Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Today is a special day!

Today is my amazing Hubby's birthday. B-t-dubs, I don't use adjectives like amazing, incredible, or unbelievable lightly.

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He is the most incredible Hubby and the most unbelievable Daddy to our littles.

He is the most selfless person I know. I mean that too.

He always thinks of others first, how can we serve them, how can we help, how are they feeling. He cares.

He works so hard for our family. And for anybody he is serving.

He studies God's word and teaches it to our littles (and me :)) with zeal.

His priorities are so straight, it still amazes me. He always puts family above work. He does such great work for his job, works hard, and is so good. But if the family needs something, he's there. He comes to doctor appointments and never missed even one when I was pregnant, all four times. Not one.

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{We made this for him for Father's Day this year and framed these pics :)}

He is sweet, sensitive, hilarious, silly, fun-loving, and so thoughtful. He (pretty much ;)) always has the exact right thing to say to me to help me through any situation. He is so encouraging.

He is handsome, cute, and hot. That's just a plus. ;) Refer to above pic for proof. ;)

He has taught himself how to be handy. And has saved us so much money, fixing pretty much everything himself. Electrical, plumbing, and all the odds and ends in between.

He makes me laugh to tears. And I tear up watching him with our little ones. He brings me a lot of tears. Haha, in a good way! :)

He supports me and backs me up in anything I want to do. Even in the crazy, silly, Lucy-like schemes I try to accomplish. ;)

I could not respect him more.

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{Fall 2011}

I am blessed because of him. Beyond blessed. And I don't say that lightly either.

I love you so much, "B"!!! Happy happy birthday from all of us!!

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Scones!

Scones and coffee equal a beautiful combo for some mornings. :) And tasty too! ;)

We are breakfast eaters! I love making huge breakfasts with pancakes (or waffles or french toast), eggs (made to order!), turkey bacon, diced potatoes (or hash browns), and fruit. Mmm!

But mornings that I don't have time to make a big one, I can whip up these scones pretty quickly. I love warm breakfasts, especially if we don't have any yummy cereal. :)

The recipe that I have been using for years is out of Betty Crocker's Cookbook Bridal Edition, given to us as a wedding gift from some dear friends. :) Thank you, again, Rachel! :)

For all those who have asked, I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get the recipe up! Without further ado, here it is!

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{I used orange crystalized sugar to top this one :) Partly because it was one of the colors I have and it's fun for fall. :)}

Betty Crocker's Scones! :)

Prep: 15 min. Bake: 16 min. Makes: 8 scones

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour {I split it 1 cup whole wheat/3/4 cup white, still great texture & nice taste too :)}
3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup firm butter or stick margarine {I always use butter & leave it in the fridge until ready for the butter step}
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup currants or raisins {I use craisins}
4 to 6 tablespoons half and half {I use milk bc it's usually all we have}
Additional half and half {I use milk here too :)}
White coarse sugar crystals (decorating sugar) or granulated sugar {you can use different colors for fun too :)}

1. Heat oven to 400*
2. Mix flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture looks like fine crumbs. Stir in egg, currants and just enough of the 4 to 6 tablespoons half-and-half so dough leaves side of bowl.
3. Place dough on lightly floured surface {I use white, since I used more wheat earlier}, gently roll in flour to coat. Knead lightly 10 times. Roll or pat into {I always just pat w/ a little flour on my hands} 8-inch cirle on an ungreased cookie sheet. Cut into 8 wedges with a sharp knife that has been dipped in flour, but do not separate wedges. Brush with additional half-and-half; sprinkle with sugar crystals.
4. Bake 14-16 minutes or until golden. Immediately remove from cookie sheet; carefully separate wedges. Serve warm. {Still super yummy even cold the next morning, with coffee :)}

1 Scone: Calories 250 (Calories from fat 90); Fat 10g (Saturated 6g); Cholesterol 50mg; Sodium 360mg; Carbohydrate 37g (Dietary fiber 1g); Protein 4g Daily Value: Vitamin A 8%; Calcium 10%; Iron 10%

Lemon-Poppy Seed Scones: Omit currants. Sitr in 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel {I end up just using lemon juice :)} and 1 tablespoon poppy seed with the egg.

Enjoy!! :)

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Do you have any scone recipes that you love??

Thursday, October 25, 2012

our pitter patter...

of little (and big ;) {although, I think mine shrunk again after Littlest! ;)}) feet...

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Oh boy, I love these feet. (Ok, not my feet, but the rest of them I love ;))

I think it's funny that we have all had these shoes for a long time and the all the boys' shoes are so much more worn, hehe. Love the amazing boys that fit in these shoes.

I can't believe how big all of these little feet are getting. We just pray for wisdom to guide them to walk, and run, in the right direction, in His ways. Serving others, sharing the good news, and knowing that His opinion and purpose are all that really matters.

My mom has always joked around about the pitter patter of little feet and it IS an amazing sound. Just listening to the sweet sound of their little feet walking, or running (heavy footed ;)) in Littlest's case ;), around the house.

Thankful for the pitter patter. Prayful for wisdom.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Be another part of our adoption! & an Adoption Update!

We were so blessed and excited that a few weeks ago we were notified that we were approved for a Matching Grant to help raise money for our adoption!! This is a letter (slightly altered for the blog and without our names and contact info ;)) we are sending to family and friends that we wanted to share with you, because you are included in our family and friends, and to document as another part of our story!

Hi Family and Friends!

As most of you know, we entered into an amazing journey almost eight months ago to adopt a wonderful little one from Uganda. It is something we had prayed about and discussed since we were married (over 9 years ago!). There are so many little ones that need a loving, secure, forever family. And although we are blessed to sponsor three little ones and their families in Uganda, we also believe our family is called to care for the orphan, the abandoned. For now, one orphan, for life.

James 1:27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. 

We are so excited to continue sharing our adoption journey with you! We have been trying our best to send little updates here and there and update our blog to fill you in on the newest details. We so wish all of you lived close so we could give you all the adventurous details in person! God has been so faithful in preparing our family and providing patience and confidence that this adoption will help a precious orphan, expand our family, and ultimately glorify His name. And we have been so blessed by your prayers!

God has also been faithful financially. We were just blessed with notification that we received approval from Life Song for Orphans for a Matching Grant in the amount of $4,000!! This means that if we can raise $4,000 by November 19, 2012!, Lifesong, partnered with our church, will match it for a potential total of $8,000 towards our adoption costs. That would be incredible! As you know, the cost of adoption is significant from an earthly perspective—ours is estimated at $30,000—but when you weigh the eternal implications, it is most certainly not. With that said, we are prayerful and hopeful that we will be able to utilize this matching grant to the fullest extent possible. And if God inserts a miracle and we raise above and beyond the entire adoption costs :-), we will donate all of the additional money to another family or families following God’s call for adoption.

We are so excited about the Prayer Calendar (below) we have created, to ensure we are covered in prayer every day while in Uganda (which could be as much as 4 to 6 weeks!) picking up our newest sweet little, and to aid in the costs for our adoption. Using this calendar, you can sign up for a specific day to pray by donating any amount. We do not want you to feel at all obligated, but please know that ANY amount will be a huge blessing! Truly, the most important and comforting thing to us, is to know that you are praying for our new little, our family, and a smooth process. We will take this calendar with us to Uganda and will find strength, courage, and comfort as we seek God in prayer and know that you are praying along with us!

After you send your (tax deductible!) donation through LifeSong (details following!), you can send us an email with the date you would like to commit to pray and we will write your family’s name in that spot! We would be over the moon if we were able to have multiple family and friends on every single day. As we get closer to our travel date, we will send out an updated calendar and more detailed prayer requests to give you an idea of specific things we may need prayer for. And please feel free to pray the whole time too! ;-) It brings us such great joy to know that you are walking hand in hand with us to add this sweet little one to our little family.

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Another area we could greatly use prayer for… we readily admit that it is going to be very difficult to travel that distance and for that amount of time and leave our other little ones home (but we are blessed they will be in very good hands!). God has already begun working things out and giving us peace.

Please note that if you make a donation of any size, it is tax-deductible! Checks are to be made out to Lifesong for Orphans* and write Naturally Caffeinated Family #3082 adoption in the memo line. You can mail checks to: 

          Lifesong for Orphans 
          Attn: Naturally Caffeinated Family #3082 adoption (write in the memo on your check) 
          PO Box 40 Gridley, IL 61744 

You can also use Paypal**! To donate via Paypal click on the Donate button below! :)


Our deadline to raise $4,000 is November 19, 2012! 

We are honored and blessed to have you walk along side us! Thank you so so much. We love you all and appreciate you and your families joining us on this incredible journey.

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With so much love and lots of hugs!

{And in our mailed letter we had signatures from each of us, even each little!, here :)}

Hubby, NCF Mama, BabyBoy, Little, and Littlest 

Ephesians 1:5-6 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. 

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*Note: In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to the named non-profit organization. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use. 
**1.9-2.9% of your donation will go to Paypal service fees.

Below is our Prayer Calendar! :)

If you feel led to donate and would like to add you name to our Prayer Calendar, we would be so blessed and honored, just shoot us an email at naturallycaffeinatedfamily@gmail.com and let us know if there is a specific day that you'd like to sign up for!

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Adoption Update!

We are #22 on the waitlist! 

The latest update on the timeline is that they announced last month that, now, instead of seeing most referrals in about 12 months, it is now 12-15 months... We're leaning on God, we're leaning on God... we know it's all in His timing. We are about 5 months into our wait on the waiting list. As much as I want to insert a sad face right here, I can't, because we do know that His timing is perfect. {deep breath ;)}

If you have made it here to the end, I want to know about it, and you are now officially part of our family! ;-)

Friday, October 19, 2012

pumpkins and pony riding!

A couple weeks ago we got to go to a pumpkin patch with some new friends from our neighborhood! We got to know them at our community pool over the summer and they are such wonderful families. And Hubby has joined with these guys and more in playing basketball (super) early on many Saturday mornings (which is so nice that they all want to do it early so they can get back to be with their families :)).

We had so much fun. It was so laid back and everyone got to pick which fun event to do next. Little wagon rides, going down the mountain slide on a potato sack, going on a hayride, riding tractor bikes, shooting paint ball guns (we didn't do that :)), face painting, and even riding a pony!!

No more words, there are too many pics that need to be shared! :)

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Monday, October 15, 2012

first day of school pics!

This is a big year for us! BabyBoy started Kindergarten and we started homeschooling! I have so much to post about our schedule, our curriculum, how everything is going, but first! Pictures! :)

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It's not always smooth, but we love it, and are so blessed.


Ages: BabyBoy turned 5 and Little turned 3 this summer, and Littlest is 1 1/2 :)

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