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Gifts for Judah

If you follow me on Instagram, and you totally should be, then you may have seen my post the other week where our first gifts were sent to Judah.

Judah's first gifts from us are being sent to him today! A sweet lady in China helps purchase these gifts and sends them to the orphanage. Because he's not even two yet he'll probably never know his new xylophone is from us but I hope it brings him lots of joy. As for the sweaters… we were under the impression we selected the "boy" package. This might explain why he's wearing pink in every picture. At least these are to share with the hundreds of other children living there. Please pray for our sweet boy. In a few months we will travel to bring him home. One day he will leave the orphanage having no clue where he is going and then a couple hours later be handed over to us… complete strangers that look different, talk different, and smell different than anything he has ever seen before. We look forward to that day but to him it will be the scariest day ever. #chinaadoption #adoption #boys

A photo posted by Krystle@ColorTransformedFamily (@krystle_colortransformedfamily) on

We got an e-mail the other night letting us know that the orphanage where Judah lives did receive our care package of gifts.  With gifts being sent and a travel meeting that I posted about on Instagram the other week…

I thought it would be good to share a little adoption update. In my last update we had just received immigration approval from the U.S. to adopt a child from China.  At the time we were hoping for a travel somewhere in January or February but knew that the Chinese New Year could throw a loop in things.

For the past two months our dossier has been in China waiting to be reviewed.  During that time China had a holiday where the government shut down for a week… so that extended our wait a little longer that we anticipated.  This whole step for some reason has been a little longer than the average wait time but God is in control and I constantly remind myself that He will not be a day early or a day late in arranging the day for Judah to come into our lives.

At the end of this step we will receive our Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from China and then we will have the green light to submit the final immigration papers to the U.S government to specifically bring Judah home. Once we have the LOA  in hand we will be about two to three months from travel approval and three to four months from actual travel.  This mommy heart is getting excited and can’t wait to hold him in my arms!!!

As we get closer and closer to travel we are having more and more people ask us if we are doing any fundraising.  The answer is “yes”. We have an account set up with Lifesong where people can donate and with donations of $50 or more receive a tax deductible receipt.

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Summer Lovin’

Now that I’m an adult I feel like summer goes by quicker than it did as a child.  It has flown by! In two weeks Noah and Esther will officially launch full force into Kindergarten.  The geek in me has been a little too excited to work on my lesson plans for teaching them and ordering all our curriculum.  It’s going to be a fun year.

The geek in me has also had fun reading this summer. I think it’s safe to say that I have read more this summer than I have in the past two years. Ever since I was eight I have enjoyed reading.  Even to the point of working a deal out with my parents when I was in third grade that I could stay up an extra thirty minutes each night if I was reading.  Putting a book down was hard. My books were always my constant companion.  I read every chance I got…. like during commercial breaks, while waiting for a table at a restaurant, or while in the car traveling. I loved to read.

Kids, smart phones, and life had put a damper on my love of reading these past couple of years.  Do you ever find yourself choosing social media over a good book?  It’s really alarming to think that is a majority of the reading that most of us do.

I fought back against the urge to turn to social media at the end of the day this summer. Most nights I would stay up reading hours past when everyone else in my family went to bed. It didn’t start that way though.  My summer reading started back in June when I was in Salt Lake City watching our girls and my friends two little ones while she had her baby. (Thanks Kalli)  So while at first though I thought there would be not time to read with four children running around, I discovered there was plenty of time to read because there were four children running around… and around…. and around. They kept each other so entertained that for the most part I just had to keep them fed and and somehow get them to nap at the same time.  Mission accomplished.

So during that time I read…

Gray Mountain

My love for his books started with The Client when I was nine. I own an autographed copy for every book released since then.  I was a year behind on reading this one but once I started I couldn’t put it down.  The thing I like most about a good John Grisham legal book is that I walk away questioning my stance on things.  Whether it be the death penalty, tort reforms or in this coal mining.  Gray Mountain also came closer than any of his other books to having an actual love story in it.  Because of that it left me wanting to read a good love story which lead me to next book.

Me Before You

After gobbling up basically the only book I brought with me on my trip to Utah I decided to give e-books a try.  Google Rewards is a really cool app that I have on my phone.  I use it to answer surveys and in return Google pays me with Play credits.  in the ten months that I have had this app I have earned over $67!  So, I used some of the credit that I had saved up to purchase Me Before You.

My thoughts on this book are mixed because while I could barely put it down at the end of the book I was left dumbfounded.  It seriously messed me up for a while. I’m talking tears, playing out different scenarios in my head, and declaring to ML that WE WERE NOT SEEING THAT MOVIE! I mean it.

Thankfully, Jojo Moyes decided to continue the story with…

After You

So, like any good book lover I immediately cashed in my remaining Play credits for the sequel.  After You was my companion for our trip home.  While not quite as captivating as Me Before You it was still a good read and definitely a must read to follow up Me Before You.  This book didn’t leave me near as conflicted at the end.  These were the first books that I read by Jojo Moyers so I can’t vouch for any others but she definitely has a talent for developing complex characters.

After we returned home from Utah I was enjoying reading again so much that i couldn’t stop.  This was way better than some of those cheesy movies on Amazon Prime or waiting 13 episodes of some television drama just for two people to realize that they both like each other.

I didn’t have enough Google Play credits to purchase another book so I took advantage of a free book special Amazon was offering though Kindle and purchased my third e-book…

Journey’s End


I have always shied away from e-book because I like holding a book in my hands. I love to feel the pages as I turn them and to see how much I have left.  Having read a couple of e-books now I discovered that I like them more than I thought I would.  Google Books has designed their app so that it looks as if you are actually turning the pages and Kindle guestimates how many hours and minutes it will take you to finish the book. I loved this feature.

Journey’s End is set in the 1800’s.  One of my favorite time periods.  This book gives the reader a glimpse at the impoverished and upper classes of the time.  A part of me has always wished I was alive during this Victorian error. But if I had been I would probably have played the role of a servant or cook… the not so glamorous roles in my favorite books about the upper 1% of the time.

Journey’s End captivates the reader because it is about an impoverished girl breaking into the upper social circles to claim a heritage and life that should be hers while at the same time stumbling across love in the most unusual ways.  The books was quite the page turner… I mean screen swiper and did not disappoint in the area of a good love story.

When i finished Journey’s end I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to the 1800’s. In fact all the books that I have read this summer from this point forward have been set in the 1800’s. So after after discovering the fun of using the Kindle App on my phone I had downloaded a free book a couple of months ago.

Traitor’s Masque

I downloaded this book at a recommendation of a friend and then quite honestly forgot about for a while. But after consuming so many books I was hungry for more.  Kenley Davidson is the author and from what I can gather this is her first published book.

“Traitor’s Masque is the first book in The Andari Chronicles, a series of interconnected fairy tale retellings that evoke the glittering romance of the originals, while infusing them with grit, humor, and a cast of captivating new characters.” –

Trator’s Masque is a take on the classical Cinderella tale. Because of that I was worried that the story would be extremely predictable.  Kenley Davidson did a great job of building suspense and surprise into the story and truly leaves you guessing at the out come of the story until the very end.

After finishing Trator’s Masque I would have kept on reading the next book in the series but seeing as how reading is a habit that could easily blow through all my extra spending money I decided to feed my habit through our local library.

I’m almost ashamed to admit it but up until this point in my life I have been a book snob.  What do I mean by that?  Just that I love owning my own copy of a book, taking good care of it, and when I am finished with it adding it to my collection of book on a bookcase.  We visit the library often for the girls and check out at times dozens of books.  Utilizing the local library for children’s books can be a huge money saver.

For some reason the adult section of the library had always scared me.  Maybe it’s because I’ve never really grasped the call system, but for the most part I’ve shied away from it.  I finally conquered my fears and strolled through the adult aisles taking in all the books available to me… for free!

This wasn’t something I was able to do without the girls so my strolling didn’t take very long. Five minutes max.  At this point in my summer reading I was definitely still craving some love stories but I wanted to make sure the “love” part of the book didn’t go to far or against my beliefs. In short, I was looking for some good Christian fiction books.

Collierville is located in the south and while the suburb of a major city it still has a rather large Christian population.  Because of this the Christian fiction books are marked with a cross.  This made it really easy to find what I was looking for.

Striking a Match (3 Book Series)

This series by Tracie Peterson was a fun place to visit.  It centered around Deborah Vandermark and her family living life in a logging community in Texas during… the 1800’s. A love books like this because they give you a glimpse at life back then.  What it was like to be an educated woman and a family striving to make an honest living.  It answers questions like what people did for fun in their free time, what was medical care like, and did families take vacations.

I fell in love with Deborah and her family and at the end of the series truly had a hard time saying goodbye to them because I had fallen in love with them and their home.

I wasn’t sad long though because next I started the…

Red River of the North (6 book series)

Well, I actually started with the prequel, An Untamed Heart (Red River of the North) and then I started the series about Ingred Bjorklund and her family’s journey from Norway to the Dakota Territory in the late 1800’s.  I’ve learned so much history from this series. For starters I did not realize up until this point in history that South and North Dakota were not states. I’ve learned the true meaning of homesteading and how harsh winters could be in this area of the country.

I’m four books in to this series and once again in love with the family and their way of life.  So much so that I have started making my own bread and longing for the cooler months.  Life in the Dakota Territory is drastically different from life on the east coast during this same point in history. The land was still being tamed and communities were just being developed.  It’s been quite an adventure and I know I will be sad when I finally have to say goodbye to this family as well.

So that pretty much is a run down of my summer reading.  Well, except for the two that ML and I read together 25 To Life: Jailbreak Your 9-5 & Escape to Financial Freedom by Adam Green and Go Pro: 7 Steps to Becoming a Network Marketing Professional by Eric Worre.  These were both professional development books to better equip me with my part time job as a Young Living Independent Distributor.

It’s been a fun summer and I’m so glad it included reading again. I hope to keep this up during the fall and look forward to reading some exciting books with my girls as well as they venture into kindergarten together.

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Insta Favorite: Raising Up Rubies

Scrolling through Instagram is one of my favorite past times. Let men have their baseball… I want pretty pictures!   Like the normal Instagrammer I enjoy following my friends but my favorite part is curating my feed with some of my favorite profiles that I’ve stumbled across along the way.

First up on my list of favorites is Raising Up Rubies.

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I can’t really remember how I stumbled across her beautiful rainbow of pictures but I think it was during one of my #journalingbible searches.  Jamie is the beautiful mom behind Raising Up Rubies and her love of color captured me from the beginning. Jamie loves vibrant colors and they can be found throughout her house, her craft room, and her items in her Etsy shop, Raising Up Rubies.  She is one of the few people I have Instagram set to notify me when they publish a new picture.

Her posts include pictures of her items listed in her Etsy shop, like her beautifully illustrated Bible journaling cards, necklaces and bracelets with scripture on them, and fun children’s accessories like Shopkins necklaces.  You are going to find yourself looking for excuses to purchase from her.

raising up rubies journaling cardsraising up rubies shopkins raising up rubies to live is christ

Oh, and some of my favorite pics are of her craft room! Her husband allowed her to turn her dining room into gorgeous and fun craft room so that she can do all her work from home. She’s one crafty mommy with loads of colorful inspiration and you should definitely add her to your Instagram feed!

What’s your favorite picture of Raising Up Rubies?

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