Monthly Archives: December 2013

Do Not Be Afraid

(Deep breath) Friends please pray……pray hard.

We are waiting to see the face of a child we gave our hearts to months ago. And we are ALL IN on this journey. Like most waiting families we hang on every word of news, good or bad. Today is a scary time for Ethiopia adoptions. An article was published on December 26th, regarding international adoption in Ethiopia.This is an excerpt:

“In a press conference, House Speaker Abadula Gemeda and the Minister Zenebu Tadesse told journalists that stakeholders should work closely to end foreign adoption.”

Much of what we are hearing is here say at this point, but the whole Ethiopian adoption community is up in arms. We aren’t hearing much at this point for our agency, and will have to wait and see how this unfolds in the weeks to come.

Of course it is best practice for children to stay in their birth country. Unfortunately, Ethiopia is not set up to care for the countless number of children who are orphaned. If Ethiopia closes international adoption, the outcome will likely be unspeakable. It will always be my hope and prayer that Ethiopia continues to develop and grow options to alleviate the orphan crisis in country. However, so much needs to be done before this can happen……and that takes time. What happens to the children during this time if international adoption closes?

My stomach hurts. My mind wanders. I keep clinging to this verse on our mantle. But the fear creeps in. The worry is heavy.

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth.” — (Isaiah 43:5-6)

This verse brings us a peace and calm within this unknown vulnerable place we are in. They are the words that speak to me during the wait, but resonate deeply during this time especially.


Advent for the House of Simpsons is a season. It’s not day by day for us. We prepare for Christmas however the wind blows us. Partly because we don’t have a calendar…….ain’t nobody got time for that;)

Pinterest inspired Christmas tree treats were delicious fun!





Ms. Laken put on a Christmas concert with all of her friends at Children’s House. She is all about posing for photos this season, and I am eating it up! Oh the cheese, and my little girl is gorgeous…..I can’t stop clicking!



Ms. Laken is quite the performer. She sang all of the songs and bounced along to the beat! She even tried to join the primary students for their performance…….twice!

This one is sophisticated beyond his years……on Tuesdays. He would like for you to think he is SO ready for preschool. Next year buddy, promise!

We painted Christmas ornaments for the tree.





And splashed the paint out of our hair.

I made Christmas treats to share with friends. I’m really not the best baker….so I make up for it with pretty packaging;)

After baking, who wants to cook? No one… Daddy took us to Mexican.


We visited Santa at Wasem’s. The photos are not bloggable:(. Laken sat on his lap and told him she wants a cat and two fairies. River would not go near him, so he just shouted that he wanted babies for Christmas…..bless his heart. Laken now thinks that Santa lives in Clarkston;)

Laken rode the Polar Express at school… her Christmas Jammie’s;)

We’ve been to Locomotive park multiple times…….they would drag us there every night if we would let them. They run around under the lights, like the wild things that they are. Chase and I don’t have that energy so we snuggle to stay warm, and watch them frolic.

We introduced the littles to Christmas classics like “A Christmas Story” and “National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.” And they loved them! (Sitting the same;)

We built the first snowman in this homes front yard!



River and Laken went sledding for the first time!


This bearded manly man built a little fire to keep us warm;)

We wrote letters to Santa:


The littlest little is always on our mind. We daydream about what this season will be like with him here next year! We wonder if his family is celebrating the birth of Jesus too, or maybe even preparing for his birth? January 7th is Christmas Day in Ethiopia, I think we should celebrate again! We are thankful for our friends, like the Howlands who share the perfect gift for the season;)

Merry Christmas Friends!

Snow fun!


This was the first snow of the year that the wild things could play in. I think we spent more time getting dressed than actually playing in it;)




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20131221-212035.jpgHot cocoa is delicious with mini marshmallows……who knew?


59th Trip Around The Sun

My Mom (Ivy) celebrated her 59th birthday!

We wanted to try and make her birthday at home special, since she is still recovering from surgery;). If you know my mom you know that she is always happy, and tickled with any little present she is given. She truly appreciates the littlest simple details. Her favorite is plain white cake with vanilla frosting and coconut sprinkles.

Her favorite meal is a chicken dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy. Rod makes a mean flash fried and then slowly baked chicken (the way that his momma used to make it).

My mom never wears hats, but she does for these two. AND she laughs when the when they sneak a finger full of frosting off of her cake;)


She even lets them open her presents!

Somehow I got a picture of this pair. They always hide from my camera… this is truly a gem;)

I’m pretty sure I can guess what she wishes for. Things like paints in every color, scrapbook paper for days, good health for her kitties, a hearty growing season for her garden, a warm cup of tea (with a touch of milk), the feeling that trees get when the wind blows through their branches (yep she says this stuff all the time;), a good book (in large print), Shawshank Redemption on every channel, black licorice, a gift card to a small town cafe, and new adventures (seriously she is always up for crazy shenanigans;).

And I bet she wished for this……her and Rod snuggled up with grandchildren on the couch. Seriously they can do the naughtiest things…….and she just smiles;). Happy Birthday Mom!

It Smells So Good Y’all

If I could capture the smell of the house right now, and pack it in a box, tie it with a bow, and put it on your doorstep……..I would! This butternut squash soup smells THAT good y’all!

I wish that I had invited someone over for dinner…….because they would think that I am so the Pioneer Woman….err LCValley woman;). But no one is coming for dinner, and Chase is on call, so a blog post will have to do.

2 Butternut Squash (cubed)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Seasoned salt (to taste)
2 Tablespoons butter
2 apples (sliced)
1 onions (chopped)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Ginger paste
Teaspoon of Cinnamon
Teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice
3 cups of Chicken Broth

Place cubed butternut squash on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with seasoned salt. Roast at 425 for 40 minutes.

Melt the butter in a stock pot. Add the sliced apples, chopped onions, and the following seasonings.

Cook over medium heat until the apples are tender. Here is where the house starts to smell like heaven.

Add the roasted butternut squash and chicken broth to the pot, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Here I took a break to feed this one a pretzel snack;). But a glass of wine, or a browse through Instagram works too!

Next purée the soup in a blender. (Do this in small batches).



20131206-162420.jpgGarnished with sour cream and sunflower seeds. Served with crusty bread. Nom Nom…it’s a keeper!

Hot Date

Hot Cocoa Date that is;)


Winter Fun

Flip our elf showed up this week;)


It snowed, so the little miss and I went on a mommy daughter date for new snow boots, and desert!

River and Chase stayed behind for Monday night football with the Seahawks.
And then we finished off the last half of the game as a family, with a Seahawks win!



My sister Dusty, brother-in-law David, niece and nephew Cher and Zack came for Thanksgiving! They usually do, only this year Chase and I got to host the dinner. My mom recently had hip surgery so we were able to sneak it past her;). Although she still ended up making the turkey, rolls, and pies. It was a lovely holiday and a fun visit.






The littles had a blast all weekend, they love their cousins and all the excitement. After dinner everyone went home, and 20 minutes later I found Laken on the couch passed out, just like this;)

We spent the rest of the weekend playing games, shopping, shooting guns (the boys), and eating leftovers.


Laken insists that you do a fish hook pose when she is photographing…….unfortunately this is my only photo this weekend;)



Grandma got in on the fish hook too;)