Adoption Update: the paper chase, a new pic, and HER NAME!!!

I thought I would pop in for a quick adoption update post.  Things have been fairly quiet here lately on the ole bloggity blog due to our lives being completely overwhelmed with preparation for our HUGE adoption fundraiser yard sale coming up this weekend.  Hopefully next week I will be back to posting more regularly.

First up, I thought I would update everyone on where we currently are in our process to bring Peanut home.  Our dossier, which includes our home study, many different letters, forms and approvals, has been approved through the local, state, and embassy levels and has been signed, sealed, and delivered to the Chinese government and logged into their system.  We are currently awaiting China’s approval, called an LOA, and then the process will come back to the US immigration side.  Our best guess is that we will travel early fall (September?) to bring her home.

We recently received a short update with a couple of pictures, a short video of her WALKING! and updated measurements.  Our 21 month old Peanut is still living up to her nickname weighing in at a whopping 15 pounds.  So Tiny!

Now, on to her name…

There have been hours and hours of discussions, hundreds of names considered and I was STRUGGLING to chose a name.  With some reflection, I realized that I was putting so much pressure on choosing the perfect name for Peanut because it’s the only part of this process I can control.

As a refresher, we had some self-imposed naming rules.  Did we follow these rules?  Let’s see…

  • Must be a surname/last name that can be used as a first name (i.e. Owen, Anderson, Quinn)…Check!
  • Must begin with a letter other than M, S, O, A, Q (no repeat initials in this family)…Check!
  • Must end in and “n” sound (i.e. Shane, Megan, Owen, Anderson, and Quinn all end in that sound)…Um, sort of???? ish???

So, two and and half out of three isn’t bad.  After all (self imposed) rules are made to be broken.

So without further adieu, let me introduce you to…

Collins Violet Elsbury

(a.k.a. Peanut forever)

Thanks to all that weighed in on the name game.  We think it fits her perfectly.  Collins, we can’t wait to bring you home!

P.S. If you are interested in supporting our adoption and helping us bring Peanut home, feel free to do your Amazon shopping through our blog affiliate link. It costs you no additional charge and we will earn a small portion of your purchase in commission. All earnings will go into our adoption fund to bring Peanut home. Thank you for supporting our family!

To start your Amazon shopping, click here.

One Year, 10 months, 17 days

Well, we’ve made it.  We’ve hit the tipping point.  The point in which Quinn has officially been with us longer than she was without us.

For one year, 10 months, and 16 days, she lived across the world.

But on the one year, 10 months, and 17th day the clock started over and she was placed into our eager arms.  Forever an Elsbury.

While my heart is sad that I missed her first cries, her first birthday, her first steps,  I am so delighted that I get a front row seat for all of the firsts yet to come.  Here’s to forever…


To be honest, I had planned on linking up and writing a Working It post for today.  The topic is balancing work and home life, but when I actually sat down to write I just wanted to laugh.  Isn’t balancing work and home life what all working moms strive for?  And don’t we all feel (at least at times) as if we are still trying to figure it all out?  So while there are many things I have found that help our family run smoothly, let’s be honest.  There is only one key to any success I have at being a working mom…I have amazing support.  Without Shane and my mom, this family would fall apart.  For eleven years I worked night shift, seven days in a row, then seven days off.  Without Shane to pick up more that his fair share on those weeks, we would not have survived.  Last June I was fortunate enough to leave my night shift days behind and start working part time.  While I am home more, I still cannot do this alone.  We have been so blessed to have Mimi watch the kids while I work and all of those other times i need to run people to various appointments and practices.  Thank you, Mom!  So there is my secret to how I Work It 🙂

Since I don’t have any earth shattering secrets to balancing work-family life, let’s get on with #everydayelsbury

A peek at life this week…

After work this evening I made the trek to the parking garage and up to the second floor for my car. Only my van wasn’t there. Hmm. So I went down to the first level. No van. Up to the third level. No van. Then back down to two where I swear I parked. Nope. Then back to one where FINALLY I find my van on the far end of the aisle. I hope the security guys watching the cameras got a good laugh out of that one. #dudewheresmycar

Brackets are done! Ready for some March Madness (P.S. I don’t think the Elsbury fellas will be winning the bracket pool) #godawgs

This morning we finished up The Armor of God at women’s bible study. Not only did I win The Prince Warriors for having not showered before study but I also got wrapped in a suit of armor made out of Reynolds wrap.

Working on their first duet.

We’ve got the snacks covered.

What do 8 women do when they leave 30 (and counting!) kids home with the husbands for the weekend? Absolutely nothing. And it was glorious. #chinamamas #thatsalotofkids

P.S. If you are interested in supporting our adoption and helping us bring Peanut home, feel free to do your Amazon shopping through our blog affiliate link.  It costs you no additional charge and we will earn a small portion of your purchase in commission.  All earnings will go into our adoption fund to bring Peanut home.  Thank you for supporting our family!

To start your Amazon shopping, click here.

What’s in a Name?

So we are struggling.  Struggling to decide on a name for our little Peanut.

I’m not going to go into our decision to give her a new American name and not keep her Chinese name.  But the reasons are many (one of which is that most Americans can’t pronounce it correctly).  So we are on the hunt for the perfect name.

You see, I have these rules that I want the name to fit into.  We still have our original name that we had if the boys had turned out to be a girl.  It is Norah.  With an h?  Without an h?  I can’t decide.  But it doesn’t fit my rules.

These two didn’t turn out to be Norah’s after all

What are my rules?


It needs to be a last name/surname that can be used as a first name. (i.e. Owen, Anderson, and Quinn)

This Butler dress is the very first thing I bought for Quinn before we even knew who she was


It needs to end in an “n” or “n” sound. (i.e. Shane,  Megan, Owen, Anderson, and Quinn)


It needs to start with a first letter OTHER THAN “S”,”M”, “O”, “A”, or “Q”.  (I frequently label things with our first initial, so no duplicates)

That’s it!  Easy peasy, right???  Well, we are having a hard time.  There are some names we like but have ruled out.  For example I like Emerson but it’s too close to Anderson.  Rowen (part of her Chinese name is Wen) it too close to Owen…

There are currently a couple of front runners but no clear winner yet.  We want the name to be perfect.  And then there is the issue of a middle name.  Gah!

I thought it would be fun to document my crazy baby name rules so we can look back in the future.

If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.  Sound off in the comments!

One last note.  If you are interested in helping us bring Peanut home, feel free to do your Amazon shopping through our blog affiliate link.  It costs you no additional charge and we will earn a small portion of your purchase in commission.  All earnings will go into our adoption fund to bring Peanut home.  Thank you for supporting our family!

To start your Amazon shopping, click here.

Linking up for with Erika and Ashley for Tuesday Talk.

Show and Tell Tuesday: My Loves

In honor of Valentine’s day I am linking up for Show and Tell Tuesday for a quick blog introduction of my loves.

The Hubby

We first met during our senior year in high school when we were each visiting Butler for a college visit but it wasn’t until our freshman year of college when my girlfriends and I began to harass the shy boy in our physics class.  After many non-date dates we officially went on our first date on April 23, 1999.  Five years and one day later we were married.  Now after almost 13 years of marriage and 3 (almost 4-yikes!) kids, I still love to spend my days harassing that boy.

Shane is the calm to my storm, can make all of my home improvement project ideas a reality, loves to scour the internet for a random deal, and can read a mean bedtime story.  When I met that random boy sitting on a bunk as a senior in high school I had no idea twenty years later he would still be the man of my dreams.

I love you babe!

The Firstborn

The one who made us a family and made me a mom.  Looking at Owen, is not just like looking into a mirror.  It’s like looking into a magnifying glass.  He has all of my personality traits and quirks and takes them to a whole new level.

His love of cars has been going strong since he could first pick up a toy.  Whether it is building a Hot Wheels track or walking around a classic car show, this boy is in love with all things car related.  Lately he constantly has a book in his hand and his love of reading makes me so proud.

The Middle Child

If I had to describe Anderson in one word it would be delightful.  This boy is an absolute joy to be around.  He is funny, sweet and helpful.  He also has the most incredible competitive spirit and can turn any task into a race.

He would be happy to spend his days on his bike or scooter and loves to play outside.  We are so enjoying watching him evolve into a big kid.

The Princess

In the last 20 months we have watched this little gal go from a scared and shut down toddler to a headstrong little firecracker.  She is independent, and stubborn and while these personality traits can make parenting difficult, they are going to serve her well as an adult.  This little lady is going to be unstoppable.

She loves all things girly and her current obsessions include lipstick and nail polish.  She is by far my biggest animal lover and I have no doubt she will one day team up with her brother to try to talk her mama into getting a dog.  Spoiler alert: not happening 😉

After 7 years of being a boy mom, she brought some sparkle to the team.  I am so thankful I get to be her mom.

The Peanut

And even though we have yet to meet, this list would not be complete without our little Peanut.

While we can’t yet list her likes or dislikes, she already has a part of our hearts.  It will be months until we get to hold her in our arms, yet we have no doubt that God has chosen us to be a family.

We look forward to completing our six pack.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Friday Favorites and What I (Really) Wore

It’s the end of another week so that means it’s time for another round of Friday Favorites.

1. We are adopting again!

Earlier this week we shared that our family is growing again through adoption.  If you missed it, you can check out the details here. We are so thankful for all of the comments, texts, calls and kind words.  We are so fortunate to have a tribe cheering us on as we work hard to bring our new little gal home.

2. Super Bowl

Last weekend we hosted our annual Super Bowl party.  And while we were not so happy about the outcome (we are Indianapolis Colts fans in this house), we loved spending the evening with friends.

Before the game the boys asked me to draw “that black paint under our eyes like the real football players”.  My favorite liquid eye liner to the rescue!

We typically have chili for Super Bowl but this year decided to mix it up with Walking Tacos.  Yum!

He fought hard, but he Super Bowled until he dropped.  I found the little man passed out in the living room at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Typically I hate baby showers, bridal showers and birthday parties that are inevitably scheduled for Sunday at 2:00.  It just messes up your entire Sunday.  But the Super Bowl?  Why is it so late?  I want to start a motion to move the Super Bowl to 2pm.  It’s just too late for a Sunday night!  Anyone else with me?

3. Pineapple Poblano Guacamole

I stopped into Aldi last week and picked up this little treat on a whim.  It was surprisingly delicious.  I found myself eating way too many chips and guac.  I highly recommend!

4. Walmart grocery oops

This week when I picked up my groceries at Walmart I was given a bag that belonged to another customer on accident.  When I got home and discovered the error I called the store and was told to keep the extra items.  Kool-aid packets, mini muffins and Jiffy mix.  We don’t know the mystery family that these items were intended for, but let me tell you these are not things we typically purchase.  These boys were ecstatic about these surprising treats.   As a side note:  I am still LOVING online grocery pick-up.  I have experienced a couple of hiccups along the way but customer service has always been great to deal with and happy to make things right.  If you are interested in my comparison of Walmart vs. Kroger online grocery make sure to check it out.

5. What I (really) wore

It’s another two-for-one week this week with favorites along with what I (really) wore.

top (similar)/denim/booties


jersey (old, but consider buying a kids sized jersey if you’re on the petite side)/denim

Even if our team isn’t playing, Super Bowl calls for wearing my favorite jersey.


cardigan (similar)/tee (similar)/denim/booties

As usual I’m linking up with Erika, Narci, and Andrea for Friday Favorites.

Thanks for stopping by!





Elsbury Party of SIX!!

For the past few weeks we’ve been keeping a secret.  We are adopting from China again!

Surprised? So are we!  But I will save that story for another day.

So without further adieu, we want to introduce you to the newest Elsbury…

She just turned 18 months old this weekend.  We are so excited and completely overwhelmed by the mountain of paperwork we need to undertake (again) to bring her home.

We are still working on deciding on a name, so for now we are calling her Peanut.  The perfect nickname name for her tiny little self.

We will likely not travel until fall to bring her home, but rest assured we are working to get to her as quickly as we can.

I can’t wait to share more, so stay tuned for more updates.  We are excited to share our journey to becoming a family of six!



A quick glimpse of life this week…

She may peek but you better keep your eyes firmly shut or she will call you out!

So thankful for my fellow China/Taiwan mamas. These ladies have been a lifeline over the past couple of years. Love you all!

A 35 degree afternoon calls for making…Popsicles???

Looking forward to kicking off this study tomorrow with some great ladies.

This is just a small portion of the stuff we found under Owen’s bed when we decided to test out some new furniture arrangements in his room. #ourlittlehoarder #hewantstosaveallthethings

All the heart eyes for daddy.

Happy Chinese New Year! Celebrating the year of the rooster with a “few” of our friends.

Thanks for following along!


Friday Favorites

Welcome to the first Friday Favorites of 2017!  Over the past week we have finished our last Christmas celebrations, returned back to school after break, and had our first snow day.    It’s been a full week.

Indianapolis Children’s Museum and Greenfield Christmas

Last weekend we packed up and headed to Indianapolis to celebrate Christmas with Shane’s family.  We decided to make a little stop the Indianapolis Children’s Museum on the way.  We have a season pass so we like to pop in when we are in town.  It was PACKED and when we first got there I wanted to leave.  But after a short time the crowd started to thin and we ended up having a great time.

The Doc McStuffins exhibit was a hit with our Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

The girls rode the carousel.

And the boys did the big slide.

Afterwards we headed to Greenfield to celebrate with Shane’s family.  I’m sad to say in the two days we were there I somehow only took this one picture of Nana reading.  But the boys had a great time playing with cousins and we ended the season on a high note.

Roller Skating

On Monday friends asked if we were interested in going roller skating with them.  We are never a family to say no to an outing, so we loaded up into the car and headed to the roller rink.  It was the first time skating for the kids and my first time on skates in 25 years.

It took Anderson a while to warm up and he started out extremely frustrated, but after getting his skate trainer he was off and loving it.  He has already asked to go back.

Owen couldn’t skate because of his broken arm, but he was a good sport and just hung out and watched us all wobble around the rink.  He served as our official roller rink photographer.

This girl is a roller skating natural.  She took off immediately with her skate trainer.  After a few lap around she decided she didn’t need it and was off on her own.  She wouldn’t let any of us any where near her.  Little miss independent.  Maybe she has a future in roller derby???  I was convinced she was going to get run over by a 200 pound man, but miraculously we all left unscathed and worn out from a fun afternoon.

Rechargeable Batteries

Christmas means lots of new toys around here.  New toys need tons of new batteries.  I am so thankful that we invested in a lot of rechargeable batteries a few years ago.  We have tried a couple of brands but we like the eneloop ones the best.

I’m pretty sure I have changed at least a hundred batteries in the past week.  Rechargeables are a life saver.  I just have to remember to remove the batteries before we get rid of or donate toys.

Tooth Fairy

I was at a friend’s house on Monday watching the Bachelor premiere (woot! woot!) when I received a text that Anderson had lost his first tooth.  He is so excited and was stoked to receive a dollar gold coin from the tooth fairy.  We love our tooth fairy pillow that hangs on the door because everyone finds the idea of her reaching under your pillow while you are sleeping a little bit creepy.  Ha!

Who Tooted

So with an 8 and 5 year old boy, there is plenty of poop and toot talk around here.  For Christmas they received the board game Who Tooted?.  Let’s be honest, it’s not for everyone.  But their faces tell it all.  It was a definitely a hit.

Snow Day

Early in the week it was 70 degrees and on Thursday we had our first snow day.  In reality there was just a dusting of snow, but the roads were slick in the morning so no school.

Yay for snow!  We learned that Quinn calls snow “snowman”.  She kept asking to play in the snowman.  It was so cute.

They didn’t let a lack of snow slow them down.  Did you know you can sled the snow right off of your yard??

Some how Anderson’s boot AND sock kept coming off.  How does that happen?

She spent the entire time throwing snow at me.  Apparently it was hilarious.

New Pics of Q

I love connecting with other adoptive families and have been fortunate enough to find several families of other kiddos from Quinn’s foster facility in China.  This week we were lucky to get two more pics of Quinn from her time in China from another family.  Since we missed  out on the first 22 months, every glimpse we have is a treasure.

Q is in the front row, second from the left in the pink.

Front an center with the yellow sleeves.  Look at all of those cuties.  I love that I know that several of these children are home with their forever families.

That’s it for this week.  If you missed it, make sure you check out my What I (really) Wore Wednesday post from this week.  I’m excited to start this new series.  You can also keep up with us on Instagram as we are bringing back our daily pictures in 2017 with a new hashtag #everydayelsbury2017.

As usual I’m linking up with Erika, Andrea, and Narci.

Eighteen months together

Dearest Quinn,

Today marks eighteen months since we first met face to face.

In eighteen months you have grown so much.  You have gone from having the cutest little pixie cut

to having hair longer than I have had in my 36 years.

You have grown from a tiny squishy toddler

to a lanky but strong little girl.

You are stubborn and headstrong.  Some days I’m not sure either of us are going to survive.  You love fiercely and know what you want.

Over the past few months your language has exploded.  While we have a long way to go, you surprise us with your new words every day.  Last week you told me “love you” for the first time.  And although that first time was prompted by daddy you have since offered it in return every time it is said to you.

You love animals, and dolls.  Prefer meat over vegetables.  You are going through a serious chewing gum obsession.  You can outrun one of your brothers and are a beast on a scooter.  If given the remote, you always choose Little Einsteins.  You love to dance and “lip sync” to music.  School is your favorite but you love to be home.  You now sleep in a big bed and have kicked diapers and pull-ups to the curb.  You are spicy.  You are sassy.  You are more than words can say.

Last night you fell while climbing in your chair at the dinner table and busted your lip.  While you were crying and the blood was flowing, you allowed me to hold you and comfort you.  You allowed daddy to get you ice for your lip.  Your brothers were concerned about the blood ruining what they knew were some of your favorite jammies.  You were surrounded by love.

Happy 18 months family-versary, Q.  We love you forever.  To China and back.



China pics by the wonderful Red Thread Photography and current pics by the talented Ashley Bowen Photography