Friday, September 28, 2012

We're Ready

I really think we are.

Right after Lincoln was born I said I'd never add another child to our family. Eventually that new baby-no sleeping-what has happened to my body-will I ever shower again-stage wore off and I returned to normal life.

But still, that distant memory of foster care and adoption that we had laid to rest was still just that, a distant memory. But as you know, God has brought that desire back to life. Last night we officially made Lincolns room roommate ready :)...

I never thought I'd see 2 cribs in one room again. I mean it friends, I stood and stared for a moment. Feels so crazy, yet so normal!

We have been so busy with details and meetings and paperwork that I have had little time to just think about everything. I put the sheet on and got out some blankets and remembered that this most likely will be a bumpy journey. I felt joy as I thought of wrapping and rocking a new addition to our family, and my heart ached a tad as I thought of the potential not so warm and fuzzy outcomes that come along with this calling.

Deep breath in. Just do the next thing, right? One day at a time :).

We are licensed to take 0-18, but for obvious reasons will only be taking children in the 0-5 age group right now - which means that Kinley and Raya will also be up for a new roommate and will be getting bunk beds just like their older sisters. The new bunk bed is still in the works, but the girls are always open to rearranging furniture so that should be easy. Our older 3 are in a room, and the younger 2 girls are together, it's like a permanent slumber party...

What is that you say? That's a lot of pink? Yea, I know.

Rooms are changing, hearts are anxiously awaiting, and God seems to making room for more. Not everyone will understand all of this, but that's ok. We honestly don't understand it sometimes. But God gets it, and that is the only thing our little family needs :).

Wonder who He will put in that crib (or bed). A boy? A girl? I'm sure we will see both come and go - hopefully one will be able to stay down the road.


Sorry for the rambling. Today our caseworker comes for the final walk through of our house, and I tend to ramble when I'm stressed or nervous. We are SO excited to be at this point, but as expected, we're also a tad anxious. If you can, could you pray for peace today as we close this part of the process? I know all is fine, but I'm still a tad on edge :). Thanks, friends.

Feeling so very thankful for His blessings and this journey that He's unfolding. Praying that He is always glorified through this process, and that we cling to His plan and His vision, not ours. That may be hard to do sometimes so feel free to remind me, ok??

Well, I'm off for now. Happy Friday, all!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Baking With My Girls - Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

The girls love to cook with me. And baking goodies, well that is their favorite.

They have been begging to pull out our pumpkin recipes, and so we did this past weekend. And just in case there is one of you that missed this recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies on my blog a couple years back, I thought I'd share again.

They are so good. So, SO good.

Baking with the little women is messy, and unorganized, but oh does it make for some great memories - and that is the best part!

We popped our homemade chicken noodle soup in the crockpot before we embarked on the cookies. It's always a hit - healthy, warm on a chilly day, and the kiddos love it...

So anyway. On to the good stuff.

Here is the recipe...

-1 cup of canned (or not canned) Pumpkin. **I actually added the whole can, we really like pumpkin.
-1 cup white Sugar
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-1 egg
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon milk
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Combine, pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Add vanilla and chocolate chips. Stir in.

(I may or may not have mixed everything in the same bowl - completely going against the directions.)

(I'm fearless that way.)

Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and cook at 350 degrees for about 10 min or until lightly brown and firm. (although mine were never really "firm")

And then, throw a party.

Tell your neighbors.

And take them to anyone you want to impress.

Seriously, they are that good! Enjoy!

Monday, September 24, 2012

What I Love...

spending time together...
making room for more...
feeling my heart fall more in love with the thought of a new addition...
filling the patio with sidewalk chalk...
and eating lunch outside...

playing cards and board games...
homemade vegetable soup in the crockpot...
chats with my girlies...
fall recipes that fill the house with spice...
and watching Lincoln carry his froggy cup everywhere...

junping on the trampoline...
feeling that cool breeze...
hoodies on my little's...
swinging for hours...
and letting the 6th have his first ride in the wagon...

I love these days at home with these people :).

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I Promise...

they don't spoil him at all...

Ok, maybe just a tad.

Can't wait to find out who God is going to place in the other side of that wagon :).

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Go Back

Years ago we talked of a journey that has finally come to pass. Life has been super busy lately.

Good news is that we have our final walk through of the house next week, and then we will be processed, submitted, and put on the vacancy list for a child. For those who are curious, our caseworker says the vacancy part will happen towards the end of October - and then we wait for a call.

Take a deep breath in with me, won't you? Thanks.

I feel like we are standing on the edge of uncertainty. Oh wait, we are.

We're excited and as ready as you can be when you're waiting for a call to come at any moment that says "hey, we have a child for you". We're getting ready to set up another crib in Lincolns room, and while two cribs in one room isn't something new to me, it's just leaving me a tad speechless.

Mainly because usually when I'm setting up a crib, I'm 50 (ok, 60) pounds heavier with ankles that are so swollen they should be in a health study of some kind.

Ah, I kid, and I make myself laugh. It makes the fear seem smaller than it is.

God is expanding here. There's no doubt about it. Sometimes that can be scary, and I'm not gonna lie, our life freaks me out a little.

I toss and turn and I bite my nails and I grow weary of those who judge and keep quiet. The pain of rejection amidst a calling you are certain God's calling you to can be ugly. I know it may seem crazy to some to add more - believe me, I live here. But on the other hand I know deep inside that sometimes a calling isn't the most comfortable thing, and following in obedience may be rough when others are raising their eyebrows.

I have let doubt creep in a lot over the last 2 weeks, just like I would over any calling - whether its a job, or a decision with the kids, or growing our family. So I text my friend yesterday telling her "I felt like giving up", and that "other peoples questions were starting to make me question this journey", and so on and so on. And wouldn't you know, she came back with this...

"Go back to the scriptures that first called you here."

That was it.

Go back. To Him. To His Word. To the truth.

That answer is why I love her so much. We all need a Jessica.

I almost laughed when I read it because it was like being smacked in the face with the truth stick. I easily let the worlds doubts and questions and opinions on how "crazy it must be to have all these kids" get to me. I get that foster care and adoption is hard, but that doesn't change the fact that God has called us to it.

And it also doesn't change the fact that these kids still need to be loved.

When things get rocky the enemy wants us to give up, he doesn't want kids in homes that love Jesus. But God, He has bigger plans that will come with exactly what we need to equip us for our next chapter.

I've been in that quiet place - where you are just fixing meals and wiping noses and dropping kids off at soccer practice - and also quietly growing inside and taking in as much as you can as God consumes your heart with a calling that is straight from Him.

Go back. To His heart and His desires. All the outside stuff doesn't matter. 2 kids, 6 kids, 12 kids - all His plan and His business...cling to that!

So I just wanted to throw that piece of encouragement out there - Go back. So many times, for so many different situations I need to go back to the His original plan and His vision instead of letting the world dictate my thoughts. It's all about Him anyway, right? Right.

I'm off to start into our season o' pumpkin baking with the girls - they've been begging me to bake some goodies and I just treasure these memories with them :). Happy Friday!

Monday, September 17, 2012

(I Love These People)

My hardest job and my greatest blessings, all lined up after an afternoon of playing out back :).

(I know some of you saw this on Facebook already)

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, September 14, 2012

This Is Me, At The Grocery

We have a big grocery bill.

I'm sure you could've guessed that. I have been getting frustrated lately because it seems like I go to the store, drop a bundle of money, and then am trying to figure out what to make for dinner 3 days later.

Sometime a while back I stopped making a grocery list. You can't believe it, right?? So I buy a lot of groceries, but then need to go back later to pick up additional things for our dinners because I didn't plan them ahead of time.

I know, it's bad, I am ashamed.

But I have decided to get organized with the grocery shopping again. I have to. It's time to meal plan.

I would do the coupon thing, but honestly, I don't like it. And more than that, I don't get it. Not to mention I don't have the space to store 54 boxes of cereal or brownie mix at any given time. I also am pretty picky about what goes into the kids, and besides things like soap and toothpaste, I really don't find many coupons for food that I'd buy anyway.

Although, when a friend calls and says, "Print these two coupons off and go to Kroger and you'll get cases of juice boxes for 23 cents!", I'll do it. Basically it appears that I need an assistant to find the deals, plan them out, and then send me on my way. But I feel like hiring a coupon assistant defeats the purpose of the couponing in the first place.

Sometimes the frugal bug will bite me and I get all pumped up and start cutting coupons and searching websites, but that flame burns out quickly.

(I really do admire those of you out there who do the coupon thing successfully, for real.)

Seeing those people sweat it out at the register on Extreme Couponing stresses me out. The cutting and the binders and the lingo and the thought of trying to get 87 sticks of deodorant into my bathroom cabinet makes me feel a tad crazy inside. I already have enough stress in my life, people.


I'm going to meal plan. That way I'll have a list and am taking an oath to stick to it in an attempt to shave some dollar bills off the ol' grocery budget and to stop buying things we don't really need. My goal is to make a lot of crockpot meals because our nights are so busy, and do a lot of veggies and fruits as sides because, well, I eat a lot of them.

And what better time to fire up my crockpot as much as possible than Fall?? I love a warm & healthy meal for my family at the end of a long Fall day. As a side note, are you all loving the cool air and the pumpkin scents as much as me??

This week I'm making this Chicken Chili, Vegetable soup, and some others. I love that I can make double batches of chili or soup in the crockpot and then freeze them :). So here I go, I'm going to meal plan and save some time and money at the same time...hopefully.

Maybe I could post my weekly recipes here for accountability :)??

I'm off to chase down the kiddos. Hope you are having a great Friday!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

They Need Their Mama

But oh, how I need them.

They don't need that lady who's rushing to get all the housework done...

who is always looking at her phone...

or who is clearing them out of the kitchen so she can sweep.

They need their mama.

They don't need that lady who is maxed out...

who's yelling at them just for doing things kids do...

or who is telling them to just wait a second while she answers a text.

They need their mama.

They don't need the lady who's trying to meet her deadlines...

who's worried about every detail...

or who is concerned with "the mess" that she always has to clean up.

They need their mama.

They don't need the lady who is at her wits end...

who is losing her temper...

or who's patience has worn too thin.

They need their mama.

They don't need the lady who's on her computer instead of playing with them...

who feels like every email needs answered immediately...

or who often forgets that life is actually NOT an emergency.

They need their mama.

I was reminded today that the housework and lots of other things will always be there, they'll only be little once.

They need the mom that God wants me to be, the mom who is seeking Him always instead of sometimes, and the mom who wants to run in the leaves, lay on the trampoline, and stare up at the clouds floating by.

They don't need my busyness.

They don't need my to-do list.

They need me to be organized, ready, and attentive.

They need my hugs.

They need my patience, and they need my time.

They need their mama.

But at the same time...

I need them.

They are fresh, vibrant, energetic, lively reminders to enjoy what God has given us, and to lay down the distractions of the day that cloud my view.

They remind this mom that I'm part of something bigger - a story written by the greatest Author, that's bigger and far more important than the day to day trivial things I let bother me.

And that my friends, is why I also, need them so :).

(re post because I was needing the reminder)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

An Invitation

She sat down at the table during nap time and said, "you ready for all this, honey?"

I sat down with our sweet, sweet caseworker and buckled in for the extensive and personal questions that she had in store. It was painless for the most part.

We have been insanely blessed by this woman. She hugs us tight proving that she does care about us and our journey, and she talks of how God does great things through foster care and adoption.

She loves the kids, we love the kids, but more importantly, Jesus really loves these kids. Children that He knit together in possibly an unhealthy womb. Children that have the same need for love and family that my kids and your kids have.

The past week or so as our training and home studies have been coming to an end, fear creeps in. I'm excited yet nervous of the unknowns, even though I know He has the highs and lows planned perfectly.

But at that table as I signed papers and confirmed details, I realized something.

Right there on our weathered kitchen table, where we gather our comfy little family and enjoy meals together, was an invitation.

An invitation from Him to step out, to take courage, and to fix my eyes on Him as He continues to lead us. An invitation to trust in the unknowns, to truly believe, and to hold tightly to the the One who writes our story.

An invitation to move without fear.

It's an invitation to love.

Being able to soon wrap my arms around a child who has no family is all grace. Deciding that there is room for more in this humble home and in our simple life is all His leading. Children are gifts. It's that simple.

We had an At-Home-Date-Night tonight, its usually how we do all our date nights these days :). But I am finally thankful for that after spending so much time envying the couples that could go out so often.

Our full house that keeps us "tied down" is our greatest blessing. I'm thankful for His invite, the one He extends to all of us with specific plans for each specific family.

He guides our steps - sometimes you just have to pick up His invitation, trust, and hold on tight.

Friday, September 7, 2012

(My Men)

Love those guys.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Same Savvy Blog, Yet Different!

Change is good!

I actually have a love-hate relationship with it myself. I love new chapters and seasons and fresh starts. But I, like many people, are always hesitant of the unknown and being out of my comfort zone.

But that's a different blog post.


Welcome! Things have moved, stuff has been added, and items have been taken away. Oh, and the name has sorta changed.

But no worries, even though at the top I'm sporting the new Filled To The Brim title, you're still going to find my crew and I at the same old url,

You can also find us at Target.

Or at the local park running crazy and swinging to our hearts content...

I still love my Savvy Little Women and One Little Man motto, so some things will remain the same or similar. Because you know, "Savvy" is officially a part of us....

It's who we are. It's in our blood. Team Savvy forever.

Too far? Ok.

It's really been a long time coming. And as much as I feel SO INSANELY attached to the old look of things, I've been feeling like the blog didn't truly represent who we are we had outgrown it.

God leads you in different directions over time, and changes the look and feel of your life. And I love that.

At the top you can find links that will lead you to a trail of our new Foster journey, the top ten reasons we decided to have a big family, and I'm going to start throwing my recipes in one spot too...basically so I can find them when I need them.

So go ahead and take a deep breath in through the nose. Almost smells like a new car, don't ya think?

No? It was worth a try.

(If you are reading in a Google Reader, pop over and give it a look!)

So here's to a new look, a little bit of a new sound, and to being Filled To The Brim...with our savvy little kiddos :).

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Good Times At The Doctors Office

Lincoln seemed fine when he woke up.

Through the night he was up a tad and I wondered if he was getting sick, but he seemed to go back to sleep and wasn't showing many symptoms of a bug.

We all rose this morning and I took my littlest ladies to Tuesday School. It's a Preschool that is only one morning a week at a local church - the girls love it, they were ready for a little something of their own.

So I took Lincoln with me to the Dr.'s for a little check up for myself. The short story is, I've been having some heart palpitations. The long story is, well, there isn't one. It's been worrying me, and even though I know it can be totally normal, I wanted to have it checked out.

They decided to do an EKG on me just as a precaution (it all turned out fine), and while I laid there, the nurse was telling me that stress and anxiety can cause these - all while picking up my crying baby and laying him on my chest during the test.

I have a screaming child. On my chest. During an EKG.


I can't even get an EKG by myself!

But that wasn't the end of it. They wanted to draw blood just to check some levels. So I head into the other room with my little guy and sit down in the chair. Have I told you that I hate needles?? I do, I really dislike them. I think nurses are hero's.

But I had myself pretty calm and ready for that tiny prick when all the sudden Lincoln starts throwing up. Everywhere. As in, the thighs of my jeans were soaked completely through. It was even inside his shoes.

Too much info? Sorry.

You know those mommy moments when you just stop and watch whats happening for a few seconds before you react because you are also stunned just like the bystanders? I had one of those moments.

I felt so bad for him, even though I was completely unsure as to how I was going to pick up the girls with "throw-up jeans" on. I expressed this to the insanely sweet nurse who was in the room with me and she said this...this was so great...

"Honey, you go clean him and yourself up in the bathroom, then we'll take your blood, and then if you have time you go home and change before preschool pick up. You're dealing with kids, just take it one step at a time."

I love when God shows up in the doctors office. When He uses a random person to speak some truth into my chaotic soul.

"The next thing", I thought to myself. Just do the next thing.

It's humbling to walk out of the office with your pants soaked down to the knee (I'm actually laughing now that I'm thinking about it!), but it's all part of this humbling calling of motherhood, right??

I wouldn't trade one stressful minute of it.

I just had to share my crazy day with you. He's napping right now and has refrained from puking on me in any other public place. He's good to me like that :).

Here's to crazy Mondays...I mean, Tuesdays :).