Monday, July 30, 2012

The Best Weekend!

My favorite weekend of the year is Old Fashioned Festival Weekend!  I enjoy it so much, that I decided it would be the perfect weekend to get married on! Old Fashioned Festival is kind of what it sounds like - a little city festival that happens every year in our hometown! My grandparents live along the parade route so every year as long as I can remember (besides the year we got married), we've had a big BBQ there with family and close friends.

Peter and Malachi enjoying the parade:

Peter's brother Andy and his girlfriend Sophie with Elias.  Elias LOVED the parade and even after 2 hours, was really sad when it was over!

                                                             "Mommy, see all my candy!"

                                                Sabrina playing in the shade in the backyard!

                                                                   Eli devouring candy!

Our most favorite part of the festival is the fireworks!  Our small town can put on a good firework show.  We love to get as close to the fence as we can so that the fireworks are shooting off right over heads!  So we go hours early, eat greasy food and sit and visit on a blanket!  This year we had wonderful company with this cute couple :)

                                              Walking through the rides after the fireworks!

After a fun Saturday, on our actual anniversary we took off for a fun little get-away to the beach for the night!  My parents own a timeshare so we get awesome opportunities throughout the year to stay at wonderful places like this!

                                              Our beautiful view! Love our Oregon Coast!

                                                   Sabrina tagged along :)  Sweetheart!!!

                                                         Enjoying the beautiful sunset!

                                                   And a gorgeous morning to greet us!

Yes, it was the best type of weekend for sure!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

6 Years

6 Years ago I married my best friend!  It was a day much anticipated by both of us.  We could not wait to be husband and wife!  We had spent the first 2 years of our relationship preparing to get us to that day and beyond.  We had no idea what the good and the bad the days ahead would hold, but we knew that no matter what, we wanted to face it together!

Here is a look back at the highlights of our last year of marriage!

        A 5 year anniversary trip to Disneyland (where I happened to be 5 weeks pregnant and was miserably sick.  Definitely a trip I won't forget!)

                                             Celebrating Malachi's 1st Gotcha Day in August!

                                                                  Lots of family time!

                                                              Another Precious Little Life!

                                                            A very special 1st Birthday!

                                                        And a very special 2nd Birthday!

                                                      And growing, growing, growing!!!

                                       A wonderfully, perfect birth experience of our baby GIRL!!!

I can't imagine facing this life without Peter by my side!  It has been an incredible first 6 years together and we have faced some bad days, but we've also faced more good days than I ever imagined we would!  Marriage has been fun!  It has been everything I dreamed it would be and more!  Peter and I have continued to grow closer and closer as the years have passed and I know 50 years from now, we will be better together than we are today!  I am so thankful to have someone by my side who shares in my values and my dreams.  His dreams have become mine, my hopes have becomes his!  We are best friends through and through!

This year has been yet another incredible year and in some ways, it feels so wonderful to get to celebrate today and say "we made it through year 5!"  Our marriage was blessed with our 3rd child this year, our first daughter!  In some aspects, I also feel like this has been the hardest year of marriage.  We had a stressful pregnancy with 7 weeks of bedrest where Peter had to do more than his fair share.  We've had to acclimate to yet another member in the family, which at times can put a strain on everyone in the family.  We've been more tired and more busy than ever before!  The kids take up every free moment and once they are in bed there are other chores to be done and we start counting the hours we have to catch some sleep before having to start the day all over again.  It doesn't leave much time to spend with one another!  This leads to not communicating, which can lead down the path to hurt feelings.  On the "life pyramid" it should be God, Spouse, Children, and then all of the other little things.  I think often this year children have gotten ahead of spouse, which is easy to have happen when we have so many young children in the home right now!

But we're figuring it out! Since things are starting to calm down in other areas of our life, we decided that it was time to really spend this year focusing on our marriage!  6 years into this, I would say we have a very solid and strong marriage.  But it could be better.  A few weeks ago we both decided to start brainstorming some areas we would like to work on in our marriage.  Today we shared those things with each other and plan on being very purposeful this next year to make our marriage great!

I cannot imagine my life without Peter by my side.  He is the best man I have ever known!  He leads me! He shows our children what a Godly man is.  He works very hard!  He is fun!  He enjoys the craziness that is our life! I love the passion that has ignited in him for the orphans in this world!  He is an incredible man and I am the luckiest woman alive that he asked me to walk through life with him!  So here we go, into another incredible and crazy year of marriage together.  I look forward to what is ahead for us.  I know this year holds a lot of good things and I also know that no matter what hard days may come (and unfortunately, I know there will be some) that I have the best partner at my side to face them!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Making Progress

Well, little by little we are getting somewhere with the waiting.  The big things are still moving along slowly and we hope to have some answers soon.  We're still waiting for the CPA stuff and I wouldn't be surprised if they keep us waiting for a bit longer too.

However, we have made a little bit of progress with the health insurance stuff.  The insurance company is still taking their time, however Peter was able to speak to a nice guy there that told him that they are working on it but the claims reviewer and the person who originally did the claim are arguing over how it should be processed.  Hmm, does anyone else find this ridiculous that even THEY don't know how it should be done? Gives me little confidence that they know how to bill correctly in the first place!  So we continue to wait.  I'm not sure what is going on with that at this point, because that was 3 days ago that they were arguing about it!

However, Peter also called the hospital and got someone nice there too (wow, two nice customer service reps - WOW!)  and she said that they are okay with waiting longer and that they deal with insurance companies not taking care of business all the time.  So at least we're good to go for at least a little while longer.  Although, I really wish the insurance company would get their act together!

And in the biggest and BEST news of all (while we continue to wait on even bigger things!)

Peter's car was FOUND!!!  The good news is that it is still in mostly good condition.  The only thing wrong with it is that the guy broke the console when he ripped out the stereo.  It still runs and there is no other damage to it, so we don't have to try and figure out a way to come up with another car or be a one car family for awhile!  This is a huge blessing right now!!!  Even sweeter is the officer who found the car was willing to sit there and wait for Peter to get it so we didn't have to pay towing fees to get it back!

Also, the police feel they have a very strong case against the person who they have in custody.  Peter's company has surveillance footage of the thief and the person they picked up with a backpack of stuff from Peter's car is wearing the exact same clothes - so it shouldn't be too hard to prove. Right now the police are preparing to press charges on our behalf for unlawful use of a vehicle and car theft.  At this point, we aren't exactly sure what stuff of ours he has in his possession because the police have to get a search warrant for his backpack before they can go through it.  But I am feeling pretty confident that everything that is missing from Peter's car will be in the backpack.  We are just very happy and relieved that the car was found!!!

Hoping this good news continues!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012


Life is crazy busy right and exhausting!  I am definitely not getting enough sleep and it is really wearing me down.  At this same time, we find ourselves also in the midst of a time of waiting.  There are a lot of thing that we are working on right now, but it is all in a phase of waiting which can also be exhausting.  We  have 2 big things and a few smaller things that we are in the midst of waiting on right now.  We have desired outcomes and desired time lines for everything, but in the end we have no control over any of it.  I can't really share the two big things right now, but I can share a couple of the smaller things.

1) We are in a time of waiting for our medical bills to be reviewed by our insurance company.  This is something that was supposed to be taken care of weeks ago.  I know I had shared on this before and how ridiculous the run around has been.  The good news is that the doctors office fixed their mistake with the coding, so that very large denied claim was approved.  But we also have to other, fairly large claims that need to be reviewed and changed by the insurance company and that is not being done in a timely manner.  The insurance said to give them 30 days, which we did.  Then they "expedited" the case once those 30 days were up, which I'm not really sure that that means because they said the claim would be processed within 5 business days and we are at 12 business days and the claim is still not processed. We expedited the claim at the beginning of July, the hospital is demanding payment by the end of July which we thought would not be an issue at all. But now, it is becoming an issue as we are in the last week of July.  So we sit and wait and hope that the claims are reviewed very very soon!

2) We continue to wait to hear of Peter's approval to become a CPA.  Yes, it was LAST fall when Peter passed all of his CPA exams.  We had no idea that it would take this long for board approval.  There were some additional steps that had to be taken after he passed the exams, some fees to be paid, some forms that his previous employers and current employer had to fill out - all that type of fun stuff.  He officially went before the CPA board on April 25th, and then we went along time without hearing anything.  He kept trying to get in touch with the state and they were impossible to get a hold of.  Finally, he found out they needed clarification on a few points.  That has all been taken care of and now we sit and wait some more.   It has just been yet another annoyance with waiting, but we hope to hear soon that he is officially a licensed CPA!

3) The last area of stress and waiting is Peter's car got stolen on Friday.  Security camera's from his work and a witness have a description of the person who did it. Friday night, a man was arrested on meth charges with a backpack of stuff from Peter's car matching the description of the guy but he didn't have the car.  Now we wait to hear from the police and we wait to see if the car shows up somewhere.  We had no intention of having to buy a new car in the near future so this is quite a blow to us. For now we are a one car family, waiting and wondering if they will find the car or if we need to start saving up to buy a new one.  It's just a bit more stress to add to the this time of waiting.

We've had big moments of waiting before, but I don't think there has ever been a single time in our life that we have been waiting on so much!  After getting through the adoption process, you would imagine that I learned to wait gracefully on God's perfect plan and perfect timing, but I admit that I am really struggling with all that is "up in the air" right now.

One thing that really does help is knowing that God really does care and that He really does know what He's doing and have our best interests at heart.  I may not always agree with the answer He gives during times of waiting, but it always serves a purpose and His plans are always better!

Lamentations 3:25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight
Psalm 27:14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. (This one carried me through the adoption!)

Psalm 37:7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. (ha, this is fitting for the car situation!)

And this is my most favorite scripture that I have surrounded myself with during these days of waiting:

Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

I think it is pretty much hard for anyone to feel peace in times of waiting.  I know that everything we are waiting on will be sorted out in its timing and I hope, God willing, that I will have lots of good news to share on my blog soon!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Freezer Full!!!

What do you do when it is fresh fruit and veggie season in Oregon?  You stock up and fill your freezer! This year we discovered how much money you can save by picking your own berries.  So I stayed home with the sickies while Peter took off for a few hours of berry picking!  

Our local grocery store also had a huge fruit and veggie sale going on this past week so I decided that would be a great time to try my hand at making some homemade baby food!  Something that I wanted to get around to doing for Malachi and Elias, but just never found the time!

                                So we had a few busy days of making 16 pints of strawberry jelly!

                                             4 pints each of raspberry jelly and grape jam!

And then it was time to puree lots of baby food!  I knew it would be a little while before Sabrina is able to eat some of the foods, like berries but baby food can last in the freezer for quite some time so I figured why not give it a shot!  It truly was very easy to make it ourselves!  I also loved how beautiful all the colors turned out!

                     We ended up getting 42 servings of raspberry puree and 54 servings of blueberry puree!

 14 servings of zucchini puree and 11 servings of kiwi! 

                                 4 servings of spinach, 9 servings of mango, 8 servings of brocolli,

                                           15 servings of peach and 21 servings of cherry

                                                      And lastly 8 servings of avacado!

I tried a few different methods of freezing to see what I prefer.  Most we froze in ice cube trays then transferred to ziplock bags.  This was a bit tedious and took 3 days of freezing since we only have 2 ice cube trays!

    And I also tried out some baby food freezer bags.  A little less economical, so we will see which works best for us.

So all in all, it seems to have been a pretty good experiment.  I plan on continuing to buy fruits and veggies as they come on sale and freezing for the winter months, as long as I can find freezer room!  I estimate that we spent about $36 and ended up with 185 servings of baby food and we know exactly what is in all of it so it works out much better!  Now I can't wait to start trying them out on her and see what she thinks of them!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

3 Months

Wow, another month old already!  3 Months is a really fun age in my opinion!  She is still super cuddly but is also starting to play and interact more with the people around her!  She can giggle and laugh and smiles easily!  Its a lot of fun to get to just start seeing who she is!  

Well, this was yet another exciting month in little Bina's life. Bina is the nickname that Malachi gave Sabrina and it has kind of stuck for all of us!  Good job Malachi :)  

Sabrina is now 13 lbs even!  That puts her perfectly in the 50%.  Her daddy has always been referred to as "perfect" so I like to joke that she takes just after her daddy!  Even in her complete perfectness, she hasn't been able to stay away from some nasty germs and had her first cold and also hand, foot, mouth disease this month :(  All 5 of us got taken down by the cold, and 4 of us got taken down by that nasty HFM. Fortunately she must still have a good boost of  immunities because she came through all that sickness really well! 

She is still a good eater!  We hit a bit of a rough patch for a few days.  I thought maybe it was because she was getting bottles more often but I am pretty sure now, that it was a sore throat with the HFM.  She eats every 2-4 hours during the day.  And we are still trying to figure out her schedule at night.  She went from sleeping all night to waking up a few times a night, to waking up every 1 1/2- 2 hours.  I'm still not sure if that had to do with her sickness or a growth spurt or if she was just getting hungry more often, but we introduced oatmeal cereal into her diet a few days ago and that seems to satisfy her a little bit better.  We are looking forward to starting more solids here very very soon!  She has done a great job with the cereal! 

So, as I already mentioned, we are struggling a little bit in the sleep department.  Feeding her more often seems to be helping but I also had a bit of a hunch that Peter might have been waking her up.  Peter's a bit of a loud sleeper. Sometimes he snores, sometimes he makes funny noises, and he also thrashes around when he moves.  A few nights ago he thrashed around when he rolled over, and it woke me and her up.  So I figured it was time to move her out of our room (sniff sniff).  This always seems to be a difficult transition for me, but I did feel like it was time!  So over the weekend, we stopped napping Elias in "the nursery" and Peter moved the mattress back up.  We put the bumper back on the bed, put a PINK sheet on the mattress, and started getting her used to it for naps.  A great tool we utilize is a sheep that plays heartbeat sounds.  We've used it in our room for all the kids and then when we transition them to their room, it is one thing that stays the same for them and might help.  Last night was her first actual night in there and she slept great!  Didn't wake up until Peter was getting ready for work (5:30) so hopefully we're back on the right track for sleep!

We seem to be getting into a better routine with her.  She's awake more throughout the day and is taking 3-4 predictable naps a day.  This month she discovered that she actually does like her swing and that is one place that I can usually put her in for awhile when I need to get something done!  She also likes to spend time on her playmat looking and kicking at her toys.

One thing that she still doesn't like is tummy time.  Eli was the very same way and just hated it!  I know at 2 months the pediatrician said we didn't really need to push it with her so we haven't.  I try it a few times a day, but it usually doesn't last long.  She seems to have pretty good neck support so I'm not overly worried about it at this point.  She'll learn to like it eventually :)

Her favorite place is still to be in someone's arms.  She still loves to be in the moby and I also pulled out my sling carrier a few days ago and she liked that too.  I read somewhere how baby boys tend to be content with toys more so than baby girls.  Baby girls long for human interaction and that is one clear difference I can already see with her.  The boys seemed to enjoy toys much more than she does, but if I stop and touch her or talk to her she just lights up!

She really is just about the sweetest thing ever!  I love her so much and just can't imagine my life without her in it!  We have been so blessed!!!  

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Milestones All Around!

We have so many exciting things going on in our house right now.  It is amazing how quickly our babies are all growing up and all 3 of them had big milestones yesterday!  

I consider Malachi "potty trained" now!  He's doing such an amazing job and while it felt like an eternity of training, it really was just about one month of really buckling down and being consistent!  He's 26 months and potty trained.  I am so excited about this!!!  

Yesterday, I also converted Eli's crib into a toddler bed.  We made the big move with Malachi when he was about 21 months old and was climbing out of the crib, but we decided it was time to give it a try with Eli at 17 months.  Almost daily, he was getting his little legs stuck in the crib slats so I decided it was time, even though he can still get his legs stuck.  He's doing pretty good with it.  Peter and I did have to go in several times the first nap and night to put him back in his bed because he wants to sleep in Malachi's bed so bad.  I think we have a good bed configuration figured out now, that should help them be close to each other!  It sure made reality hit that little man is growing up too fast!  Look at him all proud in his big boy bed!  

And lastly the little princess got her first taste of cereal last night!  I gave Malachi cereal as soon as he got home at just shy of 4 months old and Elias was 3 1/2 months or so, but I guess adjusted age that would have made him 2 1/2 months.  Sabrina was seeming really ready for something a bit more filling than just milk as she has slowing been waking earlier and earlier every night.  So I decided it was time to give her a try of some cereal and see how she did.  If she didn't want it, I wasn't going to try and force her but she was really into it!  I couldn't shovel it fast enough for her!  She thought it was yummy and slept a lot better too!  Baby food won't be far behind!

This is some of the exciting stuff going on in our lives right now!  We have so many more exciting things in the works (hopefully) that I hope to be able to share soon!