twenty-five days of christmas, day one

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i am not sure what the next twenty-five days will hold, but hopefully they will include a post a day until christmas. we have lots of plans, crafts, baking, gifts, etc…and i hope to share them with you every day. can you believe there are only twenty-five more days until christmas?!

to start off…baking! this was technically made for my thirtieth birthday but this is a delicious holiday item. sarah and i got this recipe from a sweet lady in our church, kathy jones. i think it’s called peanut krackle but it could be called anything, because it’s delicious! christian thinks this may have been the fruit growing on the tree of good and evil. it actually compares to barbara raheb’s chocolate chip cake!

2 bags white chocolate or vanilla chips
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup peanut butter (i used smooth, either works)
1 cup peanuts (salted is better)
~2 cups crispy rice cereal

in the microwave (or stove top), melt the white chips until smooth and creamy. mix in the marshmallows first, followed by the peanut butter and peanuts and lastly the crispy rice cereal (add anywhere from 2 to 2.5 cups of cereal…it should be nice and stiff). press into a buttered 9×13 pan. place in the fridge (or freezer) until cooled/solid and then cut into squares. now prepare to be addicted to these tasty little morsels!

why yes, we did teach mercy to crawl for peanut krackle. that doesn’t mean we actually FED it to her. and yes, it did work.

a month of thanksgiving

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i have really enjoyed this month of blog posts…i never realized how easy it would be to come up with a month’s worth of thankfulness…yet i was also challenged that i need to make an effort to be more thankful throughout the year. to end this month of thankfulness, i wanted to recap my month and re-post all my pictures in one post…enjoy!

day one: i am thankful for my youngest daughter, mercy

day two: i am thankful for my husband, christian

day three: i am thankful for my oldest daughter, addy

day four: i am thankful for my sister, sarah

day five: i am thankful that the Lord allowed us to foster our girls

day six (adoption sunday!): i am thankful for adoption, my handsome nephew, spencer and my adorable niece, emma

day seven: i am thankful to live in a country of plenty

day eight: i am thankful for my mom

day nine: i am thankful for my dad

day ten: i am thankful for my inlaws

day eleven: i am thankful for freedom

day twelve (my birthday!): i am thankful for life

day thirteen: i am thankful for my siblings

day fourteen: i am thankful that the Lord is moving us to moldova

day fifteen: but i am also thankful for technology (skype!)

day sixteen: and i am thankful for my camera (and the ability to preserve memories!)

day seventeen: i am thankful for the holidays (family time!)

day eighteen: i am thankful for my church family

day nineteen: i am thankful for my grandparents

day twenty: i am thankful for my amazing friends

day twenty-one: i am thankful for creation

day twenty-two: i am thankful for laughter

day twenty-three: i am thankful for coffee

day twenty-four: i am thankful for a wonderful (two!) days with family

day twenty-five: i am thankful for new friends

day twenty-six: i am thankful for changes but that the Lord never changes!

day twenty-seven: i am thankful for my salvation

day twenty-eight: i am thankful for the gift of prayer

day twenty-nine: i am thankful for the Word and the Holy Spirit

day thirty: i am thankful for the Lord’s unconditional love for me. i think becoming a parent has truly opened my eyes to the unconditional love my heavenly father has for me.

stay tuned for the start of our “twenty-five days of christmas!”

thankful, days twenty-six to twenty-nine

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day twenty-six: i am thankful for changes but that the Lord never changes. i know it may seem weird, but it reminds me that the Lord is leading. yet He doesn’t always lead us to go, sometimes he leads us to stay. each change reminds us that He is right there besides us.

day twenty-seven: i am thankful for my salvation. the Lord didn’t have to die for all of us but He did because He wanted to redeem me and you. christmas day 1986 is actually my spiritual birthday.

day twenty-eight: i am thankful for prayer. prayer doesn’t always make sense to me yet each day i am reminded that prayer brings me into unity and submission and peace with my Savior.

day twenty-nine: i am thankful for the word of God and the Holy Spirit. does it get much more comforting than that? i am not alone and i don’t need to be afraid or confused. i have the inspired word of God and i was given the Holy Spirit to lead me every step of the way.

happy birthday addy grace!

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happy birthday, my princess. daddy and i love you so much. you are precious beyond words and make us laugh and smile beyond measure! thank you for teaching me how to be a mama.

three years ago, you were born the morning after thanksgiving. you didn’t come the way i expected you to come. yet God’s hand was upon your delivery and you came out healthy, beautiful and oh so loud. you’ve been loud from day one. 🙂

you smiled early and laughed early. you loved to get into things and make a mess. you were such an easy baby…you nursed well and you ate big people food like a big girl. you loved to play with your food. oh wait, you still do! you crawled early and you walked early. you ran a week after you started walking. you are always on the move.

you were an only child for one year. after your first birthday, you went to being the youngest of four and you did it well. after that you were an only child for the summer before you became a twin for three months. last june you became a big sister for the very first time and you are such an amazing and sweet big sister.

you are naturally grateful. daddy and i didn’t have to teach you to say thank you…you just did it on your own. you love to help anyone and everyone. you already assume the best of everyone and extend grace. your name fits you well.

this next year is going to hold a lot of changes. in less than two months, our family is moving across the ocean to the country of moldova. soon you will be learning russian and romanian. sometimes i worry, but then i look at you and i know the Lord is going to be with you every step of the way. i know there will be hard days. you are too smart and notice every little detail. i also know that your heart is sensitive and you are already learning to trust Jesus.

i am so excited to watch you grow even more this coming year. i am excited to watch you learn more and more about Jesus. i am excited to watch you become a missionary.

daddy and i love you very much!

here are a few of my favorite pictures of you, birth to three years old:

daddy meeting you

my first time holding you

our first family picture

such a pretty newborn baby

your first christmas

your first "santa" picture

january 2009

february 2009

march 2009

april 2009

may 2009

june 2009

july 2009

august 2009

september 2009

october 2009

november 2009

your first birthday

december 2009

january 2010

february 2010

march 2010

april 2010

may 2010

june 2010

july 2010

august 2010

september 2010

october 2010

your second birthday

november 2010

december 2010

january 2011

february 2011

march 2011

april 2011

may 2011

june 2011

july 2011

august 2011

september 2011

october 2011

november 2011

our three year old princess!

“but he said to me, ‘my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ therefore i will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
2 corinthians 12:9

thanksgiving day, part two (days twenty-five and twenty-six)

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i am thankful for thanksgiving family dinner #2! we had leftovers + turkey soup + more pie and it was delicious!

i am thankful for grammie and pops who ate at the “kids” table, allowing us to have an adult meal…wow!

well, an almost adult meal (darn out of focus picture!)

i am thankful for the rest of my siblings

and i am thankful for our new friend, dylan

i am also thankful for changes and the Lord’s direction…it’s a strange holiday this year. i love the holidays but with each passing day, i am reminding that our move is getting closer (fifty-one days!). one minute, i feel like crying. the next minute, i am so excited that i can’t contain it. yet i am constantly reminded of lamentations 3:22, “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end.” (this is a picture of change…first year ever putting up a white tree down south!)

mercy adoniyah, five months old (yeah, nine days late!)

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so here is the peanut’s five month pictures that i forgot to post. yes, she is wearing her newborn onesie as a shirt…maybe it’s a little stretchy?

mercy is a little thing…twelve pounds and twenty-four and a half inches of determination. she joined the ranks of crawlers which seems a little strange to me because she still needs a little help sitting up! she does the inch worm, using her arms and her toes. if she really wants something, she can move pretty fast!

she cries “mama” but that’s about it. she holds her own bottle or likes her big sister addy to hold it for her. she thinks she should watch movies with her big sister also. hmmmm. she already wants to grow up too quickly.

she was NOT into taking these pictures. she ended up coming down with a cold the next day. you still get to see quite a few of her kooky facial expressions, though.


her look when i started taking pictures

her "hold me!" cry

a little glare for mama

distracted by a toy

"talking" to mama

trying to get free

oh those toes

her tongue is always sticking out!

long fingers

goofy ear shot

getting upset again

yes she is complaining

crawling to mama

little smile coming back

what a goof!

crawling to her toy


checking out the carpet

ah yes, drool

starting to gripe again

she melted down after this picture to be held!

love, mercy

thankfulness, day twenty-four…the best of all!

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wow, what a fun day. i am so thankful for my awesome family and i only spent the day with half of them. there is still more family time tomorrow!

i am so thankful for this little peanut, who has joined the crawling world at only 5 months!

i am thankful for this sister…
and this sister…it doesn’t get any better!

i am thankful for these two…pretty much the best parents you could ask for

and these inlaws…yeah they are pretty cool too!

i am thankful for the blessing of food on the table

i am thankful for laughter

i am thankful for the smiles and laughter this little monkey brings me

i am thankful the Lord allowed this auntie to live with us this past year

and i am thankful and blessed beyond words that the Lord saw fit to give me such a sweet, amazing, caring and godly husband

my cup really does overflow!

happy thanksgiving!

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happy thanksgiving from this munchkin…

and this munchkin…

"arrrr, matey!"

oh and their parents too!

Psalms 100~
A Psalm of Thanksgiving. Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!
Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.

thankful, days eighteen through twenty-three

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18: i am thankful for our amazing church, calvary chapel skyline…that is now our sending church as we move to moldova. this is a picture of pastor manny dedicating mercy when she was three days old.

19: i am thankful for my grandmas…my grandma bell and my grandma ruth are both amazing people in my life. i still miss my grandpa john even though he’s been in heaven for three years now.

20: i am thankful for all my wonderful friends that the Lord has given me. these are just two of them, dina (holding mercy while her little guy isn’t too happy about it) and christy (holding addy back in ’08).

21: i am thankful for God’s creation. he didn’t have to make the earth so beautiful for us to live here, but he did and i love it!

22: i am thankful for laughter and things that make me laugh. this little person is just one of the gifts the Lord has given me to make me laugh more.

23: yup, i confess that i am thankful for coffee…starbucks is a favorite but i have other kinds i am thankful for also! hey, it’s okay to be thankful for the little things too!

thankful catch up! (days twelve through seventeen)

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day twelve: i am thankful for my life and that my parents chose to give me life! yes, this is my baby picture.

day thirteen: i am thankful for my amazing siblings…all of them!

day fourteen: i am thankful for the country of moldova and that the Lord is taking us there. i know soon i will be able to call it home. (this is a picture of the first time we visited moldova, coming in from ukraine.)

day fifteen: i am thankful for technology. i know this might sound cheesy, but i have never *loved* technology until recently. now i am thankful for the ability to stay in touch with my family no matter where i live…socal, norcal, montana, eastern europe, anywhere!

day sixteen: i am thankful for my camera. i love being able to take memories and share them. i love that my camera helps me stay connected with my family. it is also a therapeutic, creative outlet for me! (this is one of my favorite pictures i have taken.)

day seventeen: i am thankful for the holidays. i love everything about them. i love the family time, the decorations, the smells, the lights and yes i still believe in santa claus.

i can’t believe november is already halfway over!

thankfulness, day ten and day eleven

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day ten: i am thankful for my father-in-law, jim and my mother-in-law, cindy. you don’t get to choose your inlaws…which makes me even more thankful that i was blessed with such sweet inlaws!

day eleven: i am thankful for the freedom i have had since birth. today is a day to honor veterans. i am thankful that because of their sacrifice, i have experienced freedom from the day i was born. i have never known what it is like to worship in secret because it is against the law. let’s not take these freedoms for granted!

tomorrow…my birthday! i feel like a little kid, haha. 🙂

thankfulness, days seven, eight and nine!

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day seven: i am thankful to live in a land of plenty. i know this is a rough one to start with…but this is reality. if you have been blessed to be born in america, no matter how much you have, you are considered rich in so many countries! i am thankful for how blessed i really am.

day eight: i am thankful for my mama. this is my mama mailing letters from disneyland. i could go on and on but i am going to keep this simple and say that i am thankful for the little lessons she has taught me. she finds joy in the little things and i love that about her.

day nine: i am thankful for my dad. i have the best memories of my daddy when i was a little girl. he let me work outside with him and i am sure i was more work than help. he is seriously a gifted pops. not all men make good grandpas or even try. he tries so hard it amazes me.