Sunday, August 22, 2010

God remains the same

15 months ago, my friend was crushed as the birthmother of her soon-to-be adopted son changed her mind the day before the court date. Still, she and her husband clung to the belief that this was not the end of their story. Friday night I sat at my computer and looked at pictures on facebook of them welcoming Zacharay as he joined their family forever. I cried over the sight of their 5 children sitting together on the couch. It took 2 years, but it really happened!

Today, I got an email in my inbox leading me to a blog. I saw a pregnancy test with 2 pink lines and struggled to wrap my brain around what I was seeing. Ryan’s brother and his wife were having a baby! After 14 years of marriage, we just assumed that it would never be. Little did we know that this was a very long process for them. I cried as I called to congratulate them, and then as I read the blog of the journey since they got that positive test. I couldn’t believe it!

After I had digested all that, I went back into my email and clicked on the next message that was sent 3 min after the previous message from Ryan’s brother. It was from a dear friend and it told us that the birth mother of their soon-to-be adopted daughter had changed her mind as well. I cried again as I thought of how heartbroken they must be right now with their arms aching to hold a baby.

As I left the computer and moved onto mopping my floor, I was trying to process all that has happened to those I love over the last 3 days. It occurred to me that God is the same in all these situations. He was the same when my friends got the news of Zachary’s mother’s change of heart 15 months ago as he was in their jubilation on Friday. He is the same in Ryan’s brother and sister-in-law’s struggle to get pregnant as he is now when they are sharing the news of their pregnancy. And he’s the same God when my friends are coping with the news they received as he will be when they are finally holding a long-awaited baby in their arms! We’ve all experienced heartbreaking struggles and joyful exultation in the course of this crazy life. It’s comforting to know that though our circumstances may change, the God we serve remains the same.

Monday, July 26, 2010

etsy store open for business!!!

My new etsy store is open for business! Slip-not designs by joelle!!! Thank you so much to my friends for their help! Amy Peterson designed my header for the online store and Tonia Darge took the amazing pictures featured here. Both are photographers; Amy is located in metropolitan Detroit ( and Tonia is right here in Cleveland - I highly recommend them both! All go shop!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Super Coupon-ing

My friends Amy and Angela have been following these blogs where someone matches up store sales with manufacturer coupons, internet coupons and store coupons. They essentially do all the work for you and you just decide what you want to buy! I was so inspired by them that I began doing it, too. I finally found a blog in my area and she covers the stores where I shop. So today, I did my 2nd Target trip and was excited to save a bunch of money! It took a bit of time, but that's something I have. I printed coupons and matched them up and got all ready while the kids were napping. When they got up, we headed out. Granted, they had 1/2 a hotdog and Eggo waffles for dinner because it was crazy, but look what I got. I think you'll agree that it's worth it!

3-Old Spice Body Washes
(included 2 travel size body washes and 1 travel size deodorant)
Old Spice Deodorant
2 - Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean starter kits
Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Gel
Scrubbing Bubbles Fresh Brush starter kit
2 - Benedryl itch relief sticks
Hotwheels bandages
Olay Total Effects body wash
10 bars of Ivory soap
Kleenex hand towels
7th Generation cleaning spray
Glade fabric and air refresher
Pampers baby wipes
GE Reveal lightbulbs
Schick Hydro 5 Razor
Carefree pantyliners

After the sales and coupons, I paid $18.03 out of pocket. Plus, I have 2 rebates to send in tomorrow (just a word to the the checkout, I borrowed their stapler and attached the receipts to the rebate forms so I didn't lose it like last time :) The rebates will return to me $12.53. So, basically I paid $5.50 for everything you see above! OK, if you want to nitpick, I can add the 84 cents for postage and I'm still at $6.34! I am so excited about doing this on a regular basis. The really neat thing is that we have a food pantry at our church. What I've been told is that you can only use food stamps on food items. So personal care, cleaning and paper products are a premium - and those are what I am able to get for super cheap! So if you're looking to build your pantry or share with others or just looking for a new addiction try this!

Oh, and the blog for northeast ohio is

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Tobin had his friend Josiah over today and they were outside in their costumes riding bikes when all of a sudden it got really quiet. So, I peeked outside and this is what I saw...

It turns out they were mesmerized by these little remote control gas cars that the neighbor was buzzing all over the streets. So they grabbed our waterproof pillows, abandoned their bikes, threw their costumes on the ground and watched. I couldn't resist, so I grabbed the camera and joined them!

Just gotta love gorgeous, lazy days, good friends and silly bandz!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer Stroll for Epilepsy

In just two weeks, our family will be heading to Michigan to support a close friend, Amy Peterson. She and her son, Carter, both have been diagnosed with epilepsy. We will be participating with her team (Team Peterson) in the 2010 Summer Stroll for Epilepsy™.

Please join me in an effort to raise necessary funding for the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan. I am very excited to meet my fundraising goal. Your support in this event would mean a lot to me and individuals with epilepsy. I would be so grateful if you could walk as a part of my team or contribute to the cause. Please write back or log on to my page to read more about the event. Thank you so much!

Follow This Link to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to support Epilepsy Foundation - Michigan

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Baby Ballet

I could hear all 3 children in the baby monitor, but since there was no crying, I thought I would wait a second before I rushed up to get Beckit. When I did head up there, I heard "plie, straight, plie, straight" and I saw this. I was cracking up! Talia was teaching him ballet!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Reflecting on the Half Marathon

So I did it! I tried to talk Ryan out of the half marathon and into the 5K or 10K, but he would not be moved. I'm so thankful, too! 13.1 miles with our kids in strollers seemed like too big of a feat, but it was amazing. It helped me to realize that I can accomplish way more than I think I see that many of my limitations are self imposed. I told Ryan in that last 2 miles that I felt like it was a day of mind games for me. In the beginning, not seeing that I could do it; at 4 miles feeling very sore and wondering if I could do another 9; at 7 miles knowing that we were over half way; powering through miles 11 and 12 pushing strollers uphill when we were all tuckered out; running chunks of that last mile with sore feet and knees. But honestly, the feeling of crossing the finish line and becoming so emotional is totally addicting! I loved being able to accomplish it as a family. To hug my husband. To tell my kids how amazing they did. Our family will continue reaping benefits from being healthy and reaching goals together. Tobin kept saying last night, "I can't believe you did the half marathon Mommy. I didn't think you could!" How powerful of a statement is that?! I didn't think I could either, but I did. And my children saw the whole thing!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is such a fun holiday to celebrate! Last year, it passed without a thought from any of us, but a friend of mine celebrated with her children and I thought it would be so fun to do the same. The day was filled to the brim with internet surfing to come up with ideas for crafts and food, then shopping, crafting and cooking. I think next year I'll do more in advance (and maybe keep this year's sombreros!) so it's not so late in the evening when the festivities begin! Despite the amount of effort that it took, it was a blast. The kids kept saying "this is SO fun Mommy!!!" They made sombreros and personal sized chile pepper pinatas. We ate a yummy dinner consisting of our family's recipe for homemade salsa, fresh guacamole, chicken quesadillas, lemonade, and apple pie burritos for dessert. I think it's such a random holiday to celebrate. Maybe that's what made it so fun!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Hard Boiled Egg hint

I always have a hard time figuring out which eggs are raw and which are hardboiled. I was watching Rachael Ray one day and they had a helpful hint from a watcher to throw a tea bag into the water when you boil the eggs. Genius! I tried it today and it worked like a charm. Now we will never have a problem --- that is until I start buying brown eggs :)