Monday, March 30, 2015

Adoption Update: We Have a Son!

I have some incredible, crazy, and exciting news!

It all started last Tuesday.  The day began just like any other day.  Then, at lunch we got a phone call from our agency.  We had been matched with a birthmother...who had already given birth...and we were to get to the hospital immediately.  As you can imagine, we were in complete shock!

So we quickly packed, got a babysitter for J and B, and went straight to the hospital to meet our son and his birthparents.  Then, a short 14 hours later, we brought him home.  Wow!

It was the craziest, most awesome, whirlwind day.  Adoption is one wild ride, my friends!

So here he is!



Baby L
Born on March 22nd


I think we're all still in shock.  But a good kind of shock!  One day, you wake up like normal, and the next day you have a son.  I wouldn't change the craziness of it all for the world!  God is so good.

Thank you so much for your prayers for all of us during the emotional ups and downs our adoption journeyThey mean so much to us!  Would you please continue to keep us all in prayer?  Especially the birthparents and for one other thing surrounding the adoption.  Thank you, my friends!!!


I will write his full adoption story soon!  In the meantime, I'll be overgramming and enjoying our little family of 5!


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I'm linking up here today!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sausage and White Bean Chili

 

I know it's almost Spring, but it's still mostly in the 40s here in Indiana.  So bring on the chili!  We've been having it 2-3 times a week all winter, so I've been trying out several new chili recipes.  I have found so many great ones on Pinterest, but this one in particular is one of my favorites:

Sausage and White Bean Chili
(modified from Cinnamon, Spice, and Everything Nice)

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. ground pork sausage
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 green, red, yellow, or orange pepper (or a mixture), diced
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. chile powder
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed between fingertips
salt and pepper, as desired
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14 oz.) can cannellini or great Northern beans, undrained
1 (14 oz.) can corn, undrained
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream
tortilla or corn chips

Directions:

1.  Cook sausage in a Dutch oven until no longer pink.  Drain grease and set sausage aside on a plate.

2.  In same Dutch oven, saute onion and pepper in olive oil.  Once veggies are tender, add garlic powder and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add all remaining spices and cook for 2 more minutes.

3.  Stir in tomatoes, beans, corn, and sausage.  Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

4.  Serve with cheese, sour cream, and chips if desired.  Enjoy!


Notes:  This is a great one to double because it only uses 1/2 lb. of sausage, and sausage usually comes in 1 lb. portions.  So I double the recipe, and then freeze half of it for later.  It's a double win: 1 meal for tonight with leftovers...and another meal pre-made for the future!


This Sausage and White Bean Chili goes great with corn bread too.  Mmmmmm....this one is so tasty!  I just love it.  I hope your family does too!



               

Linking up with Friday Faves along with JennieAnne for Pin to Present, Bonnie for the Pin Junkie Link Party, Lou Lou Girls for their Fabulous Link Party, Flash Friday with The Jenny EvolutionReviews, Chews, and How-tos for Awesome Life Friday, Making Memories Monday with Cathy, Wine'd Down Wednesday with Michelle, Chastity, Kristin, and CathyCarrie for Motivational Monday, Tabitha for Dream. Create. Inspire., Coffee with Us 3 for Pretty Pintastic Party, Delicious Dish Tuesday with Mary, Tuesday's Recipe Swap with Emily and Kate, and
 a-wise-woman-builds-her-home
Saturday Spotlight

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March Madness

I can't say I'm a huge college basketball fan, but I love watching the drama unfold during March Madness. My family always fills out brackets and competes to get the best score ... and normally we are all way off on who wins, but it's still a lot of fun! :)

John and I have had Abby fill out brackets every year - which is always hilarious! Our 'method' for the little ones is having them pick out colored blocks for who they want to win. A green block is for the higher seed, and a red block for the lower. :) Tim gets to fill his out tonight - we'll see how many upsets he will pick! ;)  This year, I found a Mascot Bracket and had Abby use that. She mainly picked every dog and cat, and Notre Dame because she recognized them...but her overall winner is UAB Blazers (#14 Seed, so we'll see! haha). Why? Because they are a Dragon and she thought that was pretty cool. :)

Filling out the brackets last night :) Serious business! ;)


As for my picks...here is my Final Four:

Notre Dame (Midwest) vs. Baylor (West) and MSU (East) vs. Gonzaga (South)


If we lived in a perfect world, I'd have Notre Dame vs. Gonzaga in the final game, with Notre Dame winning it all. Probably never going to happen, but a girl can dream! ;)


Who do you think will take it all? Don't forget to fill out your brackets!






Thanks for joining us for Tuesday Talk! Please link up any post(s) you want and remember to visit the hosts/other blogs and share some love :)

            
Please follow all of your hosts in some way 
because we'd love to connect with you!

Becky - BYBMG  ~  Beth - Our Pretty Little Girls
Sarah - Abiding In Grace - Sarah Frazer  ~  Lauren - Simply Free
Keri - Living In This Season  ~  Elizabeth - All Kinds Of Things
Jess and Katie (Us!) - Sweet Little Ones  ~  Mandy - Almond Place
Teressa - Teressa Jane  ~  Andrea - Mitchael Journey
Chelsea - The Contented Wife Blog  ~  Tara - Mrs. Coach Sims




An InLinkz Link-up


Linking up with Thoughts for Thursday with Natalie and Annie, Friday Faves along with JennieAndreaErika, and Narci, The Pick with Astleigh, Ladies Collective with Iulia, Stephanie, and Sarah, Holly for Waiting on Wednesday,

Thursday, March 12, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Fun

I love to do crafts and have special days with the kids, so any holiday that comes around is fun to celebrate! Abby and I did a few small things the past few days to gear up for Saint Patrick's Day:

We made a cute leprechaun hat...which was originally for Tim, but surprisingly, a 9 month old little boy didn't want to wear it. ;)  So Abby styled it while working on her leprechaun face craft. She loves googly eyes and coloring, so this was right up her alley!



I am getting a Shamrock Scavenger Hunt ready to go for St. Pat's Day. I cut out little shamrocks and am going to hide them around the house on green items...a fun way to practice colors with little ones :)
Can you spot all the shamrocks? ;) These are just some of the ones I'm going to hide :)


As for what we are going to wear, Jess made Abby a four leaf clover hair clip last year  - which does double duty for ND fans ;) Jess wrote up a post on how to make it yesterday. It is so cute and pretty easy to make!




We also have a Saint Patrick movie that we'll be watching so we actually learn about the Saint himself on his special day. And of course, we will need some treats to snack on during the movie. I'm thinking we should try some mint puppy chow or Rice Krispie treats with green M&Ms/sprinkles. I typically add food coloring to all our food that day - pancakes, pasta, milk - just to add some fun to our meals :) Do you have any favorite Saint Patrick's Day food?

Check out some of our other St. Patty's Day ideas/plans on Pinterest:


Follow Sweet Little Ones's board St. Patrick's Day on Pinterest.


What do you do for Saint Patrick's Day?



    


Sharing my 
5 on Friday/Friday Faves along with JennieDarciNatashaChristina
AprilKatieCaitlinTifDellaAmandaKarliAmyAndreaErika, and Narci
The Pick with AstleighFive Faves with Jenna, Week's End with Elizabeth

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Four Leaf Clover Hair Bow

 DIY St. Patrick's Day Shamrock / Four Leaf Clover Hair Bow / Clip / Barrette - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


Since we're huge Notre Dame fans, I'm always looking for cute St. Patrick's Day ideas because they can be used all football season long at our house.  And probably the best thing I've come across is this cute four leaf clover hair bow!


DIY St. Patrick's Day Shamrock / Four Leaf Clover Hair Bow / Clip / Barrette - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


It is so easy to make too!  I've made it for all my nieces and several of my friend's daughters too.  (We're all one big, happy Notre Dame family around here ;)

I found it originally here on Pinterest, but the instructions are in a foreign language.  So here is how to make this four leaf clover hair bow in English: 


Four Leaf Clover Hair Bow

Materials:

Cardboard (thin, like from a cereal box)
Pen
Scissors
Green felt
Fabric scissors
Green thread
Sewing needle
Green 3/8" wide ribbed ribbon
Lighter or lit candle
Hot glue gun
Hot glue stick
Hair clip


Four Leaf Clover Instructions:

1.  Draw a single clover leaf on the inside of a cereal box, then cut it out.  This will be your stencil.  Mine is about the size of a quarter.

DIY St. Patrick's Day Shamrock / Four Leaf Clover Hair Bow / Clip / Barrette - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com
Obviously, it doesn't have to be perfect ;)


2.  Trace your stencil 4 times on the green felt, and then cut out your clover leaves with fabric scissors.


DIY St. Patrick's Day Shamrock / Four Leaf Clover Hair Bow / Clip / Barrette - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


3.  Prepare your thread and needle, making sure the knot is substantial and there is a significant amount of spare thread at the knotted end.  (You will need this extra thread to tie another knot later.)


DIY St. Patrick's Day Shamrock / Four Leaf Clover Hair Bow / Clip / Barrette - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


4.  Place the first clover leaf facing up.  Near the straight edge at the bottom of the leaf, weave the thread under, then over, then under, and then over again.  See picture below.


DIY St. Patrick's Day Shamrock / Four Leaf Clover Hair Bow / Clip / Barrette - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


5.  Repeat this for each clover leaf, keeping all 4 on the same thread.


DIY St. Patrick's Day Shamrock / Four Leaf Clover Hair Bow / Clip / Barrette - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


6.  Push all the clover leaves together towards the knotted end, like this:


DIY St. Patrick's Day Shamrock / Four Leaf Clover Hair Bow / Clip / Barrette - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


7.  Then, pull the thread as tight as you can and knot multiple times.  Trim the excess thread once secured.


DIY St. Patrick's Day Shamrock / Four Leaf Clover Hair Bow / Clip / Barrette - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


Now, you have your four leaf clover!


DIY St. Patrick's Day Shamrock / Four Leaf Clover Hair Bow / Clip / Barrette - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


If you want, you can stop here and make several four leaf clovers of different sizes to decorate for St. Patrick's Day with, like this...


DIY St. Patrick's Day Shamrock / Four Leaf Clover Wreath - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


...or you can continue with the instructions below to turn it into a cute hair bow!



Ribbon Barrette Instructions: 

1.  Cut the ribbon to the exact length you need to cover the hair clip.  (The length I prefer is pictured below.)


DIY St. Patrick's Day Shamrock / Four Leaf Clover Hair Bow / Clip / Barrette - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


2.  Carefully using a lighter or lit candle, run each end of the ribbon very quickly through the flame.  This seals the ends so they won't fray.  But be careful - it will catch on fire if you go too slow!


3.  Holding the hair clip open with one hand, run a thin line of hot glue on the top of the clip.  Quickly, place the ribbon on top, leaving 3/4 inch of ribbon hanging off the pointed end.  Let dry.


4.  Continuing to hold the hair clip open, place a thin line of hot glue under the top lip of the hair clip and fold the 3/4 inch of ribbon under.  Let dry.


DIY St. Patrick's Day Shamrock / Four Leaf Clover Hair Bow / Clip / Barrette - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


5.  Close the hair clip.  Now, run a thin line of hot glue under the hair clip and fold the ribbon under.  Let dry.  It should look like this:


DIY St. Patrick's Day Shamrock / Four Leaf Clover Hair Bow / Clip / Barrette - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


Note: I prefer to leave the bottom of the hair clip uncovered by ribbon because it's easier to slide in my daughter's hair.  The hair covers the bottom of the hair clip anyway, so you can't tell there isn't ribbon there.


6.  Time for the embellishment - the four leaf clover!  Place a small dot of hot glue on the top of the ribbon barrette.  Quickly, place the clover on top.  Let dry.   

Your hair bow is now ready to go!


DIY St. Patrick's Day Shamrock / Four Leaf Clover Hair Bow / Clip / Barrette - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


The perfect accessory for a little girl for St. Patrick's Day :)


DIY St. Patrick's Day Shamrock / Four Leaf Clover Hair Bow / Clip / Barrette - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


And for all of Notre Dame football season too!


DIY St. Patrick's Day Shamrock / Four Leaf Clover Hair Bow / Clip / Barrette - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com


Happy St. Patrick's Day!  And goooooo Irish!!!!


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I'm linking up with these awesome parties!
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