Thursday, December 18, 2014

From our home computer to yours...

My intentions were good this year. Pictures were made, I spent a good amount time designing and I was going to send out Christmas cards, gosh darnit. But, alas, the flus have won. I am defeated. So, my good people, I am sad to announce that this is the only Christmas card you will be receiving from the Grizzle household this year. The good news: you cannot contact said flus from this version. Merry Christmas from our computer to yours!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Grizzle Christmas Fun List

Our Elves

Some years I am so exhausted and overwhelmed at the very thought of Christmas (mainly the year I was pregnant). But this year, I have so many big plans and I can't wait to put them all into action. In case you are in a slump and want to piggy back my burst of Christmas Spirit here are some ideas. Feel free to copy!

Last year we got an elf. Asher was very specific about the color of the shoes and hair on said elf so my job of finding just the right one got a little interesting. I found these on Amazon and thought that they weren't nearly as creepy as were cuter than some of the other versions. Since I knew we would be asking Santa to send us a girl elf eventually anyway, I went a head and snagged the pair. They are quite a bit larger than the Elf on the Shelf, so be aware of the dimensions if you decide to order these for your kiddos.

With Asher's help and specifics, we wrote Santa a letter and asked him if he would send us an elf.

Keyes arrived on our doorstep with a small gift and letter from Santa that introduced us to our new friend and explained the reason he was making a visit to our family.

This year Asher had a lot more input on our letter and, of course, requested a girl elf for his sister.

So, Keyes will be bringing Piper along for the fun as well. I tweaked the letter above to introduce her and reiterate the reason for the elves' visit.

Keyes & Piper will arrive on December 1 bearing gifts of Christmas pajamas and an Advent Calendar.

They will be welcomed with another party. I'll share details and photos after the celebration has commenced.

I am going to try to share the shenanigans of our elves (they don't really cause trouble as much as have fun and share suggestions for holiday activities) as well as the Advent treats/games.

Monday, November 10, 2014

World Adoption Day

Yesterday was World Adoption Day. We were traveling home from South Carolina so I am a little late to post anything.

I have been waiting for the right time to share Baby B's story with you and I think today is it. It is a big story that is covered in God's grace and provision. Let's start with the beginning.
This is an excerpt from an email that was sent to us by "B's" foster Mom. Some details have been omitted for the sake of privacy.

I really wanted to share the story of how "B" came home with me so that you can rejoice with me at the miracle of this moment!  No one, myself included, thought he would survive.  So to now have the possibility of him being with an amazing forever family.... the joy is beyond words.  It is a miracle only God could design.  Hopefully as you and Ben read this email a few questions will be answered.

I’ve been living in China for 4 years now and during that time I’ve been able to volunteer at a local orphanage twice a month.  In June last year (his Chinese name) was brought to the orphanage and had an obvious heart problem and serious breathing issues.  The first moment I met him I fell in love and couldn't put him down.  After that first meeting I cried the entire way home.  I started pleading with God for a family to foster and adopt him.  At that time surgery was being planned to correct the heart issues so I thought that he would be snatched up sooner than later by a foster family.  In September I had a trip to the States that kept me from seeing him for over a month.  During that month the surgery was taken off the table by various circumstances.  Without this surgery, the doctor was very clear, he would die.   After hearing this news my heart broke.  This little guy would die at a much faster rate in the orphanage, and he would do so without knowing love. I had been praying about what my role in his life should look like and my heart began to stir.  I knew I was being called to fight for his life.  I didn’t know how that fight would end, but I knew someone needed to be his voice!  After praying and talking with a lot of people here and back home, everyone confirmed the same thing; asking to be his foster mom.  The problem was that the orphanage would NOT release a dying child into foster care- and on top of that, to a single, American woman. The first time I saw him at the orphanage after my trip, I was heartbroken at his deterioration after one month.  I barley recognized him.  His breathing was worse, and he was starting to show signs of heart failure. He needed out of an institution setting.  I knew it was a long shot but felt like it was a part of the fight; I needed to at least ask if I could have him.  If it was God’s will (I know it is consistent with His love and character) He would have to move a mountain!  B's advocate and I prayed that the hearts of the people making the decisions would be softened and they would be willing to place "B" with me as hospice care.  I just wanted to make sure he knew love this side of heaven, before meeting Jesus.  No matter what people had done to him through rejection and abandonment, God was going to speak blessings over him and through his life story to other people. I was shocked when they said yes!  We all were. 

The first three months were so hard.  Being a first time mom and caring for a very sick baby stretched me in ways that I still have a hard time articulating.  I could only depend on God.  Every morning was a new gift and reason to rejoice.  Every night I would thank God for another day with "B" and ask for one more.  I knew God would heal him, but I knew that possibility also included him being made whole again in the arms of Jesus.  Even though he was 6 months old I had to care for him as though he was a newborn.  Through friends of mine I was connected with neonatal cardiac surgeon as well as a neonatal cardiac and pulmonary specialist here.  Both doctors fell in love with "B" and were willing to help me fight to extend his life.  Dr. S was extremely helpful in getting him on the proper heart medications.  The bigger problem was the severity of the pulmonary hypertension.  His lungs were so weak that he couldn't cough or even laugh.  She was very clear that if "B" got sick it would be fatal if it affected his already weak lungs.  I kept him quarantined as much as possible, limiting his exposure to people and new environments.  It worked though!  He got stronger, started gaining weight, and even though his energy was low, he started hitting milestones!  In January the vice-director of the orphanage did a home visit and she was shocked at his progress.  She saw that he was getting stronger and finally had the health to survive the surgery!  On Sunday February 16th we received approval for surgery!  I contacted the surgeon, he cleared his schedule, we started pre-op on the February 18th and "B" went in to surgery on the 21st!  He was in the PICU for 10 days and then sent home for the rest of post-op (how Chinese hospitals operate is a story for another email).  One month later we went back in for the final post op exam and Dr. S was all smiles… so was "B"!  April 2nd "B" received the all clear, was taken off of all medication and the healing that God promised was realized! 

Since then he has changed so much!!  He is a ball of energy, loves to smile and HE CAN LAUGH!!!  And he loves to laugh.  He is a little daredevil too -if Asher gets the bunk bed he wants… you will have your hands full ;).   He loves being in the middle of the action, and squeals with delight often.  Our favorite ni-night song is Man of Sorrows by Hillsong United.  I had to stay overnight in the hospital with him the night before the surgery (there isn’t nurse care here like in the states).  As you can imagine neither of us slept but I walked the halls patting his back singing that song.  It will forever be an anthem of the power of the Resurrection Life for "B" and me.  A few weeks ago we had an event with the orphanage.  It was the first time most of the workers saw him since I brought him home.  No one could believe it was the same child!  He flirted his way in to all of their hearts!  ;) 

That is just a snap shot of the past year of "B's" life.  I know the journey in front of your family is also going to take a lot of prayer so I am lifting you all up.  Please let me know what I can be praying for.  


"M" shared this with us month's ago and God used it to answer a prayer that we had literally cried out a couple of nights prior to receiving this email. There were very specific "neon signs" inside this story. I have read these words more times than I can count and every time I love it more. 

I hope that you read this story and your heart is overwhelmed. Our God loves orphans. He is passionate about His people doing whatever it takes to care for them. If we had a dollar for every time someone told us "Y'all are so awesome to be doing what you are doing" we could have paid for our adoption! But make no mistake, we are NOT awesome. We just want to be like Jesus and we are jumping on the opportunity to join God in this beautiful and redemptive process. The process is hard. It is exhausting. It is life changing. It is faith stretching. AND it is littered with incredible moments of God's people coming along side us and encouraging us. It is a no less than a miracle. We have come to know people that are using their lives to change the world. We have come to know a love that we couldn't even fathom - for "B", for each other, for God and for His people. This process has blessed us in ways that I am yet to find adequate words for. And we aren't even half way done. We feel blessed to get to be a part of this story. BLESSED.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Autumn Chopped Salad

Not sure why I wait until Autumn to make this. I can get all of these ingredients 365 days a year. And I could probably eat this salad half of those days. Even The Hubbs likes it. I feel like that deserves mentioning because it is a salad. Dudes don't generally dig salads, am I right? But this one has bacon. What wouldn't he eat with bacon on it? I am yet to find out. I digress...


2 Romaine heads (are they still "heads" of romaine since they aren't really round?)
2 medium pears
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pecans
8 slices cooked bacon
1 container feta cheese
Poppy seed Salad Dressing
Balsamic Vinaigrette

Chop and/or crumble everything. Combine.
Combine 2 dressings. I do half and half of each but you can use less Balsamic if you prefer.
Toss dressing with salad.

I divide in half and only toss half of it with the dressing. We eat that half for dinner. I don't toss the other half until it is ready to be eaten - like for lunch the next day. Nobody likes a soggy salad. With or without bacon.