So the other day I was at Costco pushing one of their mammoth carts (needless to say, the cart was loaded with formula and baby wipes). Miss V and Mr. E were sitting in the cart next to each other when they began tickling each other. Miss V would reach across and start pushing Mr. E and tickling him and then he would laugh and laugh and then try to gently tickle her. It was the cutest thing ever! I suddenly realized that at some point in the last few weeks, V and E have become best friends. For a long time now, Big Bro E would make little V laugh, give kisses, and try to make her happy. But it is just recently that V has been old enough to really interact back. As each month passes, the age gap between them seems to close and they are becoming more and more like two peas in a pod. I just love to watch them interact with each other! Above is a fun slideshow of them the past eight weeks playing with each other. The first set of photos is from this Monday in their playroom watching Baby Einstien while mommy took photos. The second set is from E pushing V on her horse (and absolute favorite toy). The third set is of E pushing V in their Red Flyer wagon. And the last set is of them at bath time, which always ends up with them having a splashing war. Okay, I know it’s a ton of photos, but I am in love with these two cuties and they are simply adorable! I definitely think they are going to be best friends forever.

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While mowing the lawn today, L found two of the cutest little baby bunnies I have ever seen! They were absolutely to die for cute! The two of them fit perfectly into the palms of my hands. We are always seeing little cottontails hopping through our neighborhood and I guess one stopped at our home and had a little brood in our yard. We found their little nest and after a few photographs put them back in it. Mr. E just loved them! I let him softly touch them. He is so tender with little animals and babies. It is just part of his personality. It is so sweet. I went on the Internet and found out all about little wild cottontails. Wild cottontail rabbits “nest” in shallow holes dug in the ground by the mother rabbit. The mother rabbit lines the shallow hole with fur pulled from her body and covers it and her babies with a mixture of dry grass and twigs to hide it. The mother rabbit only visits the nest once or twice a day to nurse, usually at dawn and in the late evening. The rest of the time, they will be out of sight but probably nearby. A mother rabbit’s infrequent visitations are meant to keep the nest hidden – more frequent visits would draw unwelcome attention from predators. If the mom doesn’t come back for our little two then I would love to keep them, but we will just have to see. I am sure she will come back this evening, but I am keeping a watchful eye on them. They are so sweet.

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Motherhood has changed my life. I love my children. They have made me a different woman, a better woman. Last year, I had no children in my home. This year I have a son and a daughter. God works in the most miraculous ways. I feel so lucky to be a mom. Yet, I can’t celebrate today without celebrating my children’s birthmothers. They have given me everything. How do you thank someone for giving you everything? Mr. E’s birthmother gave her life in childbirth to bring his little body into the world. Princess V’s birthmother also sacrificed so so much to bring her into this world and my home. Their names will always be sacred in this house. I owe them so much. They gave birth to their bodies for me and I am trying to give birth to their spirits for them. How do you thank someone for giving you everything? The only answer I can come up with is to just always remember them and what they did for you.
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 A homemade gift is one from the heart and brings that special touch of meaning to the season. Each gift is perfect for close friends, neighbors, teachers, or coworkers. It’s a fun way of saying Merry Christmas from my home to yours!

Homemade does not have to be fussy. There is no need to order a holiday wig in order you to have hair on Christmas morning. So move over Martha Stewart, we love you but with all the dashing through the snow we really can’t make our own wrapping paper and tape this season. Maybe next year.

PinThis Our first No Fuss Fabulous Gift of Christmas is elegantly stacked Christmas cookies. A dozen cookies never looked so cute! Simply stack your favorite cookies on top of each other, add a ribbon, and you are finished! We used frosted gingersnap cookies from the store. You can always go the extra mile and make your own, but for those on a time crunch don’t be afraid to drop by your local bakery and pick up a box. There is a reason those cookies are sold in stores…and it’s not because they don’t taste good.

Complete the adorable look by downloading and printing out one of our cookie tags below. Merry Christmas from No Fuss Fabulous!

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Click here for “In the Cookie of Life, friends are the chocolate chips” tag.

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Click here to download “A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand” tag.

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I am making a little collection of all my favorite inspirational stories. I thought I would share this one. It’s one of my favorites because first of all it takes place in Africa, and secondly, because I’ve witnessed many similar experiences while there working in 2001 and again last year throughout the adoption. God loves us all and He hears all our prayers. This I know.

THE HOT WATER BOTTLE
A True Story By Helen Roseveare, Missionary to Africa

One night, in Central Africa, I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all that we could do, she died leaving us with a tiny, premature baby and a crying, two-year-old daughter.
We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive. We had no incubator. We had no electricity to run an incubator, and no special feeding facilities. Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts.
A student-midwife went for the box we had for such babies and for the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in. Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly, in distress, to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst. Rubber perishes easily in tropical climates. “…and it is our last hot water bottle!” she exclaimed. As in the West, it is no good crying over spilled milk; so, in Central Africa it might be considered no good crying over a burst water bottle. They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways. All right,” I said, “Put the baby as near the fire as you safely can; sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts. Your job is to keep the baby warm.”
The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with many of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough, mentioning the hot water bottle. The baby could so easily die if it got chilled. I also told them about the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died. During the prayer time, one ten-year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt consciousness of our African children. “Please, God,” she prayed, “send us a water bottle. It’ll be no good tomorrow, God, the baby’ll be dead; so, please send it this afternoon.” While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added by way of corollary, ” …And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she’ll know You really love her?” As often with children’s prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say, “Amen?” I just did not believe that God could do this. Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything: The Bible says so, but there are limits, aren’t there? The only way God could answer this particular prayer would be by sending a parcel from the homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever received a parcel from home. Anyway, if anyone did send a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!
Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses’ training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front door. By the time that I reached home, the car had gone, but there, on the veranda, was a large twenty-two pound parcel! I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone; so, I sent for the orphanage children. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly. Excitement was mounting. Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large cardboard box. From the top, I lifted out brightly colored, knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Then, there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children began to look a little bored. Next, came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas – – that would make a nice batch of buns for the weekend. As I put my hand in again, I felt the…could it really be? I grasped it, and pulled it out. Yes, “A brand-new rubber, hot water bottle!” I cried. I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could. Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, “If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!” Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully dressed dolly. Her eyes shone: She had never doubted! Looking up at me, she asked, “Can I go over with you, Mummy, and give this dolly to that little girl, so she’ll know that Jesus really loves her?”
That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by my former Sunday School class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God’s prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator. One of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child — five months earlier in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it “That afternoon!” “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24

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“You’re hands are full!” is a comment I get a lot these days. And I just feel so happy. I just want to say, “Yes! They are finally full!” My sister took this photo of me while shopping in Salt Lake over Thanksgiving. I love this photo because it shows how my life has changed so much in just a few months. I have come to really appreciate people who help young new moms. At times I am a little exhausted from getting everyone out of the car, into the strollers, into the grocery carts, etc. But I have to say life is much more fun now with little ones!

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