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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Serious Summer Fun

Sometimes we tend to make a scene in simple places...We get a lot of looks and pointed fingers but mostly smiles...  we surely weren't being very conspicuous on our recent trip to Low@s... we were on a mission.  We had big plans for this weekend.... 
 And this was what we were after....
 **** DISCLAIMER, although this is what we ended up buying the first time around, we (and by we, I mean my hubby) ended up going back to the store to return this one and get the 10 ft by 100 ft plastic sheeting...this here 10 x 25 ft is for wimps :)
 I say, "go big or go home" ... wait we were home, never mind.
 I'm sure I will be pulling this puppy out several times this summer.  I mean seriously,  I think I had the most fun out of everyone... I even have a bruise on my bum to prove it... sorry ,  T.M.I.  for sure.
 This is just one of those simple things that I have a feel like my kids are going to remember for a really long time.  I think I am going to start a "making memories" file here on the blog.  I have really been thinking and noticing a lot lately that my kids seem to remember and love the simple things we do the best.  It makes me feel better when I'm stressing all of the things we can't do for our large brood,,, to remember that they don't talk about the Disn@y trips...they talk about the times when we do things like this...make the World's largest slip 'n slide (don't burst their bubble and tell them otherwise, they were talking about calling Guin@ss and I wasn't about to stop them)
100 foot plastic sheeting, 1 garden hose, & a bottle of dish soap  ===  HOURS of fun!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Easy summer recipes...the Cheatin' chicken :)

So I had a better idea for simplified summer cooking!  My very favorite CHEAT- the rotisserie (or roasted) chicken. You know the ones you buy at c@stco or s@ms.  When I go, I always pick up a few and the first night we eat the chicken with a few different sides.  Then I pull of all the meat from the rest of the chickens and I always know I have some easy dinners the next couple of nights.   I decided to write up a few of my favorite ideas using the leftover chicken.  All of these recipe ideas can be made in under 10 minutes of hands on time since your chicken is already DONE!  I went ahead and left out all the soup and casserole recipes because they just don't fit in with my idea of summer cooking.

 Also, sometimes I roast my own and I use this recipe here, I even sometimes use a rotisserie spice mix I buy at the grocery so I really just have to throw them in the oven for a few hours, I add some garlic potatoes and other roasted veggies and we usually make a nice Sunday dinner out of it.. I of course make 2 or 3 extra chickens to have left-overs for the next few nights {yes we eat a lot :) }

So here you go. All of the things I can think of making with a rotisserie Chicken as I sit here on the sidelines of the soccer field:)

"Greek"-ingredients  Chicken, sun-dried (or fresh) tomatoes, olives, feta, cucumber,Artichokes, mushrooms, lemon , onion,  parsley, Rosemary, Italian dressing
Pick your favorites of the above ingredients and put them on a salad, on a pizza, over bow-tie noodles, over couscous, in a panini,or in a pita with tzatziki sauce

"ASIAN" - 
chicken fried rice
quick stir-fry with a bag of frozen Asian veggies over rice or noodles
Asian slaw:  Prepared bagged cole-slaw mix add, ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, a bit of sugar, red pepper with chicken

MEXICAN ;Chicken, salsa, black beans and corn,cilantro, Lime, refried black beans, sour cream, black olives, green onions, lettuce,tomato, tortilla chips, taco seasoning
Take any combo of above and put them on a salad, in a tortilla, on pizza, over yellow, white or brown rice, over chips to make nachos, or on a tortilla and bake for a true mexican pizza.  

Chicken salad, so many ways... 
chicken simply over greens with favorite toppings.  My kids always like when I do a salad loaded with cheese, bacon bits, tomatoes and croutons, throw the healthy benefits right out the window :) 
Cobb Salad
Chicken Ceasar 
Asian chicken salad:  with chicken, mandarin oranges, veggies, sprouts, chow mein noodles and ginger dressing.  

other quickies:
Super Easy Chicken pasta: Chicken, frozen peas, add a tub of that new philladelphi@ cooking cream. heat. Pour over cooked bowtie noodles.  add some more Parmesan if you'd like.  this dinner takes about 7 minutes to make and my kids eat it up like mad.  

Buffalo Chicken dip:  You may want to consult your physician before making this one :)  
Spread a brick of cream cheese on the bottom of a pie pan,  mix shredded chicken with fr@nks red hot sauce and pour on top of the cream cheese mixture.  Finally top with blue cheese dressing and bake until all hot and bubbly..  the blue cheese will just start to brown.  Serve with Frito scoops... I even freeze this dip and take it to the beach.. it sure isn't pretty, but it satisfies the meanest of junk food cravings :) 

BBQ Chicken sandwiches : shred chicken, add BBQ sauce ,heat, and put on a bun with some slaw.
BBQ chicken pizza. you can use the bbq sauce for the "pizza sauce" sliced red onions (or caramelized onions) , chicken, cilantro, and cheese and bake

One of our family favorites :PANINI's

To make: use any type of bakery bread, you can grill the sandwiches with either sliced bread or rolls. Brush with olive oil or butter and toast in a panini press( or in a pan with a foil wrapped brick on top, or if your fancy like me, on a Ge@rge Form@n :) . Another beautiful thing about these yummy sandwiches is that you can assemble them before hand and then grill them up at dinner time!
 Here is a few good panini's using your already cooked chicken:

Chicken, mozzarella, Tomato and Basil  (you can even leave out the chicken on this one like we did HERE)
Chicken, salami or prosciutto, basil, fontina, and tomato on rolls with a bit of italian dressing and maybe even a sprinkle of oregano
chicken, apples, & cheddar
chicken, bacon, avocado (or guacamole)& provolone
chicken, pesto, tomato, & mozzarella
chicken, mayo, artichoke, squeeze of lemon, greens,& provolone  
chicken,  ham, provolone cheese, Fresh spinach leaves, or baby lettuce and a bit of mayo
chicken,salt and pepper, olive oil, drained jarred roasted red peppers -- chopped, kalamata olives, fresh basil and provolone cheese

Let me know if you have any other ideas.  I'm sure I think of a ton more once I hit the publish button :)  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Counting down to Summer fun..

Can you feel the excitement of summer???
 I sure can and I've been busy getting my tail in gear finishing up a few projects around the house.   I'm on a mission to channel my inner baby-sitter,   "say what???"  Well my goal is to be able to play along with the kiddos all summer long... you know, like a baby-sitter does.  I really want to be conscious of doing anything that doesn't have to be done.  When the kids are having a lazy day watching a movie...I want to be right there in the thick of it... not scrambling to get anything done.  So standards will be lowered... chore charts will be made [we gotta share the love :) ]...and I am thinking of pulling out this trick again... 
maybe with some more summery/healthy meals.  I'll have to get on that planning though, only a few more days of school. If you want the recipes/instructions from my last freezer filling extravaganza,, you can check out the link here.  

Monday, May 9, 2011

My super special Mudders day

 I hope you all had a great Mother's Day!  Isn't it such a great day! I almost have a little Mama guilt over how much I enjoyed my weekend.  Yes-sirreeeee.  I milked it, and made my day into a weekend.  I'm not the kind a girl that wants a day at the spa... I'm much more simple than that...but my simplicity can't be bought.... it takes time :)    My amazing, wonderful, thoughtful hubby pretty much gave me the weekend to do and be gone whenever and however I wanted.. so I took him up on it and spent the last two days being lazy and frivolous with my time and lovin' it.  Saturday I went and drove around a massive yard sale and picked up a bunch of goodies one of which was this book that I had been wanting to read....  

then I bopped around M@rshalls & homego@ds for way longer than I necessary and even tried on a bunch of clothes I didn't need.  I ended up buying the perfect little black dress that I have absolutely no where to wear it but I don't care... for $25 it made my stinkin' day cause it fits like a glove in all the right places...and not in all the wrong places if you know what i'm sayin' :)   Does wonders for a girls psyche...I'm a simple girl :)  

Then I came home, kissed my babies and headed outside for my hammock with my book under my arm.   b.l.i.s.s

and it is a great book.  so i spend the rest of the afternoon, sipping my sweet tea and reading.  

Then, Sunday morning we go to church, then out to lunch at my favorite sandwich shop.  then home.  I grab my book,  grab a handful of dark chocolates and shove them in my pockets of my jean shorts like a 5 year old and sneak out back to my hammock...Here's the message in one of my chocolates...made me smile. big.

I lay around so much this weekend that I finish the entire novel in less than 24 hours. Great book, you have to read it, love the characters. 

  We also do the rounds to soccer games, which is so fun. And the kids made me a big gooey chocolate cake with an obnoxious amount of sprinkles and frosting... Yeah  I accomplished nothing but it was pure perfection... to have this time that I just wasted being frivolous and unbusy and unrushed.  I don't get much time to just soak up books or just be,  I feel like I'm always rushing and doing.  My adorable hubby knows me so well... he knows what I appreciate and how I feel appreciated.  I know my weekend doesn't sound glamorous but to me it was pure perfection.  I felt like I was on vacation.Oh did I mention he also got all the laundry caught up so I don't have to do it tomorrow on my laundry day!!!  That is no small task of this rather large crew.... I didn't even make or think up one meal this weekend.. I was here in body but not mind... I feel recharged and ready to hit the ground running tomorrow!  I love being a Mommy, I love that I have such a great husband that appreciates and supports me.   (on a side note,,, can you count how many chins I have in the following photo..I counted 37.  oh well)  I am such a lucky girl!  I feel so blessed this mothers day... I hope you do to.  Big hugs to all my Mommy friends out there!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Do you know where our Mama is???

Try as I may I can not pull myself away from seeing the children who are waiting and having my heart broken time and time again.  I meet people almost everyday that have a heart for adoption but there is this looming fear of the "what-if's"...  What I really want to say is, "What never open your heart to this child and you miss out on the biggest blessing of your life?"  "What if...because of fear of stepping out of your comfort zone, another child never knows what having a family means."  "What if... this child has a heart so big that they beam every time you walk into the room and they love you for the rest of your life."  "What if... you could be the hands and feet of Jesus in the crazy world"  I guarantee if you ask 100 people who have adopted at least 99 of them would say their lives have been drastically changes by adoption...for the BETTER! Not that we all weren't scared at the we just all know better.  It's not always easy but it is always worth it.    

This is Pearl, she just turned 3 years old.  Isn't she precious.  She needs a Mama, don't you agree?  She has a heart condition that requires surgery.  Usually, it seems kids get surgery while they are in China but she has not yet.  I would love to see her find a family super quick.  She also has a cleft palate that will need to be corrected at some point once she is home.  My heart is aching for her.    See what her files says about her personality below...
 At the age of 25 months, she could understand the meanings of sentences and carry out the simple orders. Pearl liked to close to me, I interacted with other children no matter where I sat at the activity room, she always sat behind me quietly; sometimes she would put the toy phone to her ear, and press on the number on the homophone. Sometimes she would do a somersault for me, after that she would come to me and sit on my bosom with head lying on my bosom, shaking her legs while smiling; when asking her where was the dog, she not only pointed to the dog picture on the wall but also studied the puppy to call. Now Pearl is 28 months old, every day she will go out to play; once she put on shoes she will go to the elevator and waiting with children together; when reaching the small garden, at first she will enjoy the flowers and touch the tree, and then she holds the tree and hide it, meaning playing game of hide-and-seek with me. Now Pearl not only could have a dinner with spoons but also choose food; she likes to eat rice noodle and wonton; putting the porridge and the rice noodle in front of her, she often choose the rice noodle.She likes to eat dessert and all kinds of fruits and corn. This is Pearl, a young girl who suffers from CHD, and is delicacy but is quiet and sensible and adorable.  
And here is some updated info from a few weeks ago: Pearl can walk up and down the stairs holding onto the railing. She counts the steps “one, two, three, four, five..” while walking up the stairs. She kicks the ball with her foot and can throw the ball with both hands. She can play some games with the teachers using her fingers and dance. If she sees other children doing something wrong, she tries to tell the teacher by pointing at the child and say Ah Ah. She is potty trained and knows to wash her hands after going to the bathroom. She can put on and take off her pants and shoes. She goes to bed on her own when it is time to sleep. She feeds herself with a small spoon. She can say “Ba Ba and Ma Ma”. She says Wang Wang to imitate the dogs and says Wo Wo to imitate the roosters. When she sees the teachers, she says “Lao Shi Hao” (Hello, Teacher) and when she leaves she says Bye Bye and blows kisses.

And look at this sweety, Tori...She has already had heart surgery and recovered very well.  She is 4 years old.  Check out her cuteness and see what her orphanage had to say about her.
She can run and jump comfortably. She can walk up and down stairs by herself. She can say sentences with three to five words in them. She is a little girl who loves to talk, to laugh and to sing and to jump.  She recovered very well from her surgery.  She is not a picky eater. Tori has outgoing personalities. She loves to talk and laugh. She also cries easily. She likes to listen to music, sing, play with paper, draw, tear paper as a game. She doesn’t like stuffed animals or animal toys. Tori has normal intelligence and her motor development is also very good. Only her language development is somewhat slower than her peers but she has made much progress in this area as well. 

To find out more about these precious kids you can leave a comment with your email address or you can contact the agency that has their file here:  xqcai@comcast (dot) net

Monday, May 2, 2011

Weekend blessings

Ok, before I get to the point of my post I have to apologize for the photos from the last post... I was so psyched to try to post from my phone but the photos are the I am going to try again soon and hope for some better pics...hopefully I can get it to work better!   
I just gotta say is there anything better than a big group of families getting together for a potluck picnic, eating off paper plates, letting the kids run wild and spending a beautiful afternoon together?  We are so fortunate to have several amazing families blessed with the heart for adoption so close by.  We spent a wonderful afternoon together yesterday and I am still buzzing with love for all of them! 

The volleyball court turned into a huge sandbox for the littles...  and my apologies to anyone who was scrubbing sand out of little hair last night.  As I was washing Finn's sandy head, Mina ratted on her and told me she was pouring sand on other kids...  So sorry, I am usually not the oblivious Mom that lets her kid terrorize the sandbox.   If you have a complaint leave it in the comment section and I will make sure Finn delivers a bottle of "No more tears -shampoo" with an apology letter.  

 All in all there was over 60 of us...  and 6 of those families are waiting for word to travel and get their babies!!!!  So exiting!    Thanks all for the yummy food!
 Ok, you just have to see this adorable family.  I just love them so.  Not sure if you remember but almost a year ago I wrote this POST...about finding Ty because the sweetest woman came to my house to buy something I was selling on Cr@igslist... and she was wanting to adopt.. Well that precious woman is home with her baby now 3 weeks, and she is just the most precious little thing... LOVE
  And this photo of sweet baby Lucy with her Papa just wrecks me...  I seriously tear up.  Something about a father and his first baby girl....nothing compares to that love.

The littles playing a serious game of corn hole :) 

 and the big boys played football for hours,  my Jackson had a blast.
 I love barefoot little girls running around giggling and getting all silly.  These two are going to grow up and be party planners... they love a good fiesta!
 Such a great day and I feel so blessed to have such an amazing support and friendship with all of these beautiful families!