Feb 28, 2011

Marriage Monday....Love Languages!

This is one of the best books you can read as a married couple. It really can tell you exactly how to show your love for your spouse!
My love language is "quality time". Now, do I love gifts? YES! Do I love for my husband to tell me I am beautiful? YES! Do I like him to do the laundry? YES! But, most of all, I just want to spend quality time with him....sometimes just him and sometimes all of us as a family.
Here is the books definition of quality time.....

Quality Time
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there–with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby–makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.

Find out what you are by taking the quiz to the right------->

Be sure not to ignore the other love languages to that your husband may do to show you he loves you. Like my husband loves to buy me stuff and surprise me. To him that is how he shows me he loves me. He does good at the quality time thing to but honestly that took some time and hard lessons. He works a lot and it took some time for him to learn that work will still be there tomorrow...that he needs to put his family first. We also learned that after God we have to put each other first. It's not always easy but we do and our children will be better for it!

My husband's love language is "words of affirmation" and I think a close runner up is "acts of service". He loves to be praised for the things he does! (he wouldn't admit it but he does!) Most me like to be told how great they are at whatever they do...rather it be work, being a husband or being a father! My husband also likes me to wait on him....like fix his plate at supper or pack his clothes when he goes on a trip. Just things like that! Honestly, I like doing it too! I am a stay at home mom so really that is part of my job.

I hope you will take the test and find out what your love language is and have your spouse do the same! It makes things somewhat easier when you are speaking each others language.

Flashback photo.....this was in 2000.... Wow...seems like forever ago!!!

Taylor was about 4 here and still an only child!

Feb 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday!

Today I am thankful for so many things!

I am thankful for my husband and how hard he works to provide for us. That can't be easy to feed and clothe 5 people and himself. Sometimes I don't really realize the load he carries.

I am thankful for our parents that are always there to help us with our kids when we need it.

I am so thankful for two women that both live in different countries that made such a huge decision and because of that I am the mother to three boys!

I am thankful for the good decisions my oldest son has made lately and the little lessons that he has learned.

I am thankful that I don't miss one thing in my little girl's new life....she is 18 months old and I haven't missed anything!

I am thankful for my marriage and for the restoration and growing God continues to do with us!

I am thankful for dinners together at our new dining room table and the funny stories the boys tell....especially Jesse.

I am thankful that my boys will pray out loud before we eat.

I am thankful for such an amazing church with two amazing preachers that speak straight to me each Sunday!

I am thankful to this blog because I have met many blogger friends through here that I love keeping up with!

I am thankful that I serve a mighty God!

Feb 21, 2011

Marriage Monday......"Time Together"

I think it's very important to find something that the two of you like to do together. Something without your kids! When we were first married we didn't have the money to go out to eat or do anything that cost money so we loved to just get in the car and "ride around". We would go to Sonic and get a drink and then just ride around and dream about where we would one day build our dream house! We did lots of dreaming then.

Of course kids came along...one after the other and we kind of forgot how to be "Marc and Lesley" and just became "Mom and Dad".

This was us right after I had Taylor....WOW!!! We have aged A LOT!

We later....much later....learned the hard way that you must take time for each other. We started having regular date nights and you can't believe how much it helped our relationship! We realized that we are still that "Marc and Lesley the couple" and not just "Mom and Dad".

This was just two kids later.....we aged a little in this picture! This was one of the first times we left our kids with a babysitter and not grandparents. They survived! And we had a great time!!

BUT...the best thing we do together is riding motorcycles! I LOVE IT! Marc bought a Harley and before I got pregnant with Emily we would ride a lot...sometimes with other people and sometimes by ourselves. We haven't gotten to do that a lot since Emily's been born but I plan on changing that this spring!

This was a great day....we went to eat and just spent the day together riding the motorcycle!

We also like to travel together and with our friends. I used to never leave my kids for long periods of time like that but I soon learned that they were well taken care of and that we needed that time away! We have some great memories and I look forward to seeing more places with my hubby!

I hope you find that thing you like to do with your mate!!!

Feb 17, 2011

What I miss.....and some good news!

We got word on Tuesday that we (our dossier) are officially in IBESR and actually got a case number! The papers Dr. B are holding in this picture is our entire dossier! It has every single thing about us in it....

For those that don't know what IBESR is here is the definition....

IBESR- This won't help much unless you speak French but what IBESR stands for is "Institut du BienEtre Social et de Recherches".
Its french for the the equivalent of the department of family and children's services, and are responsible for approving each international adoption and ensuring that the adoptive family meets criteria, that the child is eligible for adoption, and that the adoption itself is legitimate, according to Haiti's adoption legislation of 1974.
PRAY we are out quickly! This is the longest step but there have been cases where people are in and out very quickly! That is our prayer!

Now on to what I miss....most of all just Vensly himself but here are some other things.....

I miss CHEERIOS! I miss giving him numerous cheerios and him eating them like they are the best thing in the world! I miss the mess he made with them.....

I miss seeing these two little cars in his hands at all times....I miss seeing how happy two very old match box cars made his day!

I miss how when you hold him he immediately rests his head on your shoulder.....

I miss how he would light up when Marc would come in after being out all day even though he had only known his daddy a few short days! I miss how they would play and V would laugh so hard....I miss that sound of his voice. I can still hear it today if I sit quiet enough to listen.....
I miss bathing him and getting his jammies on and snuggling him before rocking him to sleep.....

I miss watching him sleep so soundly!

I miss those eyes, that face, those coos and sounds that he makes. I miss him! I pray that he has a peace in his heart knowing that we are coming back soon!

Feb 14, 2011

Marriage Monday and a Winner!!!

The winner of the Love for a Lifetime book is.....

True Random Number Generator

Min: 1
Max: 8
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The Coffey Family! (Kazen and Tina actually go to my church! Congrats girlie....you will love the book!)

Now on to Marriage Monday on this beautiful valentines day!

I saw this phrase one day while searching through marriage blogs and thought to myself how true it is....

Make graciousness a habit.

I thought that was a really good statement.....

Compliment him on the things that you know matter to him...encourage him often...
give soft touches throughout the day...kiss him often...be patient even when it's not always easy to be patient...choose your words carefully....and make your home a sanctuary for him to come home to each day....make it a soft place to land after a hard day at work (that can be really challenging when you have children but he will know if you just try!)
Remember, God made you to be a fair and gentle lady!

Here are some other things I read that I thought were really good....I added my own thoughts too!

1. Choose to trust his decisions.
(Your husband is the head of the household....he should be the spiritual leader and he should be the ultimate decision maker. We have a pact that if we don't both have peace about something then we don't do it. But on little things or things that we have to make a decision and a lot of parenting decisions are up to him. That is Biblical.)

2. Trust the Holy Spirit. God is a better negotiator than we could ever hope to become.
As wives, we must learn the delicate balance between our incredible influence
and our sinful desire to manipulate and coerce our husband’s actions. (I agreed with all of this....couldn't have said anything better.)

3. Learn when to remain silent.
Remember, tame your tongue. Galatians 5:15 says,
“Watch out if you continually pick at one another you may end up devouring one another.” (Totally agree with this one....I have learned when I get angry that I will pray about it before I talk to him otherwise I just jump down his throat and it never ends well. I am a total believer in you have to pick your battles!)

Let me end by saying that we are still learning too....that is why I continue to study what makes a good marriage. We are only human and have our weak moments!

My husband said something not to long ago that stuck with me as we were talking about the book "Every Women's Battle" that I was reading. In the book it talks about how we as wives are constantly comparing our husband's to other husbands that we "think" are perfect. I know I can do that sometimes....I have tried harder not to but I know sometimes I still do. He said he knew who's husband I would want him to be more like (btw...his wife reads my blog and I told her so it's no secret! LOL!) and he said that he tries to take little things from him or other men that he sees as good husbands and learns from them! I thought that was really good! Boy have we come a long way.....but I love learning more! I hope you do too!!!

Feb 13, 2011

Dont forget the Giveaway tomorrow!

I have gotten many new followers but only five comments so PLEASE leave a comment to win!
Click HERE to read about what you could win. I promise you will LOVE this book!

Remeber this book is for anyone....whether you marriage is perfect or on the rocks...it's just about God's design for what marriage should be!

Feb 10, 2011

Happy 18 month Birthday Emily Grace!

(Don't forget to enter my giveaway in the post below!)

I got Emily all dressed in her new dress and white lace leggings and she looked like a doll! I was going to do her pictures so she was playing QUIETLY while I got my camera ready. When I found her she has colored her whole self and her new white leggings with RED sharpie!!! YES SHARPIE!!!! So, I will just add some of my favorites! I will try again with new pictures this weekend.
These are in order backwards and I only picked a few because I have a ton of pictures of her. She is just to stinkin' cute not to photograph all the time!

Emily...I can't believe that it was a year and a half ago that I gave birth to you. That is just crazy. I get sad every month around this time as time is just going by way to fast!
Your new favorite word is YES! We can ask you anything and you will say with a big smile and a lot of enthusiasm "YES"!
You watch Toy Story OVER AND OVER!! You love Woody and have a little woody figurine that you carry around. You also love to say "What's that?" It is so cute!
Sometime you will just sit with your arms crossed and talk to us like you are a grown up and of course we don't know anything you are saying! :) I love it!
Each morning when I get you up and out of your bed you crawl over to daddy and lay your head on his and say "Hi Daddy"....I know you melt his heart every morning. Your hair is getting so long....we can almost do a ponytail. You weigh 27lbs and are 33 inches long. You love to dance! You grab our hands and hum a sweet little tune and make us all dance with you. So sweet!
I pray over you everyday sweet girl. I pray for your health, your safety, your future friends and teachers and I pray for His will over your life! I want nothing but the best for you and I love you all the way to the moon and back. Maybe even more!

Feb 9, 2011

My First Giveaway!

I am going to do my first giveaway and on Monday, which will be the second Marriage Monday of my blog and Valentines day, I will use random.org to pick the winner. You may have a REALLY good chance of winning as I don't have a lot of followers or commentors and that is what you have to do to win! (time for lurkers to come out of hiding!)

Here are the rules....(I will get to the giveaway LAST!)

Follow my blog and comment telling me you became a follower and that will get you one entry......
(If you already are leave a comment and tell me you are!)

Spread the word...either on your blog, facebook, email or twitter and comment AGAIN telling me you did! That will get you another entry......

Email me at mestes1@gmail.com if you need help becoming a follower!

NOW on to what you can win.....
This is the first book that I ever read to help me have a better marriage. I got it as a wedding gift and LOVED it. I actually let someone borrow mine and I never got it back so I decided to order another one so I thought I would like to share it with someone else. I pray it touches that someone in a mighty way. It's a great book....whether you have a great marriage or one that is rocky....whether you are about to get married or want to one day or have been married a long time!
It's by one of my favorite people....Dr. James Dobson and it's called....Love For a Lifetime...builing a marriage that will go the distance.

It's not a long book but has some really good stuff in it...I know you would all love it! After you finish reading the book it makes a great coffee table book to!

Good Luck!

Feb 7, 2011

Marriage Monday.....

I saw this on another blog and thought it might be fun to start this! While I am far from an expert on marriage I have learned WHOLE LOT in my 17 years of being married. It is a known fact around my church and with my friends that we have had our share of problems in our marriage and even contemplated the "D" word at one point. I am not going to say the word because one thing I have learned is that is a word that should not even exist in your marriage vocabulary! Never say it, never think it and definitely never do it! (of course some circumstances are different, like if you are being physically abused and some other cases....if that is you please get help now!)
I do believe strongly that couples give up way to easy and even divorce over petty things. No one ever said marriage was going to be a cake walk your whole married life!
I have been asked a few times over the last few months how we made it through our struggles and how we made our marriage stronger. Short answer....LOTS of HARD work and lots of prayer!
We got married way to young and while I like to tease our parents and say "WHY did you let us get married that young???" They really didn't have a choice....we were in love and we were getting married whether they wanted us to or not! I do believe that God brought us together....there are just to many things about our family and our marriage to not know that God had and still has a plan for us. I actually think that we are starting to really live that plan and I am excited to see what the future has to hold.

To get back to how we made it through.....

The biggest sacrifice was that we decided to work it out even though both of us were hurt, sad, scared and felt like we didn't have a marriage. But even with those feeling we still knew we were supposed to try.

We made a LOT of changes. We distanced ourselves from some friends and certain situations that weren't good for us. We learned we can't listen to "the world" but have to listen to Him. Don't listen to the people that say "you deserve to be happy...if that means leaving then you need to leave"....that was not God's plan for marriage. Remember the for "better or for worse" part? We don't like the worse part as it makes us uncomfortable! BUT...we really did stand in front of God and said both words!

I stayed in the word, as my preacher called it. Meaning I read my Bible a LOT! I pray constantly through the day and even through the night. I say I because I believe at that time my husband ran from God, which caused an even bigger spiritual battle between God and Satan in his mind. But I remember thinking that if he's not going to walk with God then I will do it for the both of us.

We actually moved...not that our house had anything to do with our marriage but it was a fresh start to our new marriage and life!

Most importantly we made a commitment to commit to and not miss church. (now sometimes you have to miss but not very often!) We got involved in a small group and we surrounded ourselves with people that if we were to fall apart again then they would be warriors for us and our marriage.
(Let me clarify by saying we had people that prayed and worried about us then just not as many as we have now!)

We continue to educate ourselves about how to strengthen our marriage and I still pray for restoration in my marriage all the time! It may be good but it can always be better!
I am very excited about where our marriage could go one day....the couple that prays together...stays together!

Besides my own parents divorce my marriage falling apart was the hardest thing I have ever gone through but I would do it all over again to get to have the marriage I have now.

Do I still have weak moments? Of course! Do we drive each other crazy at times? YES....well I don't know what I could do to drive him crazy though!! LOL!

I like this Marriage Monday thing....I already have ideas for next week! Please come back and spread the word!

Feb 4, 2011

Question and Answers......Part Two

How did you get into photography?

I had never been into photography when I was younger but after I had Taylor I was always wanting to have his picture made and we were poor! Photography then was not cheap...still isn't sometimes! I usually knew exactly what I wanted and it wasn't your typical Sears pictures so the photographers that did what I liked were so expensive. I soon started thinking that I could do it myself and I took a few classes and Marc bought me my first camera and the rest is history!

What kind of camera do you use?

I use a canon Rebel most of the time when I am just taking pictures of my kids on a daily basis. I don't have any fancy lenses or flashes....just the camera and the lens that came with it. When I take pictures that are going to be framed or when I take pictures of other people I use a Canon 50D. Again, I just use the lens that came with it, which happens to be a really good one. Marc bought it for me two years ago and while I didn't think I really needed it at the time....I LOVE IT! The pictures are amazing!

Will you always be a homemaker even when your kids are all in school?

I am not sure. I would love to own my own shop one day! I already know exactly what it would have in it and what it would be named but I also know it would be expensive to start. I pray about this often and only God knows what I will do once I have more free time. I do know that I was made to be a stay at home mom and a homemaker to my husband. There is no other job in the world I would want right now.

When will Vensly be home? Why does it take so long? Is there anything anybody can do to get him home faster?

We don't know when he will be home. We are praying that it will be soon! I wish we had a timeline but we just don't. I really don't know why it takes so long. I just assume that they get around to processing the dossiers when they want to. Meaning they can sit on a desk for week or even months. Some people have gotten in and out of a step called IBESR in 5 months and some are in right now and have been in for a year! The only thing you guys can do for V and the other babies and children is PRAY! PRAY PRAY PRAY!

This is a comment I get a lot but just got again recently and I can't help but chuckle.....
Lesley...you are the strongest women I know!

While that is one of the biggest compliments I could ever get I sometimes feel it is so untrue! I don't feel strong.....I can be so insecure in something but really secure in others. I feel like I need to be stronger in my faith.
I felt so "not strong" the day I left V at the creche to come home to my blessing filled life of material things and comfort. I cried so much that day and still do when I think of him being there and me being here. I want him home so bad it hurts.
Strong is my friend whose baby girl had problems eating and having seizures and she didn't stop until she found out what was wrong when the doctors really couldn't. She didn't go anywhere without her so she could help her if needed. She put her whole life on hold for that sweet girl....and she is one of the ones that called me strong! No friend, you are the strong one!
Strong is someone like my other sweet friend that one year ago this week lost her precious little girl to a horrible disease but she still continues to pray for ME and to comfort those that need it. She and her husband are what I call strong!

Feb 3, 2011

Question and Answers......Part One

I found a new blog today that I have so enjoyed reading and she has a section with questions that people have asked her and her answers. Pretty neat and what a great way to get to know her when you are new to the blog. She has a ton of followers so I am sure she gets tons of questions a day and while I don't get that many I do get some. So I will take that time today to answer some that I have gotten....they are totally random...from decorating to my marriage to my family and the most are about adoption!
I will answer a few today and continue the next couple of days.....

Anyone that knows me knows that I love to decorate my house and am constantly redoing my kids rooms. I am asked a lot where I buy things for my house.

I buy most things for my house at Hobby Lobby. I never buy anything there unless it's on sale. If something isn't on sale this week most likely it will be next week. I love Marshall's and Ross and occasionally TJ Maxx. I also go to Goodwill and redo and paint stuff from there. I love browsing the dollar stores too. I get most of my ideas from blogs and magazines!

Where do you buy Emily's clothes?

Everywhere! My mom buys a LOT of them. My aunt has a shop in the hill country that sells baby clothes and she also sews like no ones business!!! My mom is also learning to sew. I love Target and even Wal-Mart has cute things for little girls. I love anything smocked and am very blessed that Emily was handed down about 30 handmade smocked dresses from my aunt. I have learned that you don't have to spend a lot of money to dress girls cute!

What does your husband do? Is he a policeman?

I get this one all the time....I think someone just asked me this question this week on Facebook.
Yes, Marc is a licensed police officer but does not do it full time....He reserves (does not get paid) for the City of Galena Park. He works at the police department several times a month working a patrol shift. Being a reserve officer is Marc's way of "giving back to the community" for having been blessed in his profession.

Marc's "real" job, the one that pays him, is with Texas Steam, an industrial engineering and equipment company in which he is Executive Vice President. He actually holds this title for three companies across the gulf coast that are under one umbrella but he offices out of the Texas office. He is the hardest working man I know! He literally started out in a warehouse of another company sweeping and doing grunt work when he was 19 (we had been married for 3 months at that time)and then worked his way into outside sales and quickly became their number 1 salesman. Soon after he was offered a job with the company he works for now. One year into that job he was running the company and now, 8 years later and late nights at school, he is Vice President. To say I am proud of him would be an understatement. He is the smartest person in the world to me and I am amazed at him all the time.

Why were you guys not able to have more biological children? How did you get pregnant with Taylor?

I know a lot of people don't like to really discuss their infertility as it is really personal but we have never been embarrassed or reluctant to talk about it. In our situation Marc is the one that was infertile, and I say WAS because we have Emily now. We don't know why or what caused it but we suspect it could have been when he had Mono and got REALLY sick soon after we had Taylor but aren't for sure. Lots of things can cause men to be infertile. We never felt led to find out.
The doctor says that if Marc was that way when we were trying to get pregnant with Taylor then he has no idea how we got pregnant with him. We do though.....
PRAYER! Marc's parents had lost a son a year before we got married and were still so raw from all of that while we were trying to get pregnant. We immediately started trying to get pregnant after we got married. We tried for 8 months and a month before I found out I was pregnant his parents and us went to San Antonio for the weekend and went into this beautiful church, lit a candle and the four of us prayed for us to have a baby. A month later his mother got a magazine in the mail that had a blond hair blue eyed little boy on the front and she said the Lord told her I was pregnant and what do you know??? I WAS! We soon welcomed a blond hair blue eyed baby boy named Brian "Taylor" and he was born three days before his Uncle Brian's birthday and one day before mine. (Uncle Brian was Marc's brother that passed away!) To say this baby boy and now teenager was and still is rotten is an understatement! I do know he was a gift of healing for Marc's family and a gift of joy for mine!

Feb 2, 2011

Short term goals for my house and something I created last night.....

I have always loved the subway art pictures and the family rules pictures that I see but just can't seem to do either one myself so I thought of this last night and think it turned out pretty neat! I am going to have it printed tomorrow!

I am giving myself a month to get these things done....

We are finally moving Emily's crib out of our room and in to her own room! I don't want Vensly to come home and her feel like we just kicked her out so he could move in. He has to sleep close to us for at least 6 months to a year so he can adjust and know that we are always there. He doesn't need to wake up in a room by himself and think we left!
I will be looking for bedding for him soon to!

I want to paint this tree in Emily's room....the top picture is in Pottery Barn kids and the tree mural sales for $169 and the bottom one shown is off Etsy and it sells for $100. I am not an artist but how hard could it really be? I am going to attempt it sometime in the next week!

I have organzied my pantry already but I want some containers like these to REALLY get it all organized and help it stay that way! These are from Crate and Barrel and are $99 for the set....now I am to cheap to pay that for plastic containers so I am going to try to find them cheaper somewhere. I will let you know what I find!

I am also going to work on the gameroom....I have been talking about that for a year now! I got rid of the couch so as soon as they pick it up I can get started. I have so many ideas so I just need to narrow it down. Here are a few ideas I have.....