Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving 2012!

Happy Thanksgiving from the NCF!!

We had a wonderful day with family. Hubby's Thanksgiving was forever changed by FRIED TURKEY. He is telling everyone about it. Hehe. It was so so yummy! He usually eats all of the sides and things with just a little turkey as an afterthought. Sorry turkey. But everything has changed with the fried turkey. Moist, beautifully flavored, crispy skin. Mmm! ;)

{Thanksgiving 2012}

Oh my goodness look at all of those faces! Miracles. Silly, happy, sweet, miracles (Hubby included!). And now I must stop because I am tearing up looking at this pic. ;)

We all have struggles, difficult circumstances, tough situations, big and little worries we attempt to give fully to God, and just some tough days. But instead of complaining, I want to be thankful. Every day. Not just one day a year. This is why I tryyy not to complain a lot and especially on social media. Being real and talking about specific circumstances is one thing but not complaining about everything, all the time. We say a lot in our house, "Instead of complaining right now, what can you be thankful for?" It is a great reminder for us adults too! God has been working on us a lot over the past few years with having an eternal perspective and I think this really helps with thankfulness as well. There is so much that just doesn't matter here on earth. Where is our focus? We have a lot to work on, but we have too much to be thankful for to complain.

Have you had... experienced... fried turkey?? :)

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 

Psalm 34:1 I will praise the Lord at all times, His praise will always be on my lips.

PS Don't forget to enter my $50 Shutterfly Giveaway!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's Holiday Card Time and a SHUTTERFLY GIVEAWAY!!!

Can you tell I am excited?!

Every year when fall hits, I get so excited about the idea of getting a fun family picture and picking out Holiday Cards to send out to our family and friends!

And then I get a little stressed about getting this good family picture. And then I say a tiny little prayer that we get a good family picture. And then I realize it is always up in the air with many littles and if we can't get everyone smiling at the same time for the full family picture, there's always room to put individual smiles (my tip to not getting toooo stressed about family pictures)! And then I get excited again about designing a card and having that memory for our family and friends and I LOVE getting our fam' and friends' cards in the mail as well!

We have been using Shutterfly for years and have been so impressed with their quality, quick turn-around time, and great deals and special offers! You know I love good deals! :) And I have to tell you I have had *the best* experience with their customer service since we started using them years ago. They are always SO helpful and nice!

Here was our card from last year :)


And just a few favorites for this year :)

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Now here is your chance to win!!! I am so excited to partner with Shutterfly to give away a $50 Shutterfly credit to one lucky reader!

How to Enter:
1. Leave a comment! Have you taken your family pics or chosen which cards you'd love to send out this year?

Extra Entries:
1. For TWO extra entries: Follow Naturally Caffeinated Family blog. Just leave a comment saying you're a follower and you'll get two extra entries!
2. For ONE extra entry: Tweet:
"Win a $50 Shutterfly Giveaway with @_NCF_ at www.naturallycaffeinatedfamily.blogspot.com!" And leave the link to your tweet as a comment.

Giveaway ends Monday December 3, 2012 at 11:59pm EST. Winner to be chosen by random.org. Good luck!!!

Also, check out Shutterfly's Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals! 

Black Friday code: BLACKFRIDAY - 10 FREE cards* Visit http://www.facebook.com/shutterfly to claim the offer!
*Offer valid for one-time redemption per billing address and valid for 10 free 5x7 flat stationery cards OR 10 free 5x7 folded greeting cards only. Customers must choose only one of the two offers. Taxes, shipping and handling will apply. Offer ends November 25, 2012 (11:59 P.M. PST).

Cyber Monday: Visit http://www.facebook.com/shutterfly to get the 25% off unique code (valid on top of already discounted site wide - up to 50% off)
*Offer ends November 26, 2012 (11:59 P.M. PST).

*Disclaimer: I was given credit to Shutterfly in exchange for this post but all opinions are completely my own and I really do love Shutterfly and have had the best experiences with them!  $50 off order of $50 or more (excluding tax and shipping and cannot be combined with any other promos, expire 12/14/2012)

Monday, November 19, 2012

self-timer pic semi-fail ;)

You know we love to try for self-timer pics and some of our BEST pics were done with the self-timer!

This one was ALMOST a great one! Everybody is smiling, we're being our goofy selves, and boom, poor Hubby's and my head was cut off and HM's eyes were closed.

You win some, you really laugh at some. ;) 

Oh boy, I love my people - whether you can see their whole head or have their eyes open or not. ;)


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

this little guy turned 3!!

Oh my goodness, where do we start? Little is our second born and is just an amazing little boy (I wanted to say baby boy, but I resisted! ;) You'll always be our baby, sweet lovebug!)!

He is still our little caretaker. He has such a sweet heart. He can still pick on his big bro and lil' sis at times and has a mighty lil' will (which we love, it's a great trait!) but oh my goodness he is so sweet & has such a big heart.

He always wants to make sure that everybody has what they need, that everybody has one of whatever is being passed out or found, asks to help with the dishes or other tasks, and loves to help others. Here he is checking on his lil' sister at a wedding! Oh, the sweetness!


He is so thoughtful. Case and point. Just he and I were out to run some errands together (that usually never happens and I just loved it, he is so much fun) and I decided to just leave my purse in the car for one store. I got him from his carseat and as we started walking toward the store he said, "Mommy do you have your purse??" He was barely 3 years old!! That's our little thoughtful guy.

{Goofy pic of me but he is so cute and oh, I love his happy lil' face :)}

He loves to play outside, sports, music, cars/trucks, trains, ride bikes, pretend games that he and BabyBoy make up together, helping HM with a puzzle. He loves to laugh, be tickled, and just plain have fun. He loves to be silly and make jokes. We have the most wonderful reading/cuddling/singing sessions before nightnight. He has the best little conversations. He loves to play swords and fight off the bad guys. His sound effects are awesome. And adorable. He is getting more and more comfortable striking up conversations with anybody. He is always up for anything!

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Oh, we could not love our sweet "Boba" any more! Happy 3rd birthday, sweet love!!


Monday, November 12, 2012

I cannot help it!

The matching. I can't help the matching! I've been asked and people always comment that the boys are pretty much always matching and coordinated with HM. :) I can't help it!

I figure, I have to do it while they're young. They're just so cute (I realize I am biased, I can't help that either).

And maaaaany times, we're all coordinated. ;)

{Navy and green ;) Fun!}

And Hubby will coordinate himself without me saying a thing. And I think that is so sweet and cute.

{This is the random self-timer pic we snapped before heading out for an event :)}

I know a lot of people think it's dorky or dare I say, uncool, to dress matchy matchy, but I've never been one for following clothing rules. ;) And we admit that we're dorks. We accept it. And we're proud of it. ;)

Annnd, may I point out, that it is easy to dress them, because we can just grab the same/similar thing for both of them, annnd it's easy to spot them when we're out! Not that we let them get far away, BUT, if we're playing somewhere and someone is asking about them or if I need to tell someone something, I can say, that one and the other one dressed like that. ;-) See, a win win. Cute and efficient!

{Coordinated turquoise/white. Love.}

I actually mean to coordinate them more but it's so much easier to just match ;) Though I think they're be a lot more coordinating in the future because BabyBoy has now grown out of toddler sizes!!! Our baby! And I can't wait to coordinate HM with her new lil' sister!

P to the S - We get all of their clothes on sale/clearance plus coupons or at consignment shops, and we don't buy a lot each year and just layer everything differently to create different outfits. Listen to me, I sound like I know something about fashion! Ha! I don't but I attempt to look cute, on a major budget. I need help (I do not feel cute very often)! But that is another post for another day and there are other things that are way more important, which is why I haven't posted about it. :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Our number on the wait list - Adoption Update

We had been, as unanxiously as possible (see Philippians 4:6), waiting for our latest adoption update to see our new number on the wait list. Also see photo I posted earlier this week. See? Such patience.


And we waited and waited and waited. Can you feel the patience and non-anxiousness? Just curiosity, people.

We just got our monthly update about an hour ago and our number remains #22.

No movement. No referrals last month. Still delays and now lengthened in country time.

We are grateful and happy to hear that Uganda, the US, and our agency are trying to make sure that these little ones are truly orphans and (unfortunately) have no other opportunity to be with other family members in Uganda, or adopted by other families in Uganda, before becoming referral ready.

Our flesh is sad and just a bit wondering why. Why if there are so many little ones, so many... millions - over 2.5 million - who need a forever family, they still sit in an orphanage, an institution. And we can't wait to expand our family. Then I wonder, are we doing something wrong? Am I not praying enough? I know I am not reading His word enough.

We fully believe everything is in His perfect timing. Our prayers always begin with, "Thank you," and are followed by, "If it's in your will..." It is without a doubt comforting to know the Creator of everything has us in his hands. We know everything happens for a reason, He could be protecting us from something by having us wait right now, maybe the process could speed up in the months to come, waiting to line us up with the precious little one who He will place in our family. Forever.

But right now, our flesh is a little sad.

Prayers welcome. Thanks fam and friends.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Adoption and Matching Grant Update!

We were so hoping to be posting an update on where we are on the waitlist and if we have moved up the list but we haven't received our monthly update yet! We're being patient, we're being patient! ;)

We also wanted to say thank you so much again to anyone who has donated towards our Matching Grant and signed up for our Prayer Calendar! We cannot begin to tell you what a blessing you have been! Our latest report last week says you have donated $2600!

We can't tell you what your emails and prayers and encouragement has meant to us! We have less than 2 weeks to raise the full $4000 for our Matching Grant through Lifesong for Orphans! Our deadline is November 19, 2012! All of the money raised goes through Lifesong and directly toward our adoption costs! And if you have donated and would like to be added to the Prayer Calendar and haven't already, let us know! We would be blessed to have you on there!

Our words cannot express our thanks and appreciation for each of you and your support and friendship. This journey is a bumpy one and your support and encouragement mean the world to us. We are blessed to have you walking alongside our family!

Many many blessings! And lots of love and hugs!
Hubby, NCF Mama, BabyBoy, Little, and Littlest

For those who have asked! Here is the link for the Lifesong Paypal for our adoption

And the address and info for mailing a check :)
Lifesong for Orphans
Attn: Naturally Caffeinated Family #3082 adoption (also write in the memo on your check)
PO Box 40 Gridley, IL 61744

{We were so blessed to be one of over a dozen families holding "our sign" :) during a beautiful Orphan Sunday service!}

Monday, November 5, 2012

our sugar cookies with a purpose! newest cookie creation!

We had a big weekend! It was our first year being directly involved with Orphan Sunday at our church. I can never keep dry eyes during Orphan Sunday, those precious precious little ones (and I mean every age). They are all His. And in need of our help.

We love how big our church supports; widows, orphans, those in need. It is a huge piece of pretty simple puzzle. The service was set up with interviews, videos, and at the end all of those who have adopted or are in the process, walked on stage, to the song The Same Love, and stood together, carrying a sign with their country, foster care, or if in the process now, "Expecting from..."

We were so blessed to carry our sign, "Expecting from... Uganda," and I know I teared up right when I saw it. I can't help it! And it was so beautiful seeing each family walk across the stage with their signs and their sweet families. Beautiful.

The other neat thing was the families who are in the process of adopting had tables that people could stop by after the services, to tell about their process and sell items to raise money for their adoptions.

On Wednesday, I saw this cookie cutter online...


And told Hubby, wouldn't it be awesome to make Africa Shaped Sugar Cookies to sell as a fundraiser, along with our Prayer Calendar! Though he calls me, Lucy, with my crazy ideas, he is always supportive, and he thought it was a great idea! :)

So I ordered it, it was delivered on Friday, and we made all the cookies on Saturday! Woowee!! ;) I was nervous because this is the second time I've made and decorated sugar cookies like this!

Here they are! Africa Shaped Sugar Cookies with a heart over Uganda :)

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{This was only some of them!}

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All the color combos and individually wrapped :)

I thought I got more pics so you could see all the color combos even better but I didn't! It was 1:30 am (2:30 but the clocks JUST changed back!) when we finished so I was definitely not thinking clearly ;). And I know I could have done a better job but we were working so fast because it was SO late! I was going to try some different designs but there just wasn't enough time!

{The color of the heart is the color of the border :)}


Thank you to my friend Jenny for saving me with sending the recipes you use because I couldn't find the ones I had used the first time I made sugar cookies last year! Thank you, Hubby and Mom, for all of your incredible help!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Because sometimes you just need...

... A spontaneous special breakfast at Cracker Barrel. :)

And this weekend was one of those times!


Do not laugh at how terrible my hair looks, ok you can ;), I was not expecting to take pics and then a sweet passerby offered to take one of all of us as she saw me taking one of Hubby and the babies, and this is what we got! :) Also noted, I have pretty much no makeup on ;).

I love that HM is smiling straight at the camera in this one but we caught BabyBoy and Little at the beginning of a smile :)


We normally don't get pancakes but BabyBoy was so excited and wanted to order them, and all by himself, so we let him. Special breakfasts call for special measures. Yep, and I teared up watching BabyBoy cut his pancakes all by himself. ;) And watching our little family, and all of them eat and eat... and eat ;), and all by themselves. Sounds silly, but we try to enjoy the moments as much as possible. They are getting so big, so fast.

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