Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Church Camp

Isaac and Luke returned from their first church camp today. They left on Monday and while they were gone, I prayed for their hearts to be changed. I won't lie, I was a little nervous about them being away from home for two nights because they both like to have sweet little night terrors and they both LOVE to sleep walk. Good times at my house. I knew they would be ok though and I just prayed that when it came time for decisions, that their little hearts would stir.

I was so anxious as I picked them up today. I couldn't wait to ask all about camp, but I immediately noticed that they were exhausted so I certainly didn't want to press them too hard. As they climbed in the Burb and we drove off, I slowly began asking "So guys, did you love camp?" Yes. "Did you have a good time?" Yes. "Are you tired?" NO!!! (ok, sorry I asked). I waited a few minutes before I said, "So did you guys learn about Jesus and asking him into your heart?" to which they replied, "Yep, and we also learned how to play tug of war at the mud pit" Great. I waited another few minutes and then said, "So when they had service last night, did you guys think about asking Jesus into your heart?" They paused and then said, "Nope, the line was too long." Well, there you go.

So, tomorrow night, Jonathan and I will again begin the process of explaining salvation to these two guys, but I knew you guys would get a kick out of their responses. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to see a long line again without thinking of them at church camp.

Shopping Review: Pottery Barn Furniture Outlet Memphis, TN

I got the chance to go to Memphis with my dear friend, Candy, last weekend. It was our second trip and we've decided to make it an annual thing for our birthdays (once in Oct/Nov for hers and once in June/July for mine). Our original reason for REALLY wanting to go last October was to hit the Pottery Barn outlet in Memphis. Since this was our second visit in a year, I thought it might be helpful to others to tell about our experience.

When we went in October 2008, we drove down on Sunday arriving at PB about two hours before they closed. We found a few things, but decided to head back on Monday morning when they opened. We hit the JACKPOT on Monday morning and some of the highlights were white armchairs for your desk that retailed for $379. We got them for $59.97! I also found the NFL quilt that is currently being sold in the Pottery Barn Teen catalog for $50 in full/queen size. Candy totally got the best deal when she found an anywhere chair cover already embroidered with her son's name for next to nothing. They had this whole section of items that had been embroidered that had been returned so we were super pumped when she found something with her son's name on it! My favorite find of the day was the Pottery Barn Kids art table complete with the hutch that has the rolls of paper to color on. I got the whole thing for under $200.

Fast forward to this July. Again, we went on Sunday but got there earlier in the day. We immediately noticed that the prices seemed higher, especially when we found the same table that I had bought in October for under $200 priced at $731. Seriously? I am not even sure it cost that much in the regular store! They were also remodeling and had completely taken out the section with the returns with embroidery. They were offering an additional 20% off the lowest ticketed price on outdoor furniture and any bedroom furniture. We both agreed that their selection was MUCH better on furniture, but the prices were really high...seriously, close to retail. We left without spending a dime, but again decided to head back on Monday morning when they opened. Although I didn't find anything, Candy hit the jackpot Monday morning and found a GORGEOUS dresser for close to 75% off retail. That was THE item she was really looking for so it was definitely a big WIN!

So, here's my advice if you are making the drive to Memphis to go to the outlet. First, call ahead and have them add you to their email list. It is seperate from the "normal" emails you get from Pottery Barn. They will email you when they do specials, additional percentages off, etc. Second, call ahead if you are looking for something specific. We saw them answer the phone multiple times where someone was asking for something specific and they even encourage you to call. If you have your eye on something in the catalog, it can't hurt to call and see if they have it there. We figured your saving at least 20% by buying at the outlet. Third, make your list of what you REALLY need. It would be VERY easy to get off track and blow your budget in there so make sure you are really sticking to a design plan, etc. otherwise you could definitely end up with buyer's remorse and their return policy isn't great. We also found Halloween costumes that were in the current catalog last October so definitely keep that in mind if you plan to pay full price in the catalog!Their phone number is 901-818-9770.

Another thing to keep in mind is that they are now connected to a West Elm outlet and the Williams Sonoma outlet is on the other side. You will definitely want to put directions in your GPS because it is a little off the beaten path. So, if your in Memphis, definitely check it out and leave a comment with your experience.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What's Next

I've talked about this before, but I've been thinking about it more and more the last few days. Does it surprise anyone else how quickly you are asked about having more kids right after you just had/adopted one? It seemed like within days of J.T.'s homecoming, people were asking J and I "were we done?" or "when are you starting the process again?"

I will be honest, newborn stage has yet again kicked my butt. Literally. I am so tired sometimes that I no longer form coherent sentences, I go days without showering, and I now view a nap as one of the most important things to do in a day.

I will be honest and also admit that after J.T. came home, I felt like this was it. Party of 7 sounds good. No more kiddos for us. We have done what God has called us to do.

BUT if I am really being honest, I can tell you that I just don't know the answers to those questions because I am not in control. Only God knows those answers. I can tell you that once you have crossed over and your eyes have been opened, there is no denying a need for families for orphaned children. Can we afford another adoption? Right now, the answer is no. Do I believe that God would provide if he called us to do it again? Absolutely yes.

So that's my answer for what is next for our family. "Wherever he leads, I'll go" is my answer. Now, mom, don't go start breathing into a paper sack or anything...I'm not saying we are starting another adoption! I'm just challenging all of you. This world is not black and white. There is gray. I want to be different. I want God to use me even if the world thinks I'm weird. I'm ok with weird, I'm ok with gray.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Two Years Ago...

It seems impossible to me that two years ago my precious niece had just entered the world. It honestly seems like yesterday. On Friday, July 24, Ms. Maggie turned two and we got to help her celebrate at her cow themed party on Saturday morning. Maggie looked adorable with her cow clip in her hair and I loved watching her stand at the front door peeking out the side window anxiously awaiting her guests.

Joshua was very alert during the party and enjoyed showing off to everyone.

Mary Elizabeth loved the fact that they were serving donuts and decided she needed to eat two in honor of Maggie's birthday.

All the kids had a great time, Maggie enjoyed her gifts and the fellowship among friends and family was great.

Last but not least, two years ago was also when we almost lost Uncle Josh. God only knows how thankful we all are that he decided to let him stick around with us. What was one of the scariest nights of my life changed my perspective. I was strongly reminded of what is important. My relationship with Christ first and foremost, my relationship with my wonderful husband, my relationship with my children, and my relationship with my family and friends. This world is full of things that aren't important. It's the relationships that really matter. I am so thankful that we were able to make this photo at Maggie's party.

So happy birthday to Maggie Moo! We love you little girl and are so thankful that we get to watch you grow. A big thanks to Ali for letting me swipe these pics!

A Few More Favorites...

I have to tell you about a few more things that I accidentally left off my favorites post.

1. POTATO. This is a club for parents of twins, triplets, quads, etc. Although there are groups like this all over the US, POTATO holds it's meetings here in Nashville, TN. Not only do they have monthly meetings, special events like zoo outings, and an online email support group, they also have a great consignment sale that is held twice a year. They usually have around 45 consignors and you must be a member to sell, but the public can shop. If you are looking for a double or triple stroller, you are SURE to find one here. Also a great place to finding matching outfits for multiples. Here's the scoop for their next sale which will be held August 8.

2. Painturo's. This great little place to eat is located in Lebanon, Gallatin and Goodlettsville. I have only ate at the Goodlettsville location (right in front of Publix beside Dunkin Donuts). I had to share this awesome place with you because not only are they locally owned, but they have AWESOME food and kids 10 and under EAT FREE all the time. Jonathan swears they have the best Calzone's, I LOVE their spaghetti, and the kids love everything on their kids menu. Their portions are huge, they have great lunch specials and you really can't beat the price! They have no clue who I am so if you mention you saw it on the blog, don't be surprised if they look at you like your nuts!

3. Consigning Time. Yes, I know I've mentioned Julie before, but I have to tell you how impressed I am with her PRINTABLE maps of all the area consignment sales. Print them out and put them on your fridge and then go support your local sales. We are VERY fortunate here in middle TN to have a large number of consignment sales. Did you know that in some parts of the country, people have never even heard of the concept of consignment sales? Of course, we want Encores and More North to be your favorite, but I also want you to shop all these local sales and support their owners. Go visit Julie's site now and print those calendars! Oh, and Julie, come work with us :) You'll love us, I promise (girls, leave comments and tell her how much fun she will have working at Encores North!)

4. Brandon Schell, owner of Cross Driven Construction. We had a leak in our basement at our last house and Brandon was on it and fixed it in no time. If you need any type of home repair, don't hesitate to call him. We've decided he never sleeps and he will do what he says he's going to do.

That's it for now. I'm sure I'll think of more favorites to add later on!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Love this...

Thanks Jeanine for sending it to fun!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Clearance Sign at Toys R Us : Fail

If you haven't checked out THIS blog, you MUST go. I felt like this sign we saw at Toys R Us in Jackson, TN would be appropriate for that blog. It was advertising a Star Wars toy that was on "sale." Wow, what a bargain. I'll take 3.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Walking in Memphis

This time tomorrow night I will be resting in a hotel room in Memphis. I am so excited I can't accurately describe it on this blog. I'm only going for a brief 36 hours and yet the thought of a girl's trip is so freaking exciting!

Will I miss my husband? Yes. Will I miss my kids? Yes. Will I enjoy a full night's sleep? Yes.

Candy and I are going to shop at the Pottery Barn outlet, spend our Gymbucks, eat a nice dinner, see a girly movie, and just enjoy time away for our birthdays. We are hoping to make this an annual tradition.

Part of me feels guilty for going and then I think "nah!"

Monday, July 13, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things...

I thought I'd compile a small list of things I have been meaning to tell you guys about. I wish I had time to do a post on each of these things individually, but I don't, so this is the next best thing.

1. Priority One Real Estate : Ray Carman is the person we used in our last move and you can't ask for a more honest and effective agent. He not only did an awesome job listing and selling our house, but totally went to bat for us when it came time for us to buy a house. Yes, we got our house for 60K less than the original asking price because of lots of prayers and lots of comps that Ray pulled. If you need an agent that can get it done, email him now.

2. Consigning Time and Kids Consignment Sales : Both of these sites have a compiled listing of sales in the Nashville area. Both Julie and Linda do a great job getting all the info to you in a well organized fashion. Don't miss any of the awesome sales you can find in the Nashville area!

3. Red Letters Campaign : Remember me talking about that fabulous couple we stayed with while in Houston? Well, not only do Russ and Angel open their home up to strangers while in town adopting, they also run an awesome non-profit called Red Letters Campaign. RLC exists to connect people who want to give to those who are in need especially in the life of orphans. What started as a small non-profit has turned into a huge gig for this wonderful couple!

4. Craigslist : If you have not yet ventured onto craigslist, what in the world are you waiting for? I swear half of the furniture in my home, both of our vehicles and half of my kids toys have come from craigslist. It's completely free to list items for sale and you can search by city. Yes, I am addicted.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I HAD to share this. Pic taken by grandmother at VBS. Guessing this was taken during prayer. We all know how hard it is to keep your eyes closed the WHOLE time during prayer! HA HA

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Michael Jackson

Honestly, I haven't wanted to touch this subject with a ten foot pole, but heard a comment today that really bothered me so I figured I should put my thoughts out there for those of you that care :)

Yes, I grew up loving Michael Jackson. I loved his songs, loved his dancing, etc. but I'm quite sure I've ever been the type of fan that idolized him. I haven't kept up with him much over the years, although I do remember seeing the story of him dangling his son over the railing at that hotel. I also remember thinking it quite odd that he wore pajamas to court. I say all this to give you the extent of my recent Michael Jackson knowledge. Honestly, if you had asked me three weeks ago how many children MJ had and whom they were conceived with, I probably could not have answered that question.

I say all this because someone said today while referring to custody of MJ's kids "well, they probably weren't even his kids anyway"

Now, maybe you see nothing wrong with the above statement. Heck, you might have even said it yourself, but as an adoptive momma I think someone needs to stop and say that just because he may or may not have produced the sperm that fertilized the egg does not equal that he wasn't their father. He has raised these children (from what I have seen in the media) since their birth. He is the only parent these children have ever known. Yes, he was a weird, mixed up man who was probably guilty of lots of disqusting things, but he was still their father.

These children are his children, but more importantly, they are children of God. My immediate family consists of children that I spent hours birthing and children that I spent hours praying for. Some have my DNA, some do not. BUT THEY ARE ALL MY CHILDREN. Yes, two of them didn't come out of womb, but if something happened to me, I would hope and pray that people would not hold them at arm's length because of that small difference in how they came to be part of my family.

Another Resource for Prospective Adoptive Families

I just realized tonight that I never posted a link to the board that posts adoption situations that they need profiles for. If you click HEREyou will find a moderated list of those situations. We typically used the first link listed AND please be aware that you should always do research on agencies that post situations here as some are known to not be that great (Valley of Hope) GOOD LUCK!


If you've ever thought that racism no longer exists, check out this article HERE. Sickening.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I'd Rather Be Hot Than Cold

Yes, I've said that many a time. Like when I'm at a Titans football game and I've decided my toes are permanently frozen and will never reach 98.6 again. Or, perhaps, during the "spring" consignment sale where it is typically 12 below zero at midnight when we finally leave. Yes, I've said it..."I'd rather be hot than cold, at least you can cool off, but when you're cold, sometimes you just can't get warm"

Well, my friends, last night I ate those words. You see, around 4pm yesterday, I noticed the house was warm. We are one of those people who keep the thermostat at 72 degrees and don't move it. Jonathan swears he is "freezing" each night to which I promptly tell him it feels great in here and get over it. In our new, old house, the thermostat is one of those where you set the temp for a certain number of days, so I ASSUMED that it needed to be reset which I promptly did.

Jonathan got home around 6pm and noted that it was indeed, well, HOT in our house and began assessing the problem. "It's blowing cold air," he said. I went into our tiny 20 sq. feet master bath and reassured him that it was not blowing cold air. Jonathan, AKA Bob the Builder, assured me that it was fine and that because it had gotten so hot, it would just take a while to cool off. Sure it would.

By 8pm, I noticed that my skin was literally beginning to drip off (that's a joke) so I told him it was time to call someone. Bob called Ed the Builder (my dad) and they determined that indeed, the unit was not even turning on. Next call: our home warranty place. Blah, blah, blah...someone will call you back within 24 hours. Excuse me? 24 hours?

So, last night, we toughed it out and slept peacefully (note sarcasm here) in our 82 degree house. It was, well, warm. I think I determined around 2:12am that I would indeed rather be cold than hot.

Repairman is supposed to be here between 10 and 12. Who wants to make bets on what time he will actually show up?