Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine and injustice when He could do something about it. But I'm afraid God might ask me the same question.

Monday, November 30, 2009

One of our family favorites.

A fun filled evening all for 99cents worth of marshmallows. Nice. I love the simple things.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

My ridiculously easy peasy first recipe post.

I'm embarssed, this my first recipe posted on my blog and it should be in a kid's or perhaps a newlywed cookbook. But it is still yummy, VERY easy, and it uses up some of those yummy turkey leftovers. Seriously I almost didn't post it because it is so obvious but here I go..
along with your turkey leftovers (cut up a bit). Add golden mushroom soup ( a bit more flavor than the average cream of mushroom) I added two cans to my mixture. Also add frozen mixed veggies until you get a good turkey/veggie/soup ratio.

Put a pie crust layer in the bottom of the pie pan, add the turkey/veggie mix, then let your kiddo put on the top layer.

Remember we are going for the rustic look so don't stress it.

Bake it up until it is nice and bubbly and golden brown.. 350 degrees for about 45 minutes...if it starts to brown too much cover it up with foil..

Next week I will post my cheater version of Paella. I grew up in South Florida and my hubby is of the latin persuasion so we love spanish food. Paella is one of our favorites,,, I used to make a recipe with clams, mussles,shrimp, chicken & chorizo (spanish sausage).. It is yummy, and if I have a crowd I will still spend the time to make it... but for weeknight dinners,,,not a chance... I have come up with a new version I call "Cheater Paella" and it is equally as yummy and takes a mere fraction of the time. (My husband will be excited when he reads my blog, it's one of his favs)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Give me a fish and I will eat for a day, Teach me to fish and I will eat for a lifetime....
This is the basis for my following theory....Teach them to cook and 5 years from this very day, I will be sipping my coffee, reading the paper, and watching the Thanksgiving day parade as I manage my work crew.
I'm just saying, nothing hit the dinner table this evening that this guy didn't help with. And even though these are not my favorite type of dinner rolls, I knew Mina would love the chance to have her very own project. Can you tell she was a bit thrilled. As soon as she got the hang of it she had an audience of "helpers", I know how you feel baby girl. Now I'm just saying that this is my theory, it could possibly backfire terribly and by the time they are all really able to HELP, they will be over the excitement and realize that they rather be playing video games.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful the preview.

I have so much to be thankful for...and since I want to take the time tomorrow to appreciate all that I am thankful for... the cooking/mess started today. I am so thankful for all of my "helpers". They each got to pick one thing to make for dinner, Jackson picked apple pie. I am not the biggest fruit pie fan, if I am going to have dessert, I'm all about rich gooey chocolate. I'll save the fruit for when I want to eat healthy...that being said I am actually really excited about this pie.
(Please excuse my pile of junk mail in the background, such is my life :)
We have never made it this way before. You put the apples in the crust, and then you pour a carmel sauce all over the top and bake it... It looks and smells really yummy. Mommy tip, go ahead and let your 5 yr old "do" the crust.. We'll call it the rustic look. Mina wants to help with everything,,who am I kidding they all want to "help" with everything. She did do a good job with the praline topping for the sweet potatoes. Speaking of praline topping, we had a bit extra, so I sliced up a few more apples, dumped the praline topping on them and popped them in the oven... yum-o. Collin the poor kid has a wrestling tournament today, have I ever mentioned that I am not a fan of high-school wrestling? I hate watching my (biggest)baby try to "make weight" every week. He lost over 17 pounds in the last few weeks. SCARY. So this morning when the house smelled of baking apple pies and sizzling sausage he politely asked me if I could drop him off at school a little early since I was torturing him. He looks pathetic. I don't get it. He doesn't have another tournament for a week so he is looking forward to Thanksgiving more than any of us. So when I asked Kobi what she wanted to make for Thanksgiving dinner, her reply... "Oreo Cheesecake" . That a girl. I knew I loved you.. We will be tackling that one when the babies take their nap this afternoon.
p.s. now for a question... I usually don't post food photos on here because I think photos of food can look really disgusting unless you take amazing photos, which I do not. I have been toying with the idea of adding some simple recipes to my blog. I love cooking which is a good thing because we are food people and I spend WAY too much time in the kitchen. I have a bunch of easy dinners and I have been considering sharing my way easy secrets, but I don't want to gross anyone out with up close and personal images of food. Whatcha think?

Friday, November 20, 2009

My biggest baby

We are officially on the countdown to Collin MOVING to CHINA! He leaves right after Chinese New year and will be living in Beijing for 6 months. As his Mama, I am sad and thrilled at the same time. My sadness is selfish so I try desperately to put that aside. He (and 3 other teens from the US) will be living and studying there on a scholarship through the US government. He will be going to school with the local kids in Beijing,living in a dorm during the week and living with a host family on the weekends. I know he will do well in China,his itinerary is packed full of life changing experiences. Oh how I would love to join him, I'm sure he would love to bring his Mommy along, right? I also can't help but wish that at 17 years old I had half the confidence and direction this child o' mine has. I wish I could take credit for it but I can't... Even when he was 5 years old I would have rather entered a crowded room with him by my side because he has always felt 100% comfortable in his own skin, he makes other people feel comfortable just being near him. He could entertain for hours telling tales of my cruel and unusual Mommy moments. I admit that I am TOUGH, but when he tells the stories he gets me cracking up. I will refrain from telling the stories in a public website as they might incriminate me. But once when he was 13 he tried to say, "Whatever" to me... and it was the LAST time he ever tried it... He has never been brave enough to roll his eyes or sass me again. But he loves to tell the story of my crazy antics. I used to fear the teen years before I had a teenager, but it has been wonderful. When you watch the news or some of those scary Opr@h shows about the horrifying things teenagers do... I get all worked up for a bit and then I think of my boy and he makes me feel hopeful. We have come to the place where I have very few rules for him. I have no control, his life is 99% in his hands right now. The best mommy feeling in the world is having confidence that your child is making good decisions based on their own moral compass.

... Because I truly feel you have to pick your battles with your teen...this is my LOST battle. I usually never go this far in, but just so I could keep things on the up and up.. I risked life and limb to bring you the following photos. Just be thankful your computer screen isn't "scratch and sniff".

I especially love the little vignette of with the dirty dishes next to they lysol spray, can't you just tell he is a germaphobe? Oh and the college application, mixed in with dirty dishes, empty fruit stripe gum wrappers, and dirty clothes. Uhh, and shouldn't he be taking those books to school?
p.s. I am sure this sappy mama will be talking about her teenager way too much in the upcoming months... please bear with me, I'm sure I will need some prayer and handholding once February comes around.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Christmas ideas anyone?

I was perusing one of my favorite blogs Signs of Hope, Life in a Chinese Foster home last week and they had started a new venture, creating these (and more) beautiful aprons made by women in rural China, who are paid fair wages for their labor. These are more than cute aprons they are dignity
A quote from their website :


"Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life." {Nelson Mandela}
There is no dignity in poverty. We live in a community where the minimum wage is around $700 USD a year, but it costs twice that to send a child to school for a year. Despite the poverty, there are no beggars on our streets. The local people are proud and want to work to support their families. When we give work and not charity, we give the gift of dignity. We give a mother the opportunity to hold her head high as she watches her child go to school, knowing that it was her hard work that made it possible.
Scarlet threads (there is a link on my sidebar), make sure you read their vision. What a fantastic Christmas idea!!! Happy shopping.

Girls and their messes

Our home will never been photographed for an issue of Better H@mes and G@rdens, I'm okay with that, I really am. If my floors aren't covered with random pieces of P@lly P@ckets, and I have less than 2 loads of laundry piled up, I am a happy woman. Keeping my expectations low makes for a much happier Mama. Marc and Jackson were camping last weekend so Kobi and I had a little bit of girl time. Nothing makes my girl happier than doing a "project". The messier and bigger the better, and we don't care that it is a Christmas decoration, just in time for Thanksgiving. We drove the babies crazy with our mess of scissors and paper that they couldn't much "help" with, but you could see Kobi's little eyes just beaming. There were little paper shreds all over the dining room, she loves when she is covered in craft scraps, it's her happy place. She loves that her project is prominently displayed in the foyer of our house, and the fact that she waited for her little brother to hang them on the light fixture with a fishing pole.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Finally Finn's Family Day Video

I have finally completed Finn's gotcha/family day video. Ohhh, how I love making these videos, it brings back so many memories and makes me miss China terribly. I may make a shortened version that people other than her Mama would actually want to watch. But seeing that it took me 6 months to whip this one together... we shall see.
p.s. i really wish my dorky face wasn't the front shot to her adorable video
p.s.s. I went ahead and posted Mina & Finn's video on the very bottom of my blog so it is always in the same spot.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I usually don't dress my girls alike.
For one, I have no business buying any more little girls clothes, then there is the fact that I normally just don't like to dress them the same. but then once in a while you see a little shirt on the clearance aisle of T@rget for 75 cents and you figure, what the heck....
It is ridiculously cute to see them all matchy matchy.
Especially when I see glimpses of the sisterly love that is slowly growing between them... melts a Mama's heart real quick.

Yeah, we have a good time.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

6 months ago today

you walked into our lives
You were so brave and strong

Our hearts broke for your pain
We fell in love in an instant
That very same evening, 6 months ago, you opened up your heart and never stopped.
We are head over heels for you.
We love your easy going, happy go lucky, cuddly little self.
You are a blessing to our lives and fill our family with joy.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Missing pieces..

For a year and a half I have been trying to find this small piece of a huge puzzle. When we adopted Mina we knew that she had lived with a foster family. I had so wanted to meet the foster family but I was not allowed, so I tried to get at least a photo and it proved quite difficult. Yesterday morning, sitting in my email inbox, was this photo. Mina "Kang Ni's" foster mother.
I am glad to have the photo, but it leaves my heart with more questions. It was another reminder that my daughter's life didn't start the day I showed up at the civil affairs office in Changsha China. She was in pretty rough shape that afternoon, and I will always wonder about the conditions of her first year and a half. I wish I could have been there from the very first moment of her life, I wish I could answer all the questions she will someday have, the same questions that plague my head now. I will admit that I never expected adoption to be as complex as it is. I had the fantasy of bringing home a child, giving a child a family and everything would go on status quo. It is humbling to see a two year old child filled with anxiety over your affections and every attention, to know that you alone will never be able to fill the voids created by that earlier life. I pray that God will fill her cup overflowing, as only he can.