Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas is coming!

Christmas is coming, and I am especially excited this year! I always look forward to this season of remembering the birth of our Savior, but this year I am extra excited to share it with our little sponge, Bella Joy. I'm hopeful that she will soak up lots from the stories and scriptures we read over the next month.

You all know that one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season is to send cards to our friends and family! It is our desire as a family to be intention even in choosing our Christmas card! So as I search this website high and low, all of the beautiful colors and sweet messages of the season make me smile :) Here are some of my favorites....

You can find this simple card here. I love the simplicity of this card. It is traditional with red and green and it says "Merry Christmas" which is a must for any card that we send.

This sweet card can be found here. I love the color and the chevron of this card. And (although it doesn't say "Merry Christmas"--I would likely add that in our love-the-jochims part) it says LOVE and JOY which are two words that greatly describe two wonderful gifts that our Savior has given us--unconditional LOVE and JOY that is our strength.

Here is another super sweet and simple one that can be found here. Again, I love the simplicity and the words. (and that is one cute kid!)

And lastly, another red and green square card (found here). I like this one a lot because there is more space for our family to personalize it (which will give us a chance to be even more intentional).

Oh, its so hard to choose! Stay tuned to a mailbox (or blog) near you to find out what the Jochim's decide!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Playful Picasso Fundraiser

Our last big fundraiser of the year is coming up! Please make plans to join us for a painting party! The awesome ladies of Playful Picasso ( have graciously offered to do a fundraiser to help bring our baby home! The cost is $35 and the profits will go directly into our adoption fund.

If you aren't familiar with Playful Picasso (check out the website!) you will go home with a 16x20 canvas that you paint yourself! Trust me, Amy and Rachel walk you through making it look awesome, so if you don't think of yourself as an artist, its OK!!!!!

Due to the nature of this fundraiser, space is limited to 35 people. After 35 people have signed up, we will create a waiting list and notify you if anyone cancels. We would appreciate it if you could send payment before the night of the 7th to secure your spot. Please let me know if you have questions and also, let me know if you want to come and I will put your name on the list!!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

winner winner-chicken dinner!

our movie night was a HUGE success! thanks for everyone who came out to hang with us and to all of the ones who got tickets! here are the winners!

-cakes pops from the cake pop shoppe: Paula
-art piece by ashmill: Sarah Tarrence
-pamper yourself basket: Rebecca Redd
-cake pops from the cake pop place: Tammy Turpin
-Goalrilla gift set: Jennifer Hart
-BGB Photo Session: Jennifer Hart
-External Hard drive: Marianna Lucas
-31 skirt purse/wallet: Melinda Myatt
-XM Radio: Tammy Turpin
-Baking Basket: Ashmill
-Pillowcase Dress: Elsie Hughes
-Very Hungry Caterpillar: My momma
-Digital Photo Frame: Don Brown
-Lawn Chairs: Jennifer Hart
-doll bed/quilt: Joe Batista
-key chain: Ashley Barnes
-Crayon Roll: Melinda Myatt
-Africa Shirt: Mary Beth Carlisle
-Soda Cozy: Jenny Borders
-Soda Cozy: Amanda Turner
-Dry Erase Frame: Bethany Lewis
-Headband: Mary Beth Carlisle
-Kindle: Joyce

Thanks for playing our giveaway game....I wish we would have had prizes for everyone!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

18 months

today bella joy is 18 months old. 1 1/2 years. oh. my. i really don't feel like it could be possible that my sweet big girl has been outside of my belly for a year and a half. but i also feel like she has been a part of our family forever. isn't it strange how time works. 18 months this little lady is a sponge! its like she learns new things by the minute. she loves to sing, sign, talk, and play. she loves people. she is totally living up to her name in that she is an absolute JOY! i mean, don't get me wrong, we have our moments. disobedience. whining. tantrums. but MOST of the time she is an absolute JOY ;)

bella joy, thank you for being so fun. and for being such a hoot! you make momma and daddy laugh all the time and we are so glad. please love us like you do forever. and we will do the same. happy half birthday sweet girl.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

the next big thing: take 2

i told you lots of fun things were coming up! also in October, our dear friend (and my get-in-shape accountability partner!) Brie Golliher is doing mini-photo-sessions for us! we are so excited and thankful for the generosity of our friends! anyway...back to the task at hand!

Brie will be doing mini-sessions on October 15 & 16 at Romanza Johnson Park. the session will be 30 minutes long. you will get 10 images (rights to print as you wish). the cost is $75 and 60% of that will go DIRECTLY into our adoption fund!

if you are interested you can email or facebook Brie or myself. you can also check out her work here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

the next big thing

on Saturday October 22nd, you will want to plan to be in Alvaton, KY! we are going to have an outdoor movie night to help bring our baby home! as we wait on our referral, we know we have a big chunk of money to raise in order to accept the referral when we get it. we are so excited to meet this baby!

anyway, our outdoor movie night will be at our house. we will project the movie onto the side of our house. so you will want to bring blankets or lawn chairs and your favorite friends! (the movie will be kid friendly!)

you will also have a chance to buy tickets to get chances to win some "giveaways". right now we have some fun and exciting items! (including a Kindle, a handmade doll bed and handmade doll quilt, as well as some other fun crafty things, and lots more! so do you have a talent? (baking, photography, crafty) or would you just like to donate a gift card to a local restaurant? we are hoping that this will be a BIG fundraiser, so the more "giveaways" the better! (i'm trying to avoid calling it the "r" word!)

and stay tuned because we have several more FUN FUN FUN fall things coming up!

Monday, September 12, 2011

dollar general market: my take on it

last week I got a sales flier in the mail for dollar general market. I briefly looked it over and saw a few deals so I thought I would see how much further dgm is from my house than my usual grocery buying places. then I looked closer at the flier and noticed two things: 1) the sales were for the dgm in scottsville 2) there was a $5 off a $20 purchase coupon. so I was back to mapping the distance. the scottsville store is only a mile or 2 farther from my house in distance but with zero stop lights and almost no traffic, I thought it must be faster. so this morning b and I took a little cruise to the big city of scottsville!

here are my observations:
1) as far as time is concerned, this is where it's at! I got to and from my location quicker and was able to make it through the store faster because there were very few people there!
2) the employees were SUPER friendly and helpful! I can not say the same for all of the stores we frequent.
3) produce was priced very well!! avocados were 85 cents each which is a steal people! (they are 1.66 at kroger this week).
4) as far as healthy choices go, they have no whole grain pastas or tortillas. they did not have fat free or low fat cheese, sour cream, or cream cheese. they did have whole grain bread, but it wasn't as cheap as Aldi's. (I make our bread so this doesn't matter for us, but it might for you!)
5) they did have nutella!!! and they have more name brand items as well (tide, charmin, big brand foods, etc). I got 12 pack angel soft tp for 4 bucks. I call that a good deal! As far as prices of other things, there were several really great deals and everything that wasn't over the top awesome was comparable to aldi or walmarts prices. I did pass up a couple of things that are cheaper at kroger this week because of sales.

All in all, I'm loving the scottsville dollar general market! This will become a regular in our grocery repertoire! Especially if the keep sending $5 coupons!!

Oh, and they DO accept manufacturer coupons!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Adoption update

if only I were better at coming up with clever titles...

anyway, we have some big stuff going on in the way of adoption. last week we mailed our dossier! and we found out that we are number 11 on the waiting list! this morning I woke up at 530 and I couldn't fall back to sleep because I couldn't stop thinking of this little it a he or a she, is he/she born yet, what will it be like when we see the first picture, when will we see the first picture, etc, etc, etc.

so while we wait for the answers to those questions we still have quite a lot of money to raise, which should keep us quite busy! we have some very fun fundraisers coming including (but not limited to) craft fairs (you can always make special requests!!), more mini photo sessions, painting, a movie night and raffle, and as always thirty-one parties! be on the look out for how you can join the fun!!

b and I mailing the dossier!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

fundraiser friday!

so i pretty much stink at weekly blog ideas...but i'm not giving up! so here we are for another fundraiser friday!!!

today i want to bring to your attention an extra-special-to-me fundraiser! it is extra special because it will help bring my niece home!

yesterday my sister and Lylah came to our house to play and as Lylah was walking around talking on the (play) phone, i asked her who she was talking to. she said "Lydia"! she talks about her sister all the time and when you ask her "where is Lydia?" she knows the answer is "Africa". oh how i long for her to be able to answer "in our room!"

anyway, check out my sister's blog to see how you can help bring Lydia home! on september 11th, Lara and Nathan will be having an adoption cook out. in conjunction with the cook out they are having a raffle with all kinds of great prizes! so even if you live out of town and can't come to the cook out, you can still have a chance to get in on the fun! if you would like to get tickets, tell me--or email/facebook message my sister!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

what's new with boo?!

Bella Joy will be 17 months old in 4 short days. She is growing and changing so much. It really does seem like each day she learns something new. It is the neatest thing to witness. So let's talk about some of the things that our nearly 1 1/2 year old is up to, shall we?!

She is learning new words by the minute. She can say bye, hi/hey/hello, thank you, please, loads of animals, two, a, b, c, bless you, momma, daddy, poppy, bebe, papaw, lylah, Elsie, zoey, loads of animal sounds, book, ball....ok maybe I'll stop. Just in the past month or so she has taken off! She says so much, I can't even keep up! She also understands so much!! She knows when she is doing something she shouldn't, when she is being funny, and how to follow simple instructions. She also signs more, please, thank you, milk, bath, help, eat, and water (again, I may be forgetting some!)

She loves to play!! She is a pro at her shape sorter and can do it mostly by herself. She loves animals and books. She loves to swing, slide and run.

She is still taking 2 naps a day, which I am totally ok with (it just makes errands more difficult). And she is also becoming a more adventurous eater.

She definitely makes us laugh regularly and really does bring so much joy to our lives! Boy oh boy 17 months has flown by!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

finger printing

today we had our finger printing appointment in Nashville! It was a really interesting experience. the immigration office is a room full of lots of chairs and a few workers. when we walked in, we were greeted by the guard who was super friendly and asked us questions about our process. then we headed back to get the prints done. we were there for 15 minutes max. there were a few immigrants in the office, and while the staff was SUPER friendly to us, they were less than friendly to the international folks, which made us sad. I am sure that their job in that office can be very difficult at times though, so I won't pretend to understand what they are dealing with...but it was still sad.

all that to say, we are one big step closer to bringing our sweet baby home! the next step is mailing our packet of paper work called the dossier. and pretty much all that is left to do is wait and pray! very soon we will be OFFICIALLY on the waiting list for a referral! :) stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What we did Wednesday!

Today I thought it would be fun to have a surprise date for my hubby. He works so hard to provide for us and does so without complaining. So I wanted to do something for him. Enter surprise disc golf with a twist (in the back yard)!

I made 6 tags and attached them to baskets and buckets. Each tag was numbered (to number the "hole") and had something written on the back that we had to tell each other (ie. where are 5 places you would move to, what are five desserts you could eat right now, etc). The best part is, we got to put our girl to bed and then enjoy some time together and some fun conversation without ever leaving our property! What a fun Wednesday!

The first hole. I won this one! And we won't talk about the rest of them :)

My hot date holding the rest of the holes. What a fun night!!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fundraiser Friday!

Each Friday, I am going to share a fundraiser(s) that profits a cause near and dear to my heart. It will likely mostly be adoption/Africa related but maybe sometimes not too. Sometimes I will share about things our family is doing to bring our baby home, sometimes friends, and sometimes strangers. So without further ado, welcome to our first fundraiser Friday!

Today I want to showcase 2 dear families who are in the process of adopting and both rather close to recieving referrals (which means large sums of money will be due).

First our friends Stuart and Jenny are in the process of adopting 2 sweet babies from dr Congo! They have biological twins who will be 3 in December. And they will be awesome big brother and sister!!

Stuart and Jenny and doing a tshirt blitz right now! They have several sizes available for $15 (they were originally $20). So please, follow their blog link above and help bring s & k's younger siblings home!!

Next I want to share with you Jason and Dwan who are in the process of bringing home a little boy from Ethiopia! Jason and Dwan have 4 biological children (one of which is a boy) and they are some of the sweetest siblings you will ever see! The Graham's are stepping out in obedience to God's call to care for the fatherless by bringing one more into their home.

On Saturday, August 20 they will be having a pancake breakfast at Applebees in Bowling Green. Tickets are $6 and $5 of those dollars will go directly to bringing their sweet boy home! I am telling you about this delicious fundraiser now because they are pre-selling tickets and will not have tickets available at the door! So click on their blog link above and contact Dwan by next Friday August 5 to reserve your tickets!!!

Thank you for joining us in our first ever fundraiser Friday!!! And thank you for caring for the fatherless by supporting these families!

Monday, July 25, 2011

things are changing

I have been challenged lately to really focus on my priorities and shift them to match what God desires them to look like. I am thankful.

One of my priorities is being a blessing to our family financially. I am responsible for grocery shopping in our home and I am doing my best to get great deals by shopping sales and couponing. I have gotten some bargains in the past couple of months including free pasta, free canned tomatoes, free BBQ sauce, free dish soap, free toothpaste, nearly free shampoo and body wash as well as many other items. Well today I got some deals for my new business! That's right, another way I am hoping to bless our family financially is by being a thirty-one consultant! (my website is I am so so excited about this opportunity and will blog more about it soon! But now for my deals!

First I went to walgreens. Here you see 10 folders, 1 box of 24 crayons, an index card holder and 2 packs of 10 pens. I got all of this for 1.87. (pens and folders are for business).

Next stop was staples! You see 10 folders, a 7 pack of pens, 2 2 packs of sharpies, a 500 pack printer paper, and a sliding pencil case. My total after sales and rebates was 1.60!!! Talk about a deal!

Expect some other fun new things here at jochimsjoys coming soon!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Upon discovering two awesome blogs this week, I got the sewing itch!

The first project I discovered was a denim skirt made from a men's button up shirt. I recalled one that Adam had gotten from work and never worn and after asking his permission, I cut in! It's a cute little skirt but I want to replace the buttons and would really like to try it with a men's khaki shirt.

Next I found a tutorial for a jersey skirt. I changed a few details of it but kept it mostly the same.

After 2 skirts I wanted to tackle a top so into my closet I went. I found a long sleeved shirt that I got from target years ago and cut the sleeves off. Then I followed the instructions to turn the sleeves into a ruffle. I love this top!

Finally I repurposed a tshirt and a strapless dress into a cutie ruffle top dress with a red belt! I even had Adam take a corny picture of me modeling it :)

***the 2 blogs are and

****I need to take before pictures too!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Thirty One Gifts Fundraiser!

We are having a Thirty One fundraiser! A very generous friend has volunteered to donate her profits to our adoption fund! You can shopt for birthdays, plan ahead for Christmas gifts, and just treat yourself to something pretty! They really have something for everyone!

And the special this month is AWESOME!!! For every 31 dollars you spend, you can get a large utility tote (regularly 30 dollars) for only NINE DOLLARS! That is one awesome deal that you can get while helping us bring our sweet baby home!!!

Want to participate but can't make it to the party?! You can see me to place an order, or you can order online here! Click "place an order" at the top of the page and follow the prompts. Our fundraiser is currently the only one listed, so you should see it! :)

Please make plans to attend/participate!! And as always, thank you for your support!

Friday, May 20, 2011

25 years!

happy 25th birthday to hubby! so thankful that he was born 25 years ago today...because we get a break on our car insurance! ha! just kidding. here are 25 reasons that i love my hubby.

1. he loves Jesus first.
2. he loves family (mine, his) and spending time with them.
3. the way he loves our baby girl. it really is beautiful.
4. the way he wanted to pursue adoption NOW rather than later (he initiated.)
5. that he will rinse poopie diapers for me when the day has been crazy (and when the day hasn't been crazy.
6. the way he provides for our family (even when he doesn't love what he does.)
7. how he supports me in my endeavors (sewing, baking, whatever other thing i want to do.)
8. that he is so stinking good at running (seriously, he could not train for a year and still run 5 miles!)
9. that he loves to try new things (train for a triathlon, anyone!?)
10. that he shares my love for ikea :)
11. his heart.
12. his beautiful blue eyes.
13. that he is so quick to give me a break when he gets home from work even though i know he has had a long day himself.
14. that he loves to serve.
15. the he works so hard so i can stay home with our babies (and would work 3 jobs if he had to so i could stay home.)
16. that he is always ready and willing to hang with boo so i can have a girls night with small group or mops or whatever it is!
17. that he is willing to wake up with boo when she wakes up.
18. he loves me unconditionally.
19. that he loves sports and knows whats going on with his teams even though we don't have the channels that show the games (and never once complains about not having those channels.)
20. that he is so outdoorsy (remember part of the reason i fell for him is because he was taking a kayaking class :)!)
21. that he is willing to be a dog sitting family just for a little extra money (i always get us roped into dog sitting! its great!!!)
22. that he is willing to go where God leads us, no matter what.
23. that he is so committed and loyal to his friends.
24. that he will drive to the store down the road to get me a sprite when i get a craving.
25. that he wants to have lots of babies with me!

happy birthday sweet husband. thank you for all you do for us. we are so thankful for all 25 years of you!!!! we love you!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

one piece at a time

sweet friends, i am very excited to share with you another way that you can help bring our sweet baby piece at a time.

we have purchased the world map puzzle above. it is a 100 piece puzzle. we are putting each piece of the puzzle up for sponsorship. when you sponsor a piece of this puzzle, you will have the chance to put a message to our sweet child on the back of the puzzle piece. (if you have children, you may want to sponsor multiple puzzle pieces so they can write a message to baby jochim too!) it is our hope that, when finished, we will be able to put the puzzle together and have a back full of messages to our sweet baby, before he/she even comes home! we will modpodge the puzzle together and hang it in his/her room as a reminder of God's faithfulness in providing a way to his/her forever family. it is our hope that our sweet baby will one day look at the messages from friends and family and see that he/she was loved even before we had seen his/her face.

the suggested donation for sponsorship is $10 per puzzle piece. please consider joining us, and helping us meet our second child face to face.

if you would like to sponsor, email us at or write me on facebook. thank you again for traveling this road with us.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

adoption update

i've been a slacker blogger lately! partially due to laziness, partially due to lots of playing with my girl, cleaning, baking, and getting paper work together for our home study!

so here is a little update of what is going on in our little world. we are still doing crafts for congo (but it has slowed WAY down!) we completed our 2 mini photo session fundraisers. and we have a few other fundraisers in the works. but with just those 2 fundraisers, we have our first agency fee!!! that is a HUGE step forward, but we still have a long road ahead of us, and a lot of money to raise! (of course, you will be able to hear about all of our fundraising endeavors, right here!)

we had our first home study meeting last week and it was wonderful! we were only a little nervous going in, but it went off without a hitch. our social worker is FANTASTIC (as we heard she would be!) and we are very excited to say that our final home study meeting will be may 24 at 530 pm! so in the meantime we are gathering lots and lots of paperwork. once we send our agency fee in, we will gather even more paperwork to compile our dossier-which will eventually be sent to the congo. we are making progress here, people!

if you have questions about our adoption process, please ask! we will be as real and honest as we know how to be. here are a few questions that we have heard a lot of!

Q: how old will your child be?
A: we have requested that our child be younger than bella joy (born after march 15, 2010). our home study will be written for a baby 14 months old or younger.

Q: why does your sister already know she is getting a girl? are you getting a girl or a boy?
A: lara and nathan requested a girl. we are very excited about having another niece and meeting sweet lydia face to face!! we did not request a specific gender. so we could have a boy or a girl. it will be a surprise upon referral! :) (i had a dream about our baby the other night, and in that dream, it was a boy...not that i'm a prophet or anything).

Q: what are you going to name your baby? will you keep his or her name the same?
A: we are not opposed to letting our baby keep his or her african name. we will always be open and honest with him/her about where he/she came from. the adoption will not be a secret (obviously--i mean, you can't really hide it when your skin is a different color!) so the idea of keeping the african name is kind of fun to us. however, we do not want our child to go through life with everyone mispronouncing his/her name. so we will likely give them a first name and possibly keep the african name for a middle name. if our baby is a boy, his name will be micah timothy and if it is a girl her name will be...well, thats still up in the air. (we like cora and eliana...but we'll see :)).

Q: so, is it really expensive?
A: adoption is a long and costly process. we are not buying a child, we are paying for the services of the agency staff/country staff. if you are interested in adopting, i would love to give you more info! if you are just being nosy...well you can honestly find this info on your own by looking on any adoption agency's website. but yes, its expensive. no, we aren't buying a baby.

what else ya got?

please keep praying for our journey, for our baby, for our baby's biological family. and thank you so so much for your support so far! lets bring this baby home!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

another way to help!

we have been having an awesome week on the adoption front! saturday we had 2 big fundraisers and both were a HUGE success! we also got our first home study meeting scheduled! it will be may 4th at 530 pm and we are so excited and maybe a little nervous! anyway, back to the task at hand! :)

we have another awesome opportunity for you to partner with us (AND LARA AND NATHAN!!!!) in our adoption journey(s). our incredible and generous daddy was thinking one day and had a vision for a child sized park bench. he called me and told me his plans. when i agreed that it was an awesome idea, he excitedly hung up and called my sis. we are so thankful for his creativity and excitement for bringing his grand babies home!

as i said, our dad designed and built these benches and he is ready and willing to make MORE!! would you like one for a little one in your life? maybe to put in your garden? or to spice up your landscaping? (i should also mention that these babies are STURDY! they do indeed hold adults.) if you would like to help us bring some sweet babies home from the congo-please contact us (me or my sis). the suggested donation is $65. thanks in advance! a sweet little boy we know on his bench. he says "baby bella gave me my bench" but actually his daddy won it for him in a silent auction we had at the tc cherry craft bazaar!

bella's bff modeling the bench at the craft bazaar!

bench in an herb garden.

imagine your little one in the place of leo the lion and polly the pig :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

elsie ann hughes

our 2nd niece made her debut on monday morning. she entered this world at 703 am weighing in at 7 lbs. 8 oz. and she was 21 inches long. sweet elsie ann hughes had a very traumatic delivery and came out with the cord wrapped around her neck which caused quite a scare. after a few quick snuggles from her momma and daddy, elsie was whisked away to the neonatal intensive care unit.

as soon as i found out about my dear niece's breathing problems, i quickly texted my small group and a few of my best friends and asked them to begin praying. amanda and andrew did the same. after talking to the nicu doctor and the nicu nurse on monday afternoon, amanda and andrew were pretty certain that they would be spending their time at the hospital without their brand new baby in the room with them and that they would be dismissed at least a day before her. we are confident that because of the prayers of God's people-sweet elsie ann was able to go to her momma's room last night AND she was dismissed at the same time as amanda this afternoon. tonight they are home for the first time as a family of 3 (or 5 if you count the spoiled pups!)

we are already certain that God has big plans for elsie and boy is she a CHAMP! oh, and her momma and daddy. yeah, they are pretty much rockstars too. they handled her stay in the nicu with such courage and grace. i am so so proud of both of them. and i'm a pretty proud aunt too!

today when i got to see her in person for the first time-i, of course, cried! :) God is so good. and you know, even if elsie was spending another night in the nicu tonight-God would still be so good. but we are forever thankful that he chose this route for her life, and that she will be sleeping (hopefully!) in the pack-n-play in her momma and daddy's room at her very first house tonight!

welcome to the family sweet elsie ann. we prayed hard for you--for 2 years! we cried when we found out you were coming. and then we cried when your mommy's water broke. and we prayed for a smooth delivery. and then we cried when we heard you were here. and we cried when we heard of your breathing problems. and we prayed that God would heal you. and He did. and i'm sure we will cry over you many, Many, MANY more times and we will pray for you many, Many, MANY more times. you are such a blessing. and you are really lucky to have one awesome momma and poppa! :)

happy family of 3!
sisters-in-law with their baby girls.

sisters-in-law with their nieces! :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

the difference a year makes

my oh my the difference a year makes. last year on april 15th i photographed a very fussy 1 month old! today i photographed a very wiggly and happy 13 month old. my oh my.

(sorry about the not turned picture. i turned it...but blogger didn't agree.)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

our cloth diaper dilemma

so our sweet girl turned one and started walking full time. when she became more mobile, she developed a rash. a really bad rash. each time that it came, we switched to disposables so we could use heavy duty diaper cream and then when it went away, we switched back to cloth. well the rash kept coming back. let me remind you that our girl (whom i love more than i can even begin to describe!) is and always has been high maintenance. (breech, messed up tongue, sensitive skin that reacts to johnsons baby wash/lotion/shampoo, etc.) so i just knew that it was just some cloth diaper thing that we wouldn't be able to recover from. on the third round of rash, i wrote the diaper shops team on facebook. i figured that if i was going to get help, that was the place to start. well a sweet lady named stacey responded almost immediately! she asked which diapers we had in our stash and what detergent we used. after i told her, she said that the same thing had happened to her daughter and it was a reaction to the microfiber in some diapers (some of our diapers have that microfiber, some have no microfiber). so she suggested that we strip our non-microfiber dipes and try using those exclusively. well, wouldn't ya know that it solved our problem! so now, we are exclusively using prefolds (econobum and flip) and 6 bumgenius organic all-in-ones. we are SELLING 10 bumgenius 3.0's and 1 bumgenius 4.0's if you or anyone you know might be interested. we would like to sell them to get a few more prefolds and covers so i don't have to wash every other day :) have any of my other cd-ing friends run into any problems like this?!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

crafts for congo, take 2

if you are my friend on facebook, then you have already seen the additions to our crafts for congo fundraiser. additions will continue to happen and i want to keep it updated on the ol' blog too, in case any readers aren't on facebook! so far we (yes, we. adam cuts while i sew. he is an awesome husband) have made 20 shirts and lots of other goodies too! we are in awe of your generosity and God's provision. and we are trusting that He will keep on providing! if you missed the first crafts for congo post, you can find it here. now on to the crafts for congo additions!!!
this is a crayon roll-up. you can purchase one (or 5!) for $10 a pop. if you order for a boy in your life, it will come with an elastic closure instead of ribbon--you know, to man it up a bit :)

this tote can be yours for just $15. if you have a country that is close to your heart, a heart can be appliqued onto the spot where that country lives! and if you prefer a letter or a flower (or something else) let me know--we can probably make it happen! or at least we will try!

this week we have had requests for things not in the crafts for congo album/blog posts. so if you have something in mind that you do not see, let us know! we will try almost anything to get our baby in our arms faster! if you would like to order any of these things, write me on facebook or email us at!

thank you in advance for helping us meet our 2nd child!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


we are 4 days into our fundraising and we are already so overwhelmed by the generosity of our sweet friends! so THANK YOU! thank you for loving our family. thank you for loving the fatherless. God is so good.

more crafts are up in the crafts for congo facebook album. check them out! and if you want to sign up for a mini-photo session, there is still time!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

crafts for congo

coffee cozy

soda can cozy

our next fundraiser in our adoption journey is crafts for congo! i will be adding more crafts to my facebook album in the next couple of days. each item will be $10 (except the applique africa tshirt/onesie, which is $15). if you are interested in supporting our adoption in this way, please let us know! you can email or write me on facebook.
we are so excited that time slots are filling up for the mini sessions. if you are interested in getting some family, maternity, baby photos taken, let me know! its a deal and it goes to a great cause.
thank you for joining us in our journey!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

we've been accepted

on friday afternoon, adam and i received an email from one world adoption services informing us that we have officially been accepted into the congo program!!! we are overwhelmed with excitement and thankfulness. we will begin our home study in the coming days, which is the first step in bringing our sweet child home. i'll be sharing more in the coming weeks on why we have chosen to adopt, why the democratic republic of congo, and where we are in the process.
but today i am sharing the first way that YOU can be a part of bringing a sweet orphan to his/her forever family!
my very talented friend ashley miller (ashmill) has offered her services to help fund our adoption.
AshMill Photography will be offering mini-photo sessions in Bowling Green, Kentucky on Saturday, April 16 (and Sunday, the 17 if needed) and in Evansville, Indiana on Saturday April 30. Each session will last 20-30 minutes and will be a combination of posed and candid portraits. For $50 clients will get to choose 10 images (high-res, custom edited digital files, with full rights for printing) with the option to purchase additional images. Groups (individuals, couples, families, etc.) of any sizes welcome. $30 from each session will go directly to our adoption fundraising.
you can check out some of her photography here.
send an email to or message me on facebook to set up your mini-shoot. we'll send details about where to meet and answer any other questions you may have as well.
and don't forget to help spread the word and invite your friends!!!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

one year

one year ago today, we welcome our sweet isabella joy elizabeth jochim into this world. we became momma and daddy to the most beautiful creation we had ever witnessed. what a wonderful day that was.
our baby girl is now 1 year old! she has grown lots and lots in her first year. (we will know just how much after her 1 year check up on thursday). and she has developed lots and lots in her first year. she learned to nurse. she learned to bottle feed. she learned to hold her head up. she learned to roll over. she learned what surgery is like. she learned to babble and jabber. she learned to scoot. she learned to crawl. she she learned (is still perfecting) to walk. she said and signed her first words. she learned to smile and give kisses. she learned to click her tongue and be a copy cat. :)
bella joy, your daddy and i are so in love with you, and we fall more in love with you each and every day. not a day goes by that we do not thank our God for you and for entrusting us to be your mommy and daddy. we can not wait to see what you learn in your second year of life. we can't wait to watch you run after lylah and teach elsie ann all of your tricks. we can't wait to see your reaction to your other new cousin and become a big sister. sweet baby girl, we will enjoy every moment we have with you.
bella joy, at 1 year old you love to eat. your favorite thing is grilled cheese, however, you are beginning to love other things too-spaghetti, quesadillas, more and more fruit, muffins, and even lasagna soup. you love to give kisses. you love love love to play. you could spend hours opening and flipping the pages of your books (which is nice considering just a few weeks ago, you were gnawing chunks out of them!) you love when your daddy gets home from work! you often hear the garage door open before momma does and you get so so so excited!! you love to crawl and you crawl so fast. you love to pull the dvds out of their baskets (even when momma and daddy tell you know 400 times!) you love to sneak into the bathroom and lift and drop the toilet seat (again, even when momma and daddy say no!) you love to copy your poppy and he loves when you cough back at him. you are such a smiley joy (most of the time) and we are so thankful for that. we love to watch you make new discoveries and to love us back.
**oh, did i say we can't wait to see you become a big sister? that's because we will (Lord willing) bring our second child home from the democratic republic of congo before bella joy's second birthday! :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

treasuring God in our traditions: Easter

lent. i guess it starts today. i've never understood the "i'm giving up ____ for lent" thing. i've heard many. facebook. gum. ice cream. eating sweets. tv. etc. etc. i've never stopped and asked a person, why? why are you giving up whatever it is that you are giving up for lent? until the other day.

you see, i've had "treasuring God in our traditions" by noel piper on my to read list since before we were expecting bella joy. i've read bits and pieces, but never the whole thing from front to back. a few days ago, i opened it to the section on easter...since easter is the next holiday that we want to intentionally celebrate as a family. i wanted take from her ideas and see what she had to say in general. and i am so glad that i did.

"lent comes from an Old English word that means lengthen, signifying that the days are getting longer because spring is here. among many Christians, lent has come to mean the pre-easter season that begins on ash wednesday.
traditionally lent is a season of sober, realistic reflection on our own lives and our need for a Savior. it is a time for turning away from anything that has kept us from God and for turning or returning to him. it is a time to pray that God will renew our love for Him and our dependence on Him." page 93-treasuring God in our traditions
she goes on to talk about how many people choose to fast from things that distract them from God.
now many would argue that it shouldn't take a single holiday for us to turn to God or to depend on Him. but lets be honest, in our lives, there are many many distractions! facebook, tv, magazines, friends, kids, husbands, blogs :). i think it is a wonderful idea to fast from these things to redirect your focus. but i think it is lame to say "i'm giving up _____ for lent" just because thats what you do during lent. why give something up for no reason? or just because?
so in thinking of what often distracts me, to the point of satan using it to feed me lies, several things came to mind. tv. blogs. facebook. and that is just 3. and my decision for the easter season was to remove the facebook app from my phone and also to remove words with friends from my phone. this may end at the end of april. it may stay this way forever. i may decide that i like my life with way way less facebook so much that i never look at it again. or i may put the app back on my phone having learned a whole stinking lot about boundaries.
i am not doing this to say "look at me, look at me!" that is the LAST thing that i want! i am doing this to say "emily, look to Jesus. your Savior. His sacrifice. reflect. seek Him first. not facebook. not the biggest loser. not words with friends. not some blog. seek HIM first."
now, when you see me on facebook-don't think that i have given up and given into temptation. i am not ridding my life completely of facebook (for reasons that will be revealed in the next week or so). but since i have a beautiful (almost) 1 year old filling my days, i won't be chronically checking it via my phone, but will only look at it when she is sleeping, if then.
how will you remember Christ and His sacrifice this easter season? does your family have any fun ways that you celebrate intentionally?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


our sweet nearly one year old was diagnosed with rsv on monday. oh my, i have never seen anything so pitiful. i don't know if you remember that she pretty much cried constantly her first 4 months of life, but the past few days, seeing her this way has been the hardest part of mommyhood yet. we've done lots of snuggling and napping together, which i absolutely love, but i think i will love it more when she is back to her happy giggly self!

anyway, i'm not thankful for sickness. not even a little. but i am so thankful for my awesome hubby during this sickness (and always really). we have been taking turns getting up with her at night, when he really could just make me do it every time. as soon as he gets home from work, he jumps in and helps with boo. last night when we put sweet baby girl to bed, we started watching biggest loser and my awesome husband went into the kitchen and made pumpkin muffins for our breakfast this week (because i haven't had time to do any baking with a baby that doesn't want to be put down). i told him that i could do it, and he insisted that he wanted to do it for me. what an awesome hubby and daddy. we love him! :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

how you can help!

my sister and brother-in-law are in the process of bringing a sweet baby home from the democratic republic of congo. in case you were unaware, the adoption process is an expensive one. a home study can be 1500-2000 dollars and the agency that they are using requires nearly 8000 up front for the dossier (that doesn't include the home study money!). most people don't have that kind of money lying around...well, at least we don't! but that doesn't change the desire God puts on your heart or what He has called you to! that is when fundraising comes in!

here you can read about how exactly you can partner with lara and nathan (and lylah) to bring their baby (her sibling) home from africa.

"religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself from being polluted by the world" james 1:27

thanks in advance for your help!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

11 months!

i'll start by saying, this months photo shoot was the HARDEST yet! it took some serious tag teaming. :)

so exactly 4 weeks from to day, bella joy will be 1. ONE! how is that possible!? today we are celebrating 11 months! i'm sure we will have lots of fun and we are thankful that it will likely include playing outside!

this month has been another one of those amazing-learn-something-new-every-second kind of months. we laugh, A LOT!

at 11 months bella joy:
-loves giving kisses. she gives people kisses. she gives bebe and poppy kisses when we do facetime on the phone. she gives her babies kisses. she gives animals on puzzles kisses. she loves to give kisses.
-says mama and dada (sometimes we are pretty sure she says other things like bye bye, hi, dog) and signs more and water.
-LOVES bread!! we usually make grilled cheese (with veggies snuck in) at least once a day and she gobbles it all up!
-takes steps. crawling is still the preferred method, but if she would realize that walking would get her places faster, i think walking it would be. she takes a few steps and then drops to her knees and crawls the rest of the way.
-sleeps through the night and takes 2 naps a day.
-still has 4 bottles and 3 meals a day. (although today we are going to start substituting some whole milk and work toward milk in sippy cups--right now she just drinks water out of her sippy cups).
-in the afternoon when she hears the garage door open, she gets SO SO SO excited! to say the girl loves her daddy is an understatement.
-can follow simple instructions like "get your paci" or "give baby a kiss".

so now with 2 baby showers for my SIL and coming niece behind us, we are in FULL birthday party planning mode. oh what fun the next month will be!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

i'm not complaining...

...just a minor vent, as i sit in my warm little house in the country with 5 inches of snow on the ground and more falling from the sky. i'm not a snow hater. i do prefer spring and warmer weather, but a snow hater i am not. but here are a few things that i am very very tired of...

-my husband not being able to make it home from work because of snow on our country roads. seriously sick of it.

-people telling people not to be snow haters. one of my facebook friends statuses today made me cringe! it said something along the lines of how much they loved the snow and that snow haters should stop hating because snow lovers don't hate on the warm weather that we get 3/4 of the year. now, maybe we shouldn't complain about the snow, but i'm pretty, i am POSITIVE that people complain just as much when it is 100 degrees outside. AND if your husband couldn't get home from work, you would be annoyed too!

-people saying that everyone is driving like they are 80..."its just snow!" yeah, that drives me bananas too. go into a ditch just one time with your crying baby girl in the back seat and see if you still drive 60 in the snow! when you have a child in your car, you are going to drive a little differently, no matter what the weather is like!

ok, thats the end of my vent. the snow in my backyard is beautiful! but the snow on the road in front of my house is not so much. sometimes i wish all of our roads where tunnels so that the snow wouldn't get on them. we are definitely looking forward to the warmer weather that is being predicted for the coming weekend.

Monday, January 24, 2011

meatless monday

in an effort to save a little money on groceries this year, we have implemented meatless monday! tonight's dinner was delicious and filling. my sweet hubby is a meat eater if i've ever seen one, so i'm very thankful that he is on board with this. and i was even more thankful when he took his first bite of this meal and said "that is actually REALLY good!" and then when he finished he said "and that was super filling!" yay!

you too can make this delicious cheesy green bean skillet by following this link to finding joy in my kitchen! "SnoWhite" has tons of wonderful recipes! she is actually my go-to site for finding "made from scratch" recipes.

Monday, January 17, 2011

10 months!

saturday bella turned 10 months old! we are in the double digits and 2 months shy of a year. our little darlin' didn't disappoint on making her self seem so big this weekend either! she is doing new things daily, and often multiple new things in a day!

at 10 months you:
  • are wearing mostly 9 month clothing and the occasional 12 month clothing. but only when wearing your cloth diapers. this past weekend on a trip home we used disposables for the first time in 6 or 7 months and realized that bella is a lot smaller than her cd's make it seem!
  • still have 4 milk feedings a day and 3 meals (kind of) a day. you have been on somewhat of a hunger strike for a few weeks. you still gobble up breakfast but lunch and dinner are hit and miss.
  • have 8 teeth! and you know how to use them (and how you shouldn't use them too...biting!) you love to take little bites of your cheerios and other snacks.
  • would crawl 24/7 if we would let you...and we don't because you must sleep!
  • take 2 naps a day. one around 9 and one around 2.
  • go to bed for the night at 7. when teething isn't bothering you, you sleep until 6 or 7 am.
  • can clap your hands! (one of the new things from the weekend!)
  • can sign more! (another new thing!)
  • can stand up without pulling up on anything, but you still mostly use things to pull up. and you "cruise" all over the place.
  • are really starting to enjoy walking with your push toy.

so as sweet cindy starr taught us tonight, we will keep playing, praying, persevering, and preparing you through your growth and development. happy 10 months (and 2 days) baby girl!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

follow up...

so week 1 of goals for the new year wasn't too bad. as for our family goals, we mostly kept them. i mean, we didn't miss any of our bible in a year readings, we memorized our scripture for the week (this week is matthew 1:23). we prayed together a few times (not every day though). we did NOT have 3 intentional times together. so sad for that. but we aren't giving up!

my personal goals went pretty well too. i didn't wake at 530 every morning but i did work out 4 of the 5 weekdays. and i believe that i have lost 2 lbs! i'd say thats pretty good for 1 weeks in. i started reading my first book (which i've been wanting to read for a long time now) treasuring God in your traditions. i'm very excited about this book. and i really should be able to finish it quickly considering how short it is...but we shall see. :) i made bread on sunday and used it for our lunch sandwiches yesterday. it was very yummy but far from perfect, so i shall keep trying. i've been clipping coupons some (and have had adam print some coupons at work since we have no ink in our printer) and have some kashi coupons that will allow me to get 3 boxes of cereal for a little over 2 dollars. yes, the goal is to not buy cereal as frequently, but when its that cheap, i think its ok!

bella is doing great with her goals! :) she is standing without holding onto things for longer periods of time each day. she still doesn't associate sounds with things to make words, but i know it won't be long! how on earth is she going to be 10 months old this week!? goodness, make a momma cry.

how are you doing on your 2011 goals?!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

goodbye 2010....hello 2011!

happy new year! 2010 was so good to us. we had our first full year in our first house. we welcomed our first child. we celebrated our first niece's first birthday. we celebrated 2 years of marriage. we spent lots of fun time with friends and family! i had these great plans to make a month by month post about what we did each month with pictures and everything....but i don't know how to put the pictures in order, so it would be confusing :)

one night last week, adam and i sat and discussed our goals for 2011. we created individual and family goals. i'm hopeful that this will be a year of great growth for us and i'm hopeful that with a little accountability, i'll keep up with my goals!

family goals:
-read the Bible in a year. our awesome small group leaders got each couple in our small group and one year Bible for Christmas. so far, we haven't missed a day!
-memorize a scripture a week. operation Christmas child has a little resource that is a verse a week for the year. we are starting it now. week 1 is Isaiah 9:6. we will work on memorizing it each day this week. then next week we will get a new verse. i'm very excited about this goal.
-train for the haubstadt sommerfest 5k. 2 weeks before we found out i was pregnant with bella joy, we ran this race and i ran the whole thing without stopping! i want to be in that kind of shape again. its not til june, so hopefully thats enough time!
-intentional time at least 3 times a week. this is for adam and i. we don't have a scheduled date night. so our hope for 2011 is to spend intentional face time in real conversation with each other at least 3 times a week.
-have a monthly budget meeting. (we should have been doing this already!!!)
-daily FAMILY prayer time. (also, should have been doing this already!)
-thankful thursdays. this is in the works...but it will be dinner with a friend, couple, or family (or maybe someone we don't even know yet!) we are hopeful that this will be kind of our ministry where we can provide dinner for someone who may need it. and sometimes it will just be dinner with friends!

adam's goals:
-lead our family more effectively.
-train for a triathlon (pending finding a bike for DIRT cheap!)

emily's goals:
-read 10 books (i need to go ahead and chose those books.)
-be a more cost effective menu planner/couponer/baker. i started making adam's granola bars last year and that inspired me to want to make more things from scratch in hopes of saving money. so we no longer buy granola bars or tortillas and hope to stop buying bread in the very near future. it is also our hope to stop buying cereal (or buy it much less frequently) and have more homemade things for breakfast (eggs, waffles, granola, etc.)
-lose 25 lbs. i can't really use the excuse "i just had a baby" anymore :) she is nearly 10 months old! so starting tomorrow, i will rise at 530 and elliptical or work out some other way for at least 30 minutes each weekday. this is going to be very very difficult for me, as i love my sleep, but i know that once i get into the routine i will love it and i will have WAY more energy!

bella joy's goals:
-learn to walk.
-turn 1!
-go to story time at the library.
-associate mama and dada with the people :)
we couldn't leave boo out!

the jochims are very excited about 2011 and hope you are too! do you have any goals for 2011?!