Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Getting Closer to Adopting

I realized that I haven't posted anything about the adoption, so here is where we are at:

Sorry, it is kinda long, but it is all here.   :)  Pictures next post, I promise!

1. Our profile is done, printed, and in the plastic sleeves for placement in the book.  We are going to be in Sioux Falls on July 1st for our next feeding team appointment with Timothy, so we are going to drop it off while we are there.  We are also hoping to take Timothy to the zoo that day, but I digress.

2. Our online profile is also ready to go and will be dropped off while we are in Sioux Falls.  People who are interested in making an adoption plan for their child will be able to check us out ahead of time. When it is up on Lutheran Social Services' website, I'll put a link up so you can see it.

3. Fundraising parties with Thirty One and Pampered Chef have been held and wrapped up (whew!).  We made $180 with the Thirty One party and I got LOADS of free hostess goodies!  I picked out several bags that we are going to raffle off at our dinner and was able to pick out a few things for us, too (like a new diaper bag).  :)  The Pampered Chef party went really well (even though only 4 people came to the actual party) and we earned $360 plus another item for our raffle.  I had no idea how much work hosting a couple of parties was going to be, but it worked out in the end and we were able to raise some funds.  We also had many generous friends and family who bowed out of ordering anything, but sent a donation, which was AMAZING.  It is a very humbling experience to have to ask for help like this (it would take us YEARS to do it on our own), but we feel blessed for the experience.

4. The amazon link over there on the right has been a great tool!  So far this month, you have made enough purchases through amazon to earn us $87.60 (that's only a small percentage of what is actually purchased).  Apparently, you needed to do some shopping.  :)  So far, we have in the ballpark of $120ish going towards the adoption from the advertising fees we have earned (my goal for the entire summer was $100).  Sweet!  The link is going to stay on the blog as long as we are still raising funds, so if you remember, come here first and click on it to get your purchasing done on amazon.  Thanks!

5. We are hosting a dinner at church tomorrow (the 26th) and it will be the last big fundraiser that we have planned (because, again, asking for help is not easy and not something we take lightly, there are lots of good causes out there).  Our local Thrivent chapter is matching the funds we raise and we have had several donations, so we are really excited.  I just hope people show up and eat, because there is going to be a lot of food!  Keep your fingers crossed that I remember to take my camera and snap some pictures to share here.  :)  I am also looking forward to giving away lots of goodies in our raffle!  We have 4 sets of Thirty One bags, a Pampered Chef grilling kit, a hanging basket of geraniums from our local hardware store, and some jewelry from a local shop.  It should be good for the lucky winners.  :)

6.  Overall with the money, we are right there to turn in a check for $4,000 with our profile papers.  Hopefully with the dinner we can make enough to have a little in the adoption fund for the next payment.  :)  We are officially over halfway there with the payments, just two left: $7,500 when we bring our baby home and $1,500 when the adoption is finalized 6 months later.  Woohoo!  :)  With a couple of grants applications being turned in soon, craft show sewing still going, and saving as much as we can in our monthly expenses, we should be pretty good.  I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I'll let you know how our dinner goes tomorrow and then there may not be any updates for awhile because we will be just in the waiting stage.  It is exciting to know that at any point we can get a phone call that we have been picked by a birth mom!  We are continually praying for her and our future child, who she may or may not be carrying at the moment.  Please join us in praying for her and our child and keep us in your prayers as we try to collect ourselves along this very long, tedious, and emotional process.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Garden Tour: Flower Edition (Mostly Roses)

I had the camera outside today, and here is what is happening in our yard this week:  flowers.  And lots of them!  There are many more, but here are the few I took pictures of:

The Swedish Rose Bushes

I love these beautiful roses - they smell so sweet and have layers upon layers of petals.  These flowers take awhile to fully open and are loaded with buds of varying maturity, so I am looking forward to enjoying these for the next several weeks.

Raspberries!  Not flowers, I know, but I couldn't resist...Jared and I were drooling over them.  :)

Sweet Peas

Miniature pumpkin

Don't know the name for this one...but pretty!

Really dark pink roses - a gift from our youth group in honor of Evelyn - 
I have never seen so many buds on one bush...

Until I looked at the rose bush next to it!  
You can hardly see them, but they will be a bright pink next week I think.  
Another lovely gift from members in honor of Evelyn. 
(I guess our congregation knows we like to garden)

A new rose bush we planted this spring in the front of the house...I think it is happy!
This one is more of a shrub type of rose and planted right underneath our bedroom window;
I am excited for when it gets a taller and we can smell it from inside.

 So I realized tonight that all 5 of our rose bushes are pink.  Not a bad thing, just pointing it out.  :)
Another picture of the Swedish rose.

If you needed something less floral, here is a picture for you:  (Jared's first hand-tied fly!)  :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Timothy 2.5

Timothy is officially 2.5 years old.  Hard to believe that I will have a three-year-old by the end of the year!  He is growing like a weed and having the time of his life playing outside everyday and going down to the park.  

We are still using the feeding pump for 100% of his calories, but he likes to try lots of different foods and is getting good at drinking lots of things other than milk.  Favorites right now are juice boxes, lemonade, and he really enjoyed his first root beer float after dinner tonight.  :)

He is very much a little mechanic, watching his cars carefully and figuring out how to attach trailers to all of his little cars, trucks, and tractors.  We are getting closer to being ready to potty train.  He is showing interest in sitting on the potty like his big boy cousin, Eli, and tells me when he wets his diaper, so I am thinking later this summer, after VBS is done, we will give it a try and see how he does.    We have big boy underwear all ready!  :)  He still sleeps in his crib and we enjoy knowing that he is just fine and contained where he is.  We are not pushing the big boy bed for awhile, especially when he is still plugged in to his feeding pump during the night.

According to his speech therapist, he is right on track for his age, making 3 word sentences.  It is really funny to hear him try and tell you all about something that he saw or experienced - he can't spit the words out fast enough and it is usually just nouns with a couple of verbs thrown in.  :)  Jared recently upgraded to an iphone and he can upload his videos directly to youtube, so you may see more videos of the little man more frequently.  Here is one from the other night...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Modern Mini Quilt Challenge

I finished up my new pillow today!  The worst part was definitely keeping all of the pieces straight while putting it together (as I eluded to in the previous post).  Quilting it totally made up for it, I had a blast!  I filled the white spaces in with little loops that are really close to each other and just went a quarter inch from the edges in the colored areas.  It is hard to see in the pictures, but it makes the colored areas pop off of the background.  It is now resting comfortably on our bed, reminding me to get the matching quilt done!

I am linking this up with the modern mini challenge...it was fun motivation for me to get this done and try something new.  In this case, a more challenging block and dense quilting.  I am glad that I did it and I have been enjoying all of the other quilts that have been entered!

Dutch Rose Block 
20" by 20" 

For the back I used this print that I bought with the fat quarters I am using to make our bed quilt, but I have lots of it because it is hard to use for pieces when I am using a white background.  I just don't get much definition.  But it works perfect here!

I couldn't resist the peonies...the just opened up yesterday and smell lovely!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

nap time = quilting time

Here are blocks #25, 26, and 27 for our new bed quilt!  Yes, I am still working on this thing (I think I am around the 6 month mark), but I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!  I only need 9 more blocks and then I can be sashing this thing together.  My border fabric came in, so I just need to crank these last 9 out.  The next 3 are cut and ready to go, so there may be another picture coming soon of the next batch!  

You see that blue striped fabric above?  That is the border.  Jared helped me pick it out.  I was going for a floral and he suggested otherwise.  I think it is a better choice in the long run, considering he needs to sleep under it too.  :)  The tutorial for the blocks above is here if you want to make some too!  (A great scrap burner block!)

I have also been working on a little Christmas project...a cute little wall hanging!  (sorry for the sideways picture, you'll get a better one when it is done)  This mini-quilt is for a challenge that our local fabric shop is doing in conjunction with my guild's quilt show in September and I wanted to get it out of the way.  Tutorial is here if you want to see how it is put together (another great scrap burner!)

Final project of the week is this beautiful Dutch Rose block that measures 20 inches squared.  It is going to be a pillow for our bed as I am using the same fabric.  It was a pain.  You have to read the directions very carefully and look at the pictures too!  This is the second one I did.  The first one I  totally messed up the order of the fabrics in the outer ring and it looks BAD.  I'll show you one day, but it is hiding right now...saving it means ripping it out completely and starting over...I don't know if that is going to happen.  :)  I have done a ton of piecing, so I think getting this quilted is going to be next, followed by that tree, and then the next 3 blocks.

Adoption update will be coming soon!  My pampered chef party is closing tomorrow, so I will give an update of where we are when I get that total!

Hopefully Timothy takes some nice long naps this weekend!  :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Garden Tour, mid-June

Here is a snapshot of the garden this week.  We had over an inch of rain on Saturday and some nice warm temperatures the last couple of days, so the veggies have really taken off!  I think we are going to get some broccoli by next week and maybe even a tomato and red pepper.  Crazy, I know!  We actually have about 6 green tomatoes right now and probably 3 dozen yellow flowers, so I am hoping that we are making up for last year's first tomato not coming until well into August!  We have already been enjoying green onions, lettuce, and a few strawberries.  The asparagus and rhubarb came in really nice, but we won't get our first crops of those until next year.

Could these be flower buds on our raspberry bushes?!?!  Jared and I are anxiously waiting...and pulling out raspberry leaders out of the lawn daily.  It is laborious, but so worth it!  :)

The opposite side of the garage is trimmed in blooming irises after 2 years of waiting!  There are 2 colors - purple and blue (although it is more of a lilac color) that are surprisingly well mixed down the entire bed.  My mom and I put these in when they came to see us over the 4th of July our first summer here.  The irises come from my parents' yard in Michigan and came from my Great-Grandma Gady's yard in Detroit before that.  I love having plants in my yard that have a story.  I have quite a few from my parents' and Jared's parents' yard that I will have to feature in a post one day...

The next two pictures are the Swedish rose starters that I got from my in-laws' yard.  Before that, they were starters from Granddad and Grandmother's yard before coming from Sweden (although there may be another U.S. yard in there, correct me if I am wrong).  These pictures are for you Granddad!  Check out all of the buds (those plants are both waist high)!  Barring any hail in the next week, I'll have more pictures of them in bloom for you soon, I can see slivers of pink!  :)

Summer just got more wet

Fun times are ahead...Timothy figured out how to use the hose! :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013


I haven't given an update on what I have been working on for the craft show in awhile.  The pile of finished projects is slowly growing.  I am hoping I can kick myself in the pants and get some of these piles a little larger.

9 art folios, 3 art wallets, 6 crayon rolls.  I just finished 6 more crayon rolls and I have a zillion more folios and wallets prepped and ready to go.

10 more car carriers...I have already sold 4 of these and Timothy has one too (product testing).  :)  These are really fun to make and I am hoping these will sell well.  I have some tractor fabric that is going to be turned into a fun variation of this!

I don't spend all of my time behind the sewing machine.  I have 10 of these little mug sweaters just needing buttons and will have another 10 that will be ready to be blocked sometime next week.  Here is how they work:

Naked mug.  Very beautiful (thanks Kim and Thom!), but too hot to handle when filled with beverage.

 Nice and cozy.  :)  I am thinking these will sell well because everyone knows one coffee or tea lover, if not several, and it is a great gift to pair with a nice bag of coffee or with a box of teas.  We will see if my theory holds.

And a couple of pictures of Timothy, who decided to read to me this morning.  :)

His new favorite is my old Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Working Hard

Fully engrossed in his work today.  :)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

a picture perfect afternoon

After lots of rain, mist, and heavy cloud cover, the skies were cloudless and we all rushed outside to enjoy it before the next rain comes in.   I had my camera out, so here comes the pictures!  :)

The cherry tree, post trimming-out-the-dead-stuff session.

The garden, June 2nd

Yay for irises blooming!  :)

The little worker

The big worker

Jared washed the mower.  Timothy's mower needed washing too.  :)

Our friendly neighbor

Monster yell!

You can really see the bruise on his cheek from smacking himself with a flashlight on Friday.

The moment before he knocked me over

Off to collect sticks!