serving or have served our country.

I am grateful to them all. They are willing to put their lives on the line often in faraway places to protect our country and help fight tyranny around the world. Their families live in foreign places or have their loved one gone for LONG periods of time.

To all the veterans: Thank you!!!! To their families: Thank you!!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thanksgiving is coming!!!!!


We love Thanksgiving here. Jake and I grew up with some different traditions and not just in the food area.

I grew up far from relatives, so we had just our immediate family and some close friends for Thanksgiving dinner. We had homemade cranberry sauce (it has big chunks and is GREAT) and the stuffing is dry and DOES NOT GO IN THE BIRD.  My mom is not a huge gravy fan but my dad is so on Thanksgiving we had gravy.  We didn’t have mashed potatoes but a different kind loaded with cheese.

Jake grew up close to both sets of grandparents and lots of aunts, uncles and cousins. Thanksgiving dinners were filled with family. They had cranberry jelly (from a can with no lumps) and his mom made a stuffing that is sort of like a casserole (and really a meal by itself!). There was tons of homemade gravy and mashed potatoes. They also had dinner based on when the Dallas Cowboy game is (either before or after).

We have a combination of the two. We eat Jake’s mom stuffing (it is SO wonderful!!) and eat around the Dallas Cowboy game. We do have both kinds of cranberries (we each think our kind makes the meal) and mashed potatoes (some years with the peals and some years without). Our gravy comes out of a can (way easier and always perfect!!!) We eat the leftovers for several meals and enjoy every bit!

We enjoy our time together and talking about what we are thankful for. Some years we go to my parents and some years we are here at home. Our church has a dinner on Wednesday and we have gone to that the last couple years.

How do you celebrate?

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Documentary

I got this information in an email today. I watched the trailer for the documentary Unlocking the Heart of Adoption. It looks interesting. The trailer shares sad stories on all sides of the triad. I don’t know how the whole documentary is but if nothing else it will make you think and spark some conversation. I try to remember that everyone involved with adoption has a different story and one adoptee’s story is only their story. Adoption has changed so much and these stories seem to be from a time before open adoption was the norm.

Here’s the information as it came to me.

 Unlocking the Heart of Adoption bridges the gap between birth and adoptive families through diverse personal stories of adoptees, birthparents and adoptive parents in same race and transracial adoptions revealing the enormous complexities in their lives with fascinating historical background.

To view the trailer, see what others have to say about Unlocking the Heart of Adoption and purchase the DVD go to:  And if you are on Facebook, please go to Like the page.  Thank you!

It will be on November 9 at 3pm EST on the documentary channel. I am hoping it will air again so I can see it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Positive Adoption Language

Positive Adoption Language is really important. Like many things there have been changes in adoption both in how adoption works and what words are used. Here’s a great chart that will help us use the positive language. As with everything, each family is different and may have slightly different terms for everyone involved. If you are unsure- ask!

Positive Adoption Language

The words we use while talking about adoption can send unintended messages. When writing about or discussing adoption, please consider using language from the right-hand column.

Negative Terms
Preferred Terms
Giving up her child for adoption
Placing her child for adoption
Real parent; natural parent
Birth parent, biological parent
Adoptive parent
His adopted child
His child
Born to unmarried parents
Child who was adopted
To keep
To parent
Adoptable child; available child
Waiting child
Foreign adoption
International adoption
Track down parents
Unwanted child
Child placed for adoption
Is adopted
Was adopted


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

National Adoption Month


It’s National Adoption Month! Many other bloggers will be telling their stories and sharing their thoughts on adoption.  Since we are still on the journey to our first adoption we don’t have the same perspective as those who have already adopted. We are on that roller coaster where we get contacted and hope this is the one! We hope everyday that we will get a call or an email.

I have always heard “hope springs eternal” and I have been surprised at how true that is. Every day I hope today is the day and I am able to get up the next day and hope the same thing!

I read on another blog about 30 days of Thankful. With Thanksgiving this month I thought that would be great. Check out the tab at the top to see what we are thankful for this year!