Baby Update + Adoption Update

I had a hard time titling this post.  I really wanted to say “How God has supernaturally provided everything we have needed and more, plus how we are preparing for baby and an adoption update”.  But that seemed a bit too long. ;)

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I am now 30 weeks pregnant with a bouncing baby girl.  So far everything is going well, my thyroid numbers are looking great, and I’m feeling pretty darn good. The busy season of youth ministry is nearly upon us, so I have been doing things for months to prepare for baby since I knew the last two months would be a wash.

God Provides

As soon as the reality set in that we really are going to have a baby, I started to freak out just a little.  I had sold all of our baby stuff when I thought that we could no longer get pregnant.  I figured it was going to take a long time for us to raise the money to adopt, and our house is just too small to store things that we aren’t using.  Now all of a sudden we need baby stuff!

I have to say that God has truly and abundantly provided for this little girl in so many ways.  We have been given beautiful hand-me-down clothes (and lovingly hand-sewn clothes and new clothes!), we’ve been given cloth diapers, and I was given so many hand-me-down receiving blankets that I will be able to make plenty of cloth wipes to go along with the diapers (Note to self: get on that!)

One particular thing that I was really concerned about was the crib mattress.  I knew that I wanted a non-toxic option, but they were all way out of our price range.  I even researched making my own crib mattress, but it was still going to be too expensive.  I was praying that the Lord would either give me a peace of mind about buying a typical crib mattress, or somehow provide for us. Then, out of nowhere, a family from our church called us up.  They had bought a trailer, and inside the trailer was a brand new – still in the packaging – all-natural, non-toxic crib mattress.  I kid you not. They GAVE it to us.

I know that God says He will provide for our needs, but I felt so ridiculously spoiled that He provided this mattress for our little girl.  He truly knows how to give good gifts.

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I bought this dresser for ridiculously cheap on Craigslist. It was a shiny brown and broken in several areas. I fixed it up and painted it, and now it’s a beautiful addition to our nursery. Just another example of how God has provided so graciously for this little girl!

 

Our To-Do List

Now here we are, 10 weeks out, and there isn’t much left to do.  I still need to make the cloth wipes and give the cloth diapers a couple of good washes.

I decided not to worry about freezer meals because a) it’s way too hot here in July/August to be baking stuff in the oven, b) our church does a 2 week meal train for people when they have babies, so I’m not really worried about it, and c) there’s just not extra room in the grocery budget to be making extra meals.  Ideally I would have some quick real-food breakfast items and such frozen, but at this point in time it’s just not going to happen.

I need to finish some bookshelves I’m building in the nursery and I really want to make a big piece of DIY wall art to go above the dresser.  There’s a few random things I would like to buy – but they are all wants and not needs.

Oh and we need to buy a mini-van.  I guess that’s a need.  If things had gone according to OUR plans, we would have one already.  But tax season threw us for a loop when it was discovered I filled out a tax form wrong and we ended up having no money withheld throughout the year and had to pay taxes instead of receiving a refund.  The refund was going to be the last bit of money we needed for the car, but now we don’t have that, plus we had to pay a pretty 4-figure amount which has set us back big time.  The old us probably would have justified still purchasing a used van and just making payments, but we are determined to do this debt-free.  If the Lord can provide the perfect crib mattress for our baby, I’m sure he will provide a perfect vehicle for us too (and the money to purchase it).   Someone close to us recently joked, maybe someone will GIVE you a van too.  We laughed because, honestly, nothing would surprise us anymore. It will be fun to see how God provides for this need.

 

I’m truly just enjoying this time of feeling baby kicks and hiccups and enjoying these last weeks with just the boys.  We are about to hit the road running with all kinds of youth ministry related events, VBS, and other summer activities and I know I am going to blink and it will be time to go to the hospital.

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A profile of our sweet baby girl. I’m not wild about all of the sonograms I have had, but it’s also fun to see those little features. I could just kiss that nose!

 

Which brings me to the point that although my heart truly wanted a home birth, financially a hospital birth was going to be significantly cheaper for us, so we decided to take that route.  My doctor knows that I am a “minimal-interventionist” kind of gal and she is trying really hard to be OK with that. :)

Adoption Update

As far as our adoption goes, as soon as the adoption agency discovered I was pregnant, they very kindly asked that we wait until the baby is 9 months old before pursuing the adoption.  We will be allowed to start the home study process when she is 7 months old.  While I was disappointed to put off the home study, I completely understand the reasoning behind it and, to be honest, we wouldn’t even pass the home study right now without a car that can fit four car seats.  So yeah.

God provides and His timing is better than our timing.

This seems to be the lesson we are learning in this stage of life.

Praise the Lord!

Real Food Taco Salad

Make this delicious real food taco salad recipe!

This real food taco salad recipe is full of all the goodness of taco salad without the preservatives and chemicals found in store-bought taco seasoning and dressings.

When I shared my homemade, real food French dressing recipe, I confessed that I don’t even like French dressing.  However, I do eat it and love it in my homemade, real food taco salad.

This recipe is so versatile and healthy.  Customize it to your family’s preferences and enjoy!

Note:  The recipe calls for a pound of ground beef.  One of the ways our family saves money is by using 1/2 a pound of meat in recipes that call for a whole pound of meat.   When I make this recipe, I brown and season a pound of ground beef, then set aside half of the meat for a future meal.  Your family won’t even notice that there isn’t much meat in the salad and you will stretch those valuable food-budget dollars.

Another Note: If you plan on having this as leftovers, don’t stir the chips and avocado into the mixture, just add them on top of each serving.  The chips will get soggy and the avocado may brown if you try to mix them into the whole recipe and then save it for another day. This real food taco salad recipe is full of all the goodness of taco salad without the preservatives and chemicals found in store-bought taco seasoning and dressings.

Link for the homemade, real food French dressing: http://simplelifeabundantlife.com/2015/05/06/homemade-real-food-french-dressing/

Real Food Taco Salad

Real Food Taco Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 TB chili powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp unrefined sea salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 small head romaine lettuce chopped
  • 2 cups black beans
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (we like sharp)
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes (I usually just quarter a bunch of cherry tomatoes)
  • ½ cup chopped olives
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 avocado peeled and cubed
  • (optional) 1 small bag of organic corn chips crushed (we use Trader Joe's corn dippers)
  • 1.5 - 2 cups of homemade french dressing (see recipe linked above)
Instructions
  1. Brown the ground beef. When it is almost brown, add the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined.
  2. Add the water to the skillet and stir, continue to simmer the meat and spices until most of the water has evaporated. You now have your taco meat. If you want, set aside half for a future meal.
  3. Toss together the lettuce, meat, beans, cheese, tomatoes, bell pepper, and olives. If you are planning to have leftovers, don't stir in the avocado and chips - just leave them on the side. If you plan on the whole meal getting eaten up in one sitting, then go ahead and throw it all in there.
  4. Stir in the homemade French dressing until everything is well combined.
  5. Enjoy!

 What mix-ins do you enjoy in taco salad?