Hey, Y'all! I told you I'd keep you in the loop about our adoption, and I am here to keep that promise!

Catch up on previous posts by reading these, then this...
  • We completed our PRIDE classes. Yay! The classes were 9 sessions long, 27ish hours of classes, but we were on a double schedule so we had two classes per day, which was pretty tough!  Since our classes fell over the Thanksgiving holiday and a snow storm, we had a couple of reschedules, but no big deal. 
  • After the classes were completed, we had the official home inspection and our interviews.  Being me, I took to doing my "Research" online, spending countless hours, scouring the internet, reading horror stories about the interviews taking 8+ hours or even multiple days to complete! I had worked myself up so much about them that I could hardly sleep the night before. Honestly, I'm not sure if our licensing worker was so nice, or DCFS policies don't include 8+ hours of questioning, maybe we didn't have things in our lives that required 8+ hours of interviews, I don't know. The only thing I do know is that the interview day came, about 2.5-3 hours and WE WERE DONE!  It wasn't that bad! 
  • Now, one of THE hardest things is waiting. Well, the most frustrating part is all the paperwork that needs to be perfect. There is quite a ton of papers that need to be perfect and turned in. Sometimes, you're waiting on others, sometimes you're waiting on yourself, and it's just a period of waiting. It's the hurry up and wait for sort of situation, which is hard when you're thinking, gimme all the babies! But, just waiting for things to line up, things to get from one person to the next, things to all come together, the stars to align, waiting for God to advance a prayer for you to become a parent along a little further, is THE hardest waiting in my life. And the moment when I can say this... it makes it worth it....
So, where are we now? Well, our licensing worker emailed us last night and....

We're officially a licensed foster home!!!!!!!!


What does this mean? This means we will start getting calls from case workers about children who need foster homes. As a family, we've had MANY discussions about what will work best for us, but I truly feel that God will lead us to our child, regardless if the child or situation is completely opposite of what we had pictured in our minds! 


That's the latest. We still ask for your prayers for us on this journey. Prayers for the child, or children. We have to remember that even though we will be thrilled to add a member(s) to our family, they are losing members of theirs. And it can be downright scary for them. Prayers for smooth transitioning. And you know things get stressful and hectic, so throw in a prayer for our patience, if ya don't mind!


Another way to support us during this process is to help the adoption fund! Check out my Etsy shop here to support the fund AND get yourself something really cool!

Etsy-TheArtsyCajun
Etsy Shop- The Artsy Cajun
The uber cute  (and funny) Mr & Mrs. Awesome pillowcases are in the shop in time for the upcoming wedding season, so get a jump on your gifts now! Don't worry, I have to traditional personalized pillowcases with the couple's last name also!

So, how's your Thursday going?

Adoption Update: BIG News!

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Happy Mardi Gras, Y'all! I hope y'all are enjoying all of the festivities, enjoying some of that Cajun spirit, Sha!  

I'm currently stuck in Chiberia where the "Feels like" temperature is 2 degrees! Yikes! Certainly not Mardi Gras parade weather, even if Chicagoland had such a parade! Ah well, we do it all for love, right?

You can bet your sweetheart that I have my gumbo bubbling on the stove as we speak! And if you'd like to channel your inner Cajun, click the link to be taken to my personal gumbo recipe!

Jessy's Gumbo Recipe

laissez les bons temps rouler!


Throw me somethin' mister!!!!

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I'm joining in with   Jenna and Anne for February's edition of Currently.  This month's prompts are:


Dual-Use Priority Mail Flat Rate/Priority Mail Express Box - 1


Sending- This month, I'm sending care packages to Louisiana and to my best mate, Kate in Australia! I'm really excited to send her care package because she's asked me to draw her an adult coloring book. As of right now, I'm still working on it, but I promise to give you guys a peak, and I may even sell it in my etsy shop! EKK! It's exciting!


A photo posted by @theartsycajun on

Eating- If you read this post, you know my word of the year is Thrive. And, you also know that every month, I'm breaking it down into subcategories. January's subcategory was Health so we've been trying new healthy recipes and will continue to try to turn our recipes healthy! 


Tips For When Buying a House. Before you buy your next home, there are many things you should think about so that you can be as prepared as possible. It can help save you money and save time as well. http://www.makingsenseofcents.com/2013/03/buying-a-house-tips.html:

Dreaming- Lately, I'm dreaming of homes. We will be buying a home sometime in May, and I can't stop looking at realtor sites! I keep looking at home after home, dreaming of our lives unfolding in each home to see if it will work. 




Smelling- Lately, my migraines are still once a week. According to my Neurologist, for some folks, strong smells could trigger migraines. So, I've stopped burning all my candles and put maybe one drop of essential oils in my diffuser and run it once a week or so. I don't know if this is the culprit or not, but something has to give!




Hearting- I'm hearting my bed like crazy lately! As I mentioned before, migraines knock me on my butt once a week, and it can last a whole day to two whole days. During that time, my bed is my BFF! I'm loving the fact that about 2 years ago, I started caring about thread count, and textures that I liked, and textures that I couldn't stand. I adjusted our bedding accordingly and now it's all my favorites. You wouldn't think those types of things make a difference, but they do when you can't get up! 


I hope you've enjoyed reading what I'm up to currently! What are you up to? Comment below!


Feburary Currently

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Hi! Is everyone still hibernating like I am? I love that it's warming up a bit, but it's still cold and I still plan on a couple more months of hibernating. One of my favorite things to do during hibernation is read, and I love finding new books to get excited about. And when I do, I love to tell EVERYONE about them!

Since I've been a bit MIA from my blog, I have a ton of things to share today!

In the Bookworm department:


Curious Faith by Logan Wolfram from NetGalley.com, This book is exactly what I needed! Which, I'm sure if you're in a spiritual lull, you'll say the same thing.  Logan Wolfram refreshes your faith in a way that makes it feel natural, not forced. You walk away from this book with a sense of purpose, your faith is renewed, you have an inquisitive mind about the bible and God, and you dive into learning as much as possible just as you did when you learned it for the first time. This is a book that I will keep and read over and over, throughout the years when I need that extra bit of refreshing.


Now Your Speaking My Language by Gary Chapman from NetGalley.com,  Mr. Gary Chapman always says exactly what you need to hear in a way that rocks your core, and this book is no different! I believe that marriage doesn't get good, you have to work to make it good. And the biggest difficulty in marriage is communication. In this book, Gary Chapman teaches you what the bible says about husband and wife communication, and what a huge role intimacy between husband and wife plays in your marriage. I would suggest reading this to all married couples and even to some engaged couples. It never hurts to put forth effort in building a stronger marriage.


God is with You Everyday by Max Lucado from BookLookBlogger.com  Y'all, this little, or I should say thick devotional is amazing! Max Lucado is a personal favorite author of mine, so I may be a little biased when I say that this is the best devotional I've ever read! Messages are short, sweet, uplifting and perfect! I would recommend this book to everyone who is looking for a great devotional to keep in their collection for years to come.



101 Family Meal-Time Devotions by Greg Johnson from NetGalley.com,  I love a good conversation starter and this book is chalk full of them! But, not just any starter, these are family devotions! I love the fact that instead of everyone looking like a zombie in front of the tv screen, you can actually use dinner time to bond with your family over Christian devotionals. These devotionals don't have a correct answer, but rather encourages discussions amongst the family. The "What If" situations will provide even the shyest person a good prompt to speak up and enjoy the dinner table discussion! 



In the Doggie department:

                                              

Dr. Harvey's Sweet Potate'r Chews from Chewy.com  These treats are the best in the world according to sweet Ginny Patrice! She LOVES sweet potato anything, but these are big slices of dehydrated sweet potato, so they're quite chewy and leathery, taking her a while to gobble it up. It says on the package that they are the natural alternative to rawhides and other bone types, and I'd agree! I'd much rather give my doggie these than rawhides! I will be purchasing these again, or, at least, making my own.


In Beauty Products:



Winter wreaks havoc on my skin! My hands and cuticles become so dry and gross! Influenster was kind enough to send me a full sized bottle of Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion to try.  They say it's for sensitive skin, clinically proven to heal very dry skin in 5 days, and is very rich. Honestly, it felt a bit watery to me. It didn't feel very rich at all. And it took a few minutes to absorb, which I don't care for. I also am trying to get away from all the chemicals in my beauty items, so I don't want petroleum type of products in my home. I'm sure it may work for some folks, but for me, this is a no go. 


*All items were given to me complimentary, but opinions are honestly how I felt about the materials.*

And that's it for now! What good books have you read this Winter? Comment below!
Scrumptious Winter Goodies

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Hiya! I'm thrilled to get back to blogging and I have so much to share with y'all! First thing is first, actually, on the 11th of January, it's not the first thing, but you don't mind, do ya?

For the last 3 years, I've picked a word of the year. 2014 was "Relax", 2015 was "Simplify Everything" and this year's word is.... drum roll, please.....



Great word, right? Now, what overwhelmed me in previous years was how do I work on the word all year? A whole year seemed gigantic and hard to keep that word in mind.

So, this is what we're going to do. I brainstormed with the Mr., and we came up with 12 ways we need to work on "Thriving." We've chosen a subcategory to work on for each month, and ways to do that. 

Take this month- our subcategory is "Health".

  So this is how we're going to "Thrive" in health:

1. Clean up our diet.
2. Be ACTIVE!
3. Get rid of chemicals.

1. Is easy enough, get rid of the processed, junk, and try to get rid of as much sugar as we can. But, my sweet tooth needs it something fierce. I'm trying to find ways to substitute processed sugar for more natural sugar and recipes to trick that dang sweet tooth. If you have any recipes or ideas, comment below!

A photo posted by @theartsycajun on

2. We or I should say I, have a lot of things against me for being active all the time. Endometriosis, Fibromyalgia, limited space in the house, and I live in the Arctic 6 MONTHS out of the year! Disclaimer: it may not really be 6 months out of the year, but man, it's hard when you've never really had a true Winter in your life! SO, we will do our best to "Thrive" in Winter, and do exercises in the space we have, try to walk as much as possible, take advantage of the gym, force myself to do yoga more, even when my muscles are screaming at me, and just try to motivate each other more. 

3. I've been working on this for a couple of years now, slowly changing out our shampoos, body washes, face products and all that jazz, from chemical ridden to more natural ones. And I've recently found Thrive Market to be an online store with everything you can imagine, but discounted! Cha-Ching! 



Now, this is how it's going to work, at the end of the month, I'll do a little recap on how we've done in our subcategory goals, and introduce the next month's subcategory & goals! I hope you join in with us and if you do, remember to link back here! You can put your blog post link in the comments for others to find you. If there is enough interest, I will do a link up.

Remember to follow me on Instagram to keep up with us in between the blog posts.  

What's your word of the year or New Year's resolutions? Comment below! 







My word of the year is...

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I pinky promise I will get back to regular posting soon, but I just had to share this song with you! I've always liked it, but this version just is so pure and beautiful. I hope you enjoy!


Be right back...

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Isaiah 9:6-0
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, EverlastingFather, Prince of Peace. 

7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

Hallelujah! 

 From our home to yours, Merry Christmas! 
He is the reason for the season

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I've been absent from this space, and that's so rude of me! Hopefully, y'all are busy with tons of family holiday activities just like I am!

So, you'll see less of me on this blog until the beginning of the year when things settle down, but I just had to share what I'm reading lately!

From Blogging For Books- The Chili Cookbook by Robb Walsh

This book is amazing! I love making chili, but during the cold Midwest Winters, the same chili recipe can get boring. This book will be in my kitchen arsenal forever! Recipes are simple, ingredients are found anywhere, and the photos make your mouth water just looking at them! Robb Walsh created the ultimate chili cookbook and the only one you will ever need. Perfect for yourself, or for the guy who is impossible to buy for! 

From Tyndale- Lay It Down by Bill Tell


Bill Tell explains beautifully God's complete love for us in his book, Lay It Down.  By writing about his own spiritual burnout, it makes the reader look at their own life and shows you that you don't have to go-go-go, be the best Christian who's into the most activities and have a non-stop spiritual life. God won't love you any less. And the good news is you can't earn your spot in heaven! Mr. Tell goes in depth to show you this. A great read for new and old Christians who might be on their way to spiritual burnout. 


From Book Look Bloggers- Case For Hope by Lee Strobel


Lee Strobel is truly inspiring in this book! If you've never read one of his books before, now is the time, and I suggest to start with this one.  He is great for the analytical mind who wants proof and backup for all points being made. This isn't just his ideas or thoughts, he gives scriptural examples as well as other resources so you can do your own research and come up with your own opinions. Excellent author and I can't wait to read his next book! 



From Cross Focused Reviews A Lost God in a Lost World by Melvin Tinker












This book was a good read. Although, I think you have to be in a certain position in your life for it really to hit home. It focuses on how idolatry can separate you and God, and how in today's society, we've downgraded God from his true, exalted place. 

And that's it... for now! Stay tuned about once a month for what I'm reading.  What's your favorite books this Winter? Comment below!

*I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.*
 
Winter Words

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