Friday, December 28, 2012

A little more of this and that.

Update on Russian Adoption Ban~ We are waiting for an update some time tomorrow to see if we will be grandfathered in since we have already registered and have met our child.  But all we know as of now is that all Russian adoptions are banned.  Your prayers are appreciated.  

And to keep my mind on something other than this horrible news here are some of the other gifts I made for the kiddos.

Sadie's upcycled kitchen, both pieces were bought at Goodwill for $3.99 a piece.  I painted them and sewed the curtain and oven front.

Made these cookies as well, more food are in the works.  It's a little addicting, they were fun to make.

Madi's vintage suitcase dollhouse, I found the tutorial here.

Tatum's puppet theater.

I still have to photograph a few more gifts, I will post those soon.

I made some yarn trees, they are very addicting as well.  I can't stop myself!

Some of my favorite Christmas ornaments.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

This and that.

First things first, my friend Amy is in Russia right now visiting her sweet Davis for the first time.  I was overjoyed to see this picture this morning on Facebook.  Gosh that is the sweetest thing EVER!

Update:  We were not able to make our November 20th deadline for our paperwork.  Our social worker has been dealing with health issues so we asked the judge for an extension.  She gave us until the end of December to get everything in.  We are currently waiting on one document, why does it always seem we are waiting on one document, from our social worker and will be able to mail it all out once we receive it.

I'm sure everyone has been busy, busy with getting ready for the holidays.  It's no different here, since the day after Thanksgiving we have been working on many projects.  Ash put up a plank wall for me in the living room which I am in love with!  Can you be in love with a wall?  Definitely!  We just have a spot to caulk in the corner and it's done!  We used leftover wood we had from our kitchen project, gotta love a free project:)  I took a look at all the pinterest pics I was pinning and all the rooms that I liked were white, so I painted the entire living room white and it feels so much better and bigger in there.

I had written about doing a handmade/thrifted Christmas this year in a previous post, and I have been working really hard.  Here is one of those projects, this is for Ainsley:)

If you'd like to make your own you can find the dollhouse and doll patterns here:)

Me and the kids have been doing Christmas crafts, we made our mason jar snow globes.

And pine cone Christmas trees.

And I love the fun things they bring home from school.

I have lots of things in the works so more pics to follow:)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pray and believe

As we hit yet another hurdle with documents I immediately go into stress faith is so weak.  I feel weary of this paperwork mountain that constantly looms before me never ending.  Frustrated with others, "why can't they just understand that we need this document right now?",  "that a child is waiting for us to come and get him!".   These are just a few thoughts that go through my mind and to be honest these are the nicer ones.  We are so close and every time we get to almost being finished something else happens to throw it all off.  I throw out a feeble and weary prayer to the King of Kings, not even giving Him the respect to come humbly before His courts to offer thanksgiving for all that He has blessed us with.  Instead I question His every move, not even putting into consideration that He was the one who breathed us into creation and that He already knows every detail of what is going on.  To Him it is already past tense.

As I wake up to an early morning phone call from a courier in CA telling me that our documents were rejected because the signature didn't match their records I immediately feel the anxiety overwhelm me.  The questioning starts and I reduce my God to a disobedient employee.  I take the kids to school all the while trying to figure out how to fix this mess, because of course I'm the only one who can fix this mess...right?  Come home to sit down and do my devotion, to give God His 15 minutes of my day, but no more than that because I've got stuff to do.  I open my daily devotion and precede to read...

Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

"'When ye pray, believe.'"

When there is a matter that requires definite prayer, pray till you believe God, until with unfeigned lips you can thank Him for the answer.  If the answer still tarries outwardly, do not pray for it in such a way that is evident that you are not definitely believing for it.  Such a prayer, in place of being a help, will be a hindrance; and when you are finished praying, you will find that your faith has weakened or has entirely gone.  Prayers that pray us out of faith deny both God's promise in His word and also His whisper "Yes," that He gave us in our hearts.  Such prayers are but the expression of the unrest of one's heart, and unrest implies unbelief in reference to the answer to prayer.  This prayer that prays ourselves out of faith frequently arises from centering our thoughts on the difficulty rather than on God's promise.
You will never learn faith in comfortable surroundings.  God gives us the promises in a quiet hour; God seals our covenants with great and gracious words, then He steps back and waits to see how much we believe; then He lets the tempter come, and the test seems to contradict all that He has spoken.  It is then that faith wins its crown.  That is the time to look up through the storm, and among the trembling, frightened seamen cry, "I believe God that it shall be even as it was told me.

I reread this passage two more times and cringed each time.  And at the same time felt so loved at His gentle correction that seriously cut me to the core.  

So I am praying that I will not let all that contradicts the "Yes" He spoke to my heart almost two years ago rule my every thought and emotion and question my Lord's abilities.  I want my faith to win it's crown.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Halloween 2012

This year we had a cheerleader, Super girl, The Nana, Princess, Scarecrow, Super baby, Tony Stark and Bat girl.

I have been really busy getting the last documents needed to send to Russia. We were told we needed everything in by the 20th so we are in a bit of a rush.  I only need a few more documents and then I'm done! After almost two years of paperwork I will be so happy to be done!  After everything is submitted we should have travel dates very soon after.  Please if you would keep us in your prayers:)  And please keep the Kelley family in your prayers as well, they left early this morning for their first trip to meet Isaac!  So happy and excited for them!

Monday, October 22, 2012

2 Months...a few days late

And just because this one was too cute not to share:)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Instagram photo frame

Hi all!  I've been keeping busy doing paperwork for court, we were told that we had to submit our paperwork no later than November 20th.  So I have been a busy bee taking care of that, snuggling with Radley who is becoming quite the chunk and loving on my home a little bit.  Doing fun little projects here and there.  Also working on Christmas presents and decorations, my goal is to have a handmade/thrifted Christmas this year and it has been a lot of fun! Pictures to come:)   I love the chance to be creative, especially when it comes to my home.  I feel I have wasted so much time waiting to see if we were moving back to AZ or moving houses period or worrying about resale.  This is our home and I want it to feel that way, God will work out the rest.  I made this little instagram frame from a thrifted frame from Goodwill I painted white, red and white baker's twine hot glued to the back, mini clothespins and instagram photos my husband took.  I love it!

I don't know where to put it yet so for right now it hanging out here.

Right next to my new sign that my lovely friend Amy sent me.  I love it Amy, thank you!!!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

One month

I can't believe how time has flown by!

I have been working on my unfinished projects that I keep saying I will show you.  Here is one of those projects, I started this chevron quilt a few months ago.  I would have finished it before he was born but I couldn't find a backing material that I liked.  Finally a few weeks ago I found this cute whale material and thought it was sweet, plus the colors were just what I wanted.  This was my very first quilt, there are tons of imperfections but I still love the way it turned out:)  I used this pattern here.

I was inspired by this chevron quilt I found on Pinterest a few months ago.

We are getting back into a schedule now that the kids have started school.  We have five in school this year, 5th, 4th 2nd, 1st and Kindergarten with two at home with me.  They are all getting so big!

We celebrated Avery's 8th birthday on Friday.  I have also been working on our adoption paperwork for court.  If I am being realistic I don't think we will be taking our second trip until the beginning of the new year.  We just had to have our homestudy updated because it was going to expire, so we had our social worker over last Thursday to get that done.  We are waiting on our FBI background checks because those expired as well.  We also found out last week that Russia is now requiring 80 hours more of adoption education, I am trying to figure out where we are going to find the time to figure that all out.  I just don't see us getting that all done before December, which for that whole month Russia pretty much shuts down so I don't want to get stuck over there during the holidays.  We are getting very close to hitting the two year mark of our adoption process, what a journey it has all been.

Monday, August 27, 2012


I'm sitting here late in to the night nursing the sweetest baby boy and recapping the days events.  My birthday has officially come and gone again, already past midnight I'm thinking how quickly time passes.  And it makes me snuggle Radley a little closer.  I want to soak it all up, memorize everything about this moment.  His sweet breath, his little grunts and squeals, and his soft baby cheeks that are getting chubbier by the day.  Already he is ten days old, it just goes so fast.  I told my husband the other day that in two years we will have a teenager, wasn't it just yesterday that Prestin was in my arms and now he is almost up to my chin.  I wish I could make time stop, or to at least slow down.

I bought this book a few weeks ago, and I am probably one of the last people to have read it.  But that's okay it has come into my life at the perfect time.  She writes like a poet, a modern day C.S. Lewis if you will, and the words seem to come so effortlessly for her.  She talks about slowing down and seeing all the Lord has to offer, all the gifts He bestows on us daily.  And in those moments of seeing His grace having thanksgiving in our hearts.  She started acknowledging all these gifts by writing each and every gift, no matter how small, into a journal.  And that is what I have started to do as well.  I can't stop time, but I can at least savor in the moments and reflect back as I read over them and truly see how much the Lord does bless us with on a daily basis.  How much He loves us and wants so much for us, if only we would take the time to slow down and pay attention.

I don't want to miss a thing!  I don't want my life to be a blur, I don't want to get so wrapped up in the piles of dishes and mountains of laundry that I miss out on the little lives that are right in front of me now.  So this is where I'm starting, to be more thankful and more joy filled.  I'm excited to have my eyes wide opened!

And just because I wouldn't want to disappoint you all:)  Here is Radley dressed in his Sunday best for his first time to church.

Also be forewarned that I am going to be that annoying mama who shows off her baby whenever I get the chance:)  Goodnight!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A gift from above

Radley La Mountain Ryan Farley
was born on August 16, 2012 at 6:30 a.m.
He weighed 9 lbs. 2 oz. and was 19.5 inches long.

We feel truly blessed that he is healthy but also because our oldest son Prestin was given a very special gift this day as well.  My husband said it best, " How do I know we serve a God who loves...In ways we cannot fathom?  Our son has prayed for over five years for a baby brother...two baby sisters later, five total, He answers.  Though He has heard every word, every whisper, He waits...But He does not just listen and answer.  No He does what we cannot plan for and gives Prestin a living, breathing "I love you my child, I have heard your every prayer" and does so on his 11th birthday.

It was a great celebration of our two sons, we are still waiting on a third and would like to wish our little guy a very Happy 4th Birthday today!  Our cup runneth over:)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Savoring the moments.

I've been working on some projects that I hope to show you soon, unfortunately as my due date draws nearer my motivation has been slowing down a bit and I'm not getting things done as fast as I would like.

 Baby boy is doing really well and growing...a lot!  Hopefully we'll be meeting him sooner rather than later, only nine more days until my due date.  I am trying to savor these last moments, although uncomfortable, of pregnancy.  Feeling him move inside me, thinking of what he'll look like, how much hair will he have and what color?...Will he look like me or Ash?  Taking in the last moments of preparation before he arrives.  It's an amazing thing to have a baby, such an incredible blessing to all of a sudden be holding this beautiful, fully formed human in your arms.

 Completely a miracle from God.   And oh, the automatic love you feel, it's indescribable!  We honestly can't wait and are jonesing to hold our little guy!  Until then I'm steadily working away at the rest of the projects that I want to get finished before he arrives and will post them as soon as they are done!  So keep checking back:)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Burp Cloths

These were really fun to make!  They were super easy and instantly gratifying as you start to see the stack of happy fabrics pile up.  Here is the tutorial if you'd like to make your own, again another Pinterest find:)  Love that Pinterest!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sweet Dreams Banner

Yesterday I thought for sure was "Baby Day", we woke up for church and were getting ready and I had four really strong contractions less than a minute a part.  I thought ohmygoodness here we go!  But alas they stopped and baby boy is still warm and snug in my belly.  Hopefully he comes out soon and is not thinking of settling down for a long winter.  I only have one pair of shoes that I can fit right now and they are flip flops:)  

I have been busy with little projects here and there to keep my mind off the waiting and made these sweet little banners for my older girl's room.  I recently painted their room and am adding some vintagey goodness here and there.  I have forever adored the beautiful banners from Cookie Monday's and thought I might try my hand at making my own.  Now let me just stop right here and say how much respect I have gained for her banner making skills because burlap is not the easiest material to work with and is super messy!  Mine do not compare to hers but I think I got the look I was going for:)  Sorry if the pictures are kind of dark, someday I will learn how to use my camera.  The colors are actually really bright and cheery, I can't wait until the whole room finally comes together! Project 2 down, 437 to go:)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hot Air Balloon Mobile

Ever since I saw this mobile on Pinterest I knew that I had to make one of my own for the new baby!

And thanks to my lovely sister who surprised me with the pattern I was able to do just that!  I finished it last night and Ash hung it for me.  I think it's super sweet:)  

The baby will be in our room for the first couple of months, hence the tight space.  It made me smile to wake up to this sight this morning...I can't wait for him to get here!!!

You can order your very own pattern here.  I will say that I am not the very best sewer and this pattern was very easy to understand and good for beginners.  If you make one I would love to see it!

Monday, July 23, 2012


It's been crazy busy around here, so sorry I am just now posting about court.  We got back from Russia and were bombarded with hugs and kisses from our kids, who needed our undivided attention as well as trying to catch up on our sleep.  I would literally sit down on the couch and would be out in a few seconds:)  We were home for four days when we had to turn around and head back to the airport where we jumped on a plane and headed for San Francisco.  My husband's company treated the managers and their spouses to an all expense paid trip for a job well done!  It was nice, other than our trip to Russia, it was a nice get away for me and my husband.  He's been working long hours for a while now, so it was nice to have him all to myself for a weekend.  We came home, thankful to be done flying for a while, and spent the rest of the week with Ash's mom and sister who flew up to watch the kids for us while we were away for the weekend.  We did some junking and antiquing as well as a beach day:)  It was a good visit.  Now I am in complete nesting mode!  Actually I have been for a while and can't wait to show you all the projects I've been working on as well as the little house projects.  I have been on a painting kick and have painted two bedrooms and finished up painting the rest of the woodwork in the kitchen!  I know, I know it should have been done a long time ago:)  But things are underway and I have quite the list made up of things that need to be done.  And now that I am 36 weeks preggo I don't see the nesting slowing down any time soon.  Alright so here are my emails for the last three days of our trip.

Day 5~

Today Sergey really came out of his shell and was a lot more relaxed with us. He made a lot more grunts and sounds today.  And we were told that he can't speak but he repeated mama, papa, and ball after Ash said them to him.  He actually took a few steps on his own as we were passing him back and forth between us.  As far as we know from the Dr. he has not done this before so we got to witness a first with him!   He is more comfortable around me than Ash but I know it's because he has only ever been around women.  He is allowing Ash to get closer to him and likes it when Ash is silly and goofy.  Even though he is more comfortable around me I wonder if it will take him longer to make the connection that I am his mama? Not too worried about it though, it will all come in time.  My thoughts are already about getting him home and getting him medical and dental care. I have had a really rough day health wise.  I woke up and felt nauseous and weak.  I am drinking lots of water but I just think everything is taking it's toll.  I had some painful contractions but they were not true contractions, more painful in the front than coming from my back.  It was cooler this morning but got very hot this afternoon and is very humid.  After our last visit with Sergey Boris took us to the river to do some fishing:)  He likes to fish and keeps a pole in his trunk for whenever time allows.  I had to go find a place to sit and then thought I was going to pass out or vomit...or both.  They saw that I wasn't doing to well and quickly got me back to our room.  The air conditioning and water have helped I just can't be in the sun too long.   I am resting and doing much better, no more contractions either.  We are feeling really positive about everything which is a nice turn of events.  Our meeting with the judge is getting closer and closer.  Olga the interpreter told me yesterday to not be worried or nervous about the judge, so that was nice to hear as well.  Also a random thought just crossed my mind.  When you are looking for toys to bring get some that play music, Sergey stops whenever he hears a sound and gets very interested.  So I have been singing songs to Sergey, he likes "Little Cabin in the Woods" and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and I saw him try to do the bunny motion with me for Little Cabin in the Woods:)  It was really sweet.  He is so smart, smarter than they give him credit for.  We got him this wooden block train set and he was able to slide the blocks down the little post.  So he has some really good hand eye coordination and he is able to follow things with his eyes and hold his focus really well.  It was a very good visit today:)


Day 6~

 I am doing even better today health wise although my heart is breaking knowing tomorrow is our last visit with Sergey:(  Today's visits were very nice, really low key and kind of quiet.  Our first visit, which is the longest from 9 am to 11:40 am, we basically pushed him in a stroller around the grounds the whole time since the weather was nice. We saw tons of children today.  They were all so cute, the boys all had hats on very particular to Russia.  Kind of like a homemade baseball cap and the girls all were wearing kerchiefs on their heads, they looked like little baby dolls:) We pushed Sergey on the swings for the last half hour where he started to fall asleep so Ash held him and he fell asleep in his arms.  It was really sweet.  We then headed back and had Boris drop us off at a restaurant across from our hotel.  We went in by ourselves without a translator and tried to tell them our order.  We decided to make it easy and showed them a picture above the counter of french fries and what looked like chicken nuggets.  The younger girls didn't seem to understand even that so an older lady came over and spoke something in Russian and asked us if we wanted two.  We said yes, we thought great they understood what we wanted.  I asked Ash how much it all came out to and he said about 7 bucks, I thought hmmm it must be really small portions for that price.  They ended up bringing out two small plates with just french fries...Ash replied, order fail:)  They must have thought American's love french fries lol!  So that's what we ate for lunch, then we got some ice cream which was easy cause you just point to the flavors.  It was so good!  After that we went to the toy store and bought Prestin some Russian legos and I got a beautiful children's book in the shape of a Matryoshka doll, it's the kind that sings a song for each page.  In Russian of course:)  Then headed back to the room for a nap until our next visit.  Our next visit with Sergey again was quiet, we spent the time in the playroom.  Our second visit is from 3:30 until 4:40, too short:(  He was super sweet and played with my fingers rubbing his hands over mine and feeling the tips of my fingernails.  He was content to just sit in our laps and Ash wrestled a little with him.  I sang songs to him, the last song I sang him was Jesus loves you and couldn't finish cause I started crying.  I pretty much couldn't stop tearing up the rest of the visit and when they came to take him to his room I completely lost it.  It took me a bit to regain my composure and then we left.  We came back to our room and relaxed a bit and then headed down to the hotel restaurant and ordered dinner successfully!  Tomorrow morning is our last visit with Sergey, from 8:30 until 10:45, then it's off to Tver to do some paperwork and check back into the Volga hotel.  We have about two hours down time until court which is around 3:00 pm.  It would be 2:00 am our time back home.  I am not feeling nervous just anxious to get it over with.  We feel prepared so that has helped a lot.  Then that's it, our flight leaves the next day at 11:44 am and we will be heading back home.  I miss my kids a lot! It is going to be hard to say goodbye tomorrow not knowing what the future holds and hoping he won't forget about us.  We were just starting to have some good connections with him, hoping that won't all be lost.



We woke up around 5 am this morning wide awake so we started getting ready and packed up our luggage.  We had an early visit with Sergey this morning at 8:30 so we could have some more time with him before we said goodbye.  The weather was nice and cool this morning so we walked the grounds and pushed him on the little push bike.  He was in a really good mood this morning.  We then headed inside to the playroom as we were being bombarded by mosquitoes.  That was the best part of the visit, Sergey really came out of his shell and initiated wrestling with Ash.  And he likes to cuddle with me.  He also let us rub his head which in the beginning he didn't like his head to be touched at all.  It feels like we came so far with connecting and now have to leave.  We had to leave at 10:45 so we said our goodbyes, Sergey didn't want to let go of Ash:(,and gave them a picture of me and Ash for them to show him.  We didn't leave the whole picture book because Boris and Irina thought it would be good to show the judge the pictures of our kids.  We went back to the hotel to return the key and bought a little ceramic elephant that reminded us of Sergey.  They had a curio cabinet full of these ceramic hand painted figurines that are made from a local factory in Konokovo.  We thought it would be special to have:)  We then headed on our way to Tver, about an hour and half drive.  We first stopped at the translations office and met Michhael (sp) the man who translated all of our documents, he spoke very good English.  We then followed him down this dirt path to the notary's office.  The building looked beaten up outside, but on the inside it was very nice and they had air conditioning!  The notary part took longer than expected but we were still okay on time this just meant we weren't going to have any down time before court.  The notary was nice and talked a lot with us, we showed her pictures of our family and of Sergey.  She liked seeing the kids.  It's interesting how little people here know of Down Syndrome.  When she saw the picture of Sergey she smiled and then asked if his disease was curable.  We just told her no but that he would have many opportunities in America and she seemed to like that.  We then rushed to the hotel and checked in and had an hour to get ready for court.  The Volga hotel does not have air conditioning in the rooms and it was a very muggy day today so by the time we showered and got dressed, Ash in a full suit and I in a dress and blazer, we were drenched.  I did not find any maternity nylons so had to get thigh highs, they were so annoying!  The tops kept rolling down and were driving me insane!  We stepped out of our room and said a prayer and then went to the lobby where Irina and Boris were waiting and there was air conditioning!  We headed to court barely making it with our lives!  Driving here is CRAZY!!!  We were stopped at a light and Boris got in the middle left hand turning lane and went in front of four lanes of traffic to turn right lol!  I don't even know what cops would pull you over for here?  I think they just wait around for fender benders.  We got to the courthouse and climbed the suicide steps, seriously falling apart, out front and into the main entrance all the while I'm messing with my stupid nylons:(  We got up to the room and went in, Olga was our translator again.  The judge was quiet but would smile from time to time.  She asked us, what year we were married, our children's names, birth dates and what grade of school they are in.  She asked if they wanted Sergey to be apart of our family.  She asked what we knew of Sergey's medical history, which Irina and Boris had given us all his medical and told us to study it so we were prepared. She asked us why we wanted to adopt and if we wanted Down Syndrome specifically.  She asked where Ashley worked and how much he made, what our house was like and if we are the owners.  If anyone other than our family lived with us.  When was my last job and will I have help when the baby is born.  When I can travel and if I will be bringing the baby.  Who we had taking care of our children now.  She asked if we believed in God and what our beliefs were.  And that was pretty much it.  We took our answers slow, not too quick to answer until we heard everything Olga had to say.  She told us that she wanted us to provide documentation from a specialist for Sergey, something from our children's school regarding their behavior, a letter from our children who are able to write, update medical on our children as the three months will be expired by then and for the new baby.  And letters from our mothers saying they are available and willing to help when I may need help as well as letters from close friends willing to help.  A letter from Ashley's boss on his available vacation time and that they are understanding and open to us adopting Sergey.  All of this is doable and won't be hard to obtain!  Praise God!!!  Court lasted maybe an hour, Ash had everyone, including the judge laughing a couple times.  She really liked seeing the pictures of our kids and liked that we had brought drawings from our kids to Sergey that said how much they loved him.  One of the big things that posed a problem for us from the judge was about our homestudy, in the beginning when you are filling out paperwork they advise you to put that you are open to adopting more than one child just in case you choose to adopt more than one later the paperwork is already done.  It just a safety precaution so that you don't have to go through all the paperwork again later.  Well the judge had been under the impression, because it didn't translate correctly, all along that we wanted to adopt two children.  When she heard that it was only one she was very happy. So that was cleared up and things looked great from there on out.  We left court feeling really well.  Boris said we did great in his opinion and said that I was Mother hero:)  He said that I handled myself very well and knew that the judge would be impressed by me.  That was nice to hear because he knew how nervous I was in the beginning of the week.  Irina came down and met us and Olga translated for her.  She said the judge was very positive towards us and impressed with me for coming across the ocean while pregnant.  She said I must be very strong, again very nice to hear:)  Everyone felt really great afterwards and we made sure to get pictures taken with them.  We then went back to our hotel and took the biggest sigh of relief:)  We needed to exchange some money for souvenirs for the girls, we got them little matryoshka dolls from the gift shop:)  So Ash, Irina and Boris went to the exchange office and I headed up to the room.  On my way to the room my hose finally gave out and literally rolled down my knee, ha!  The maids in the hallway saw me but I didn't care at that point I couldn't wait to get those things off!  We then headed out to the market to get some snacks and something for dinner and are now relaxing in our room.  It's starting to get a little cooler so that's nice.  Thank you for your prayers!  Feeling really hopeful and so blessed!


Outside the court building after court with Irina and Boris:)

With our translator Olga:)

We now are waiting on official court dates for the end of September or beginning of October.  Prayers are still very much needed as this next trip will determine our adoption fate.  Thank you for coming along on this journey with us, we are so close:)
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