Monday, December 22, 2014

Having a real birthday celebration!

 We have now spent the last month greeting each other with Merry Christmas!  We have decorated our homes with snowmen, gingerbread people, Santa Claus, snow flakes, and lots of twinkling lights.  We have trees up and have rearranged furniture and made way for the extra crafts that have come home from church and school. 
 We have probably bought most of our presents already (or maybe that is just my OCD self) preparation for the big day!!!  Maybe they are wrapped and ready or not. 
 We have already spent some extra time playing fun games together with family and friends.  Having long talks about this last year, what we are doing now, and thinking ahead to the new year. 
 Chances are we have spent hours preparing food for the big birthday!
 Some of us have spent loads of time and made several batches of cookies- since it takes only a couple of days to rip through all you have already made ;).
 We have had some special moments with family and friends.  Greeting each other with hugs.  Reconnecting with people we may only get to see a few times a year. 
 We have prepared!!  We have feasted and will do so again. 
Some argue that all of this is a bunch of unnecessary money spent for a ridiculous reason.  I think we just need to ask ourselves one simple question.  Is this a real birthday celebration?

I mean for any person's birthday we gather, we make treats, decorate in their favorite Disney character, or favorite colors, we play games together, spend time talking together.  We love to reconnect with others for our special day.  The day we celebrate our birth.  We can't wait to open presents and see what treasures our friends and family have given to us.

So just remember- did you invite the person whose birthday party this is into your home?

It isn't a question of did you have fun with elf on the shelf this year.  It isn't a matter of if you give a gift on behalf of St. Nick.  It isn't a matter of did you get aunt Martha the perfect gift.  It is all about JESUS!!

Did you INVITE HIM INTO YOUR HOME!!  Into your decisions this month and every month throughout the year.  Is HE Really the Reason For Your Season?  For this time and place?

I am not as worried about "looking good" as I am about actually "being good" (a line stolen from a movie).  Sometimes my home does not reflect the love of Christ, and others it is everywhere around me!  Bubbling over in all I see.  In those moments I know WHOSE BIRTHDAY IT IS!  I know the reason for my existence and who I am serving when I sweep up tho next broken ornament or spend hours baking those favorite treats for those around me.

Praying to see more of HIM and spend time with HIS PRESENCE in our home over the next couple of weeks....and into our new year.   

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Happy 13th Birthday Andrew James Wright!

Happy 13th Birthday Andrew James Wright!!!! 

 Rip open the Dark Side Lego book- Of course because there is a Darth Lego figurine. 

Lord Of The Rings Lego Set.  Signifying in our home you are now allowed to watch Lord Of The Rings.  So Andrew has spent some time recently watching the first 2 movies so he could go on his special day out - with me to the movies to see the newest.

Michael looks totally unimpressed by Andrew's gift!  ;)  He of course got another Lego set as well- with a policeman of course since that is what he wants to be as he grows up.  How is it again that we now have 2 teens in our home?

He will now have to see the next 3 movies since this set is from the Fellowship of the Ring.  

Chocolate cake with a deliciously yummy Nutella buttercream frosting!!!!  

 13 years have flown by!!! 
 I remember when this young man was first "surfing" at age 9 months as he decided he needed to walk really early.  Just to keep us on our toes!  He has been doing that every since then ;).
 Triplets week is over and Andrew is now 13!!!! Happy Birthday to our Lego addict, bold leader, and compassionate son. We are so proud of who you are in Christ! We pray as you continue to grow in Him. That you will let Him lead you to do what He has planned. Whatever that is we know it will be great! Love mom & dad :). Favorite things: reading, Legos, history. Wants to be- a policeman. Welcome to your teen years!!
 So with 2 official teens in the home things may get interesting, but remembering before too long we will have 6 teens at once in the home - together......  ummmm....... we could use some prayers maybe?  He he he he....  I am sure it will be GREAT!!! 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas time traditions

 Making cookies is one of our Christmas time traditions.  I love baking cookies and breads just like my mom.  My kids enjoy decorating the cookies or eating the sugar ;).
 I typically double any recipes because if you are going to go to all that work you want cookies for more than just one meal.  I think we may need a bigger mixer?
 What other traditions do we have?  Well we may not always be very traditional, but we have fun.  We start opening Christmas gifts after Thanksgiving and they are gifts aimed at needs or family together time.  So gifts that we all can use- books, balls, sports equipment, gaming system for everyone, board or card games, family movies, microscopes, things like that. 
 We put them in a huge Christmas bag that we got half off last year and hide the bag around the house.  We go from youngest to oldest picking harder places to hide it and let the kids go hunting. 
 We love looking at Christmas lights which usually entails some snacks to take in the car. 
Everyone gets to buy a new Christmas ornament at Hobby Lobby when they are half off.  Then we do a huge splurge and eat at Texas Roadhouse which is conveniently located next door.  It also happens to be my favorite restaurant. 
 We have a few manger scene sets- one which is strictly for play time.  The others right now only have the manger and animals set up.  Then on Christmas week we add Mary and Joseph.  Then baby Jesus arrives on the scene Christmas Day.  We read from the Bible for these and we enjoy letting the kiddos add the people. 
 The week of Christmas we have a "What Jesus Really Wants For Christmas" set.  Each day you open a "present" which is a different person in the manger scene and you read a fun poem and scripture.  It focuses on why they are in the story and the last person is YOU! 
 We have a cute advent wreath that is a sculpture of children from around the world.  It was a gift from a friend and we love it.  Some years we have done more traditional readings for advent and some years we are just go with the flow and focus on table talk.  Things that are happening with our family, things we love, and how we can encourage each other in our faith walk. 
 We love hanging out the stockings and adding a few fun decorations.  Better yet making some decorations too.  It is something that doesn't come naturally for me- so Pinterest is my best friend.  Typically Jason helps because I am severely craft deficient. 
 We have sometimes done a Bethlehem dinner- where you dress up in towels, robes, etc.  Jason and I become the "Inn Keepers" and we invite our kiddos to dinner.  We eat fruits, fish, flat bread and we talk about the story of Christ and how that looked at the time. 
 Some years we do more than others.  Some are more slim pickings kind of like last year- when we were still hoping to move.  Then we didn't and well you know having your hopes up only to have them let down again is hard work.  Sometimes you just survive. 
 Part of what I truly wanted to write to you today was about expectations.  Some people do Elf on the Shelf, some have scary nightmares about him.  Some talk about Santa and some call him Satan.  Some do Christmas crafts daily, read all the advent readings, and so on. 

But expectations for the meal on Christmas, expectations of family arriving, how it all should play out.  You know that dream of the perfect family and time together.  That is really hard to live up to. 
 Whether you "have a perfect Christmas" or do the traditions you think you should I encourage you to really make sure you are not so wrapped up in all of it that you miss having fun and enjoying the celebration of Jesus Coming!  Oh that sounds so cliche as if it were just a dream, but it isn't!  It is real.  Was Jesus born on Christmas - who cares!  It's not about the date- its' about making room in our lives FOR HIM! 

So whether you do lots of crazy, you shop on Black Friday, or have a million people over- don't let your expectations get in the way of HIM!  Set aside time for HIM.  Cut out some traditions that take time away from HIM.  Just have some simple conversations about HIM.  You don't have to be a great theologian (I am not), but I can read scripture and devotions.  I can relate to my family about the fact that I am passionate about serving and loving Jesus. 

Traditions are fun- when they are fun.  When they become work- set them aside and focus.  ON HIM!
Speaking of Christmas miracles??  Does he look amazing on this bike?  OH MY!!!  I am in awe of him daily.  He inspires me in a way that no one else can.  I love that the Lord planted him in our family even when we felt totally inadequate and do most days.  We are working on getting him this bike.....either through fundraising or through grants.  I can't wait- because HE ROCKS IT!!!

****If you are a reader who loves to hear all about adoption and what we do with Christian Adoption Consultants - please check out our new professional website/blog at I have posted some of our clients stories over there and some other posts about adoption.  :)     

Friday, December 5, 2014

Happy 12th Birthday Matthew/Happy Thanksgiving!!! It's now triplets week!

 Matthew turned 12 on Thanksgiving this year!  I promise it was just yesterday he fit inside his stocking! 
Happy 12th Birthday Matthew!!!! To my inventor and comedian! The one who used to fit inside his stocking! We are so proud of you and who you have become! Sharing your faith boldly and following after God! Love mom and dad 
 Literally took him no time to figure out his new marble run "roller coaster".  He loves seeing how things work and is great at figuring things out.  He loves marble run, electric circuits, baseball, math, and creating things!  
When Matthew was born he was born the day before Thanksgiving and we brought him home the day after Thanksgiving.  A wee little boy not quite weighing 6lbs. 
 Fun having everyone over for Thanksgiving- my cousin Heidi, husband Mark, daughters Makenna, Jessa, my Aunt Jane, and another friend Tara. 
 GREAT FOOD!!  What a great birthday bonus!!!!
 Loads of extra treats and a huge table filled with laughter and sharing stories and memories. 
 Matthew wanted chocolate cheesecake because he has excellent taste!  YUMMY!!!

 I love this age- well let's be honest I love every age!!!  Happy Birthday Matthew!!!
AND- this is the start of our triplets week which officially ended today (Andrew's birthday).  One week every year our boys are the same age!!  Look at all the handsome 12 year old young men!!  I wonder how in the world I got the pleasure of having this much crazy fun in one family?  

**Update:  we did have a good friend from church that capped off our water going to the leak so we could get- WATER!!!!  HALLELUJAH!!!!  Tomorrow we will have our home repiped.  Which of course is coming out of our wallets because our insurance didn't tell us we could do this in the first place.  So they will be paying for a new floor.  Stay tuned for that adventure (1,600 square feet out of 2,500 will be replaced over a 3 week time period) sounds ummm..... :/.

I went shopping Thursday as is my typical.  I got in a casual conversation with the lady behind us in line.  After ringing everything up - she said as I was pulling my debit card out she was paying for it.  My jaw dropped and I started crying and hugged her. 

MY FB status:  And then someone in the line at Walmart gets in a casual conversation with you and after everything is rung up pays for it. Giving her a huge hug and saying thank you doesn't seem like enough. She tells you it is what Christ did for us and she is passing it on. And you blubber like baby knowing full well God has reached down and physically taken form! ‪#‎realchristmas‬‪#‎itsallabouthim‬

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Happy Adoption Day Joanna!

 On November 22nd we celebrated the official day we went to court and said yes to finalizing the adoption of Joanna Faith Wright!  Her cake of choice- donuts!  Now for our family that involves quite a few donuts because of sheer numbers.  Great part is that daddy found a coupon so we got 2 dozen for the price of 1!  Yea for us, and everyone got 2 donuts with a couple of extras. 
 She got Arial book, Arial characters, Arial play castle, bracelet, and Frozen bouncy ball - thanks Joe and Lisa! 

 As you can see she LOVED her presents! 
 Joanna is a cute spunky little girl.  She has lots of cuddle and love needs.  She prefers mommy and daddy over anything else.  She is a little on the crazy side of life and we love it!  She enjoys Arial anything, loves to mimic her siblings, her favorite food is meat, and she loves her tea as well (calming tea for bed time that is). 

 Daddy and Elizabeth had fun playing with her.
 Maybe a little too much fun??
 But hey you have to have some fun right?

**Some extra prayers would be great!  Last Monday we lost hot water- so we called out people through our home warranty to fix it.  They replaced pretty much the entire water heater...still no hot water.

Found a leak in the floor the night before Thanksgiving.  Thought it was just the hot wasn't.  That night water came up through the floor and Elizabeth came knocking on our door in the middle of the night to say that there was a huge puddle on the floor.

So we turned off all the water to our home.

Had them drill into our concrete- because we were told by the "answering service" for our insurance agency that we couldn't repipe.  Then they called water remediation.  Which meant we didn't have water and our home sounded like a huge wind tunnel for 2 days.  :(

Then the plumbers came and fixed the pipes.  Although we had been told by others- you may just want to repipe.....ok maybe in the next year we will.

Then Sunday morning all our water was gone and we discovered the busted pipes less than a couple of feet from the last leak- could hear it through the floor and the hot water was again drained and the water pressure was gone.

PRAISES- we have had someone give us a gift just because the Lord laid it on their hearts.  Thank you isn't even close to enough.  We also had the wonderful people who work at Michael's therapy place offer to bring dinner for the next week!!!  Again, we are speechless and sooo THANKFUL!

We are without water- picture lots of sanitizer, paper plates and bowls, plastic silverware, and several gallons of water bought at the store today.  We can also get bucket fulls of water (not for drinking without boiling first) from a spigot near our well. 

Let's just say these "fun" times are extremely stressful!  We are thankful for insurance who will hopefully cover some of the expenses....although not all because we still have to repipe- and they won't pay for that since the person told us to dig up the leak (during everyone else's Thanksgiving brreak).  So that is several thousands of dollars. 

We know God will provide!!!  As we speak we are having a plumber come to hopefully cap off the place where the leak is to maybe....just maybe have water to our home again!!!!!  PRAYING!!!!!!