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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy Dance


Over the holiday break we have been kind of hanging low.  Today, Winston was able to hook up with his friend Rohith who he doesn't get to see that often since they go to different schools and Rohith lives in the town where we used to live.  Anyway, today I picked up his friend and we went to lunch.  Addy, Roman, and Harris stayed home with the Babysitter Amanda.  It was nice to have lunch without miss trying to climb out of the high chair or on the table.  She doesn't seem to get that when you eat you are suppose to stay seated.  Afterwards, Winston's friend came over to our house to hang out.  They had a blast.  Minutes before his friend was suppose to go home it began snowing.  The boys ran outside and began doing a happy dance.  They were so excited.  They hoped it would stick.  Sadly no fluffy snow is lining our driveway.

Later on I was doing a happy dance as Harris decided he was going to make dinner for the family. He made Spaghetti Marinara and garlic bread.  He did an excellent job.  I guess I am going to have to put him in charge of making dinner more often.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 12




Signs of Christmas are all but gone today.  I woke up with the urge to put it all away and clean.  Not standard for me since I usually wait till New Years day to put all the decorations away; however, I just couldn't help it, and within a few hours the decorations were packed away and I had moved on to purging the house of it's clutter.  The storm raged outside and inside as each bag of trash was filled or bag to go to the Goodwill was filled it was Hawaii for me.  My mother would like to say I am a little OCD, but I would rather like to say I like everything having it's place.  

Christmas was perfect this year!  The boys gave us the gift along with Addy of sleeping in until after 8 am.  Harris read the Christmas story before Roman handed out the presents.  Harris was thrilled with all the money he got and a new pair of headphones.  Winston was thrilled with his new video games.  Roman was over the moon with his Batman castle and Angry Bird Star Wars game and Addy loved pulling the wrapping paper off the packages.  Santa even left a present for Avery, so when she comes over from China she will have a baby doll that looks just like her.

This year we invited a co-worker and his family over for dinner.  It was wonderful to be able to share our home with them.  This year we had some new additions to our food menu and they were  a big hit!  I made from scratch a green bean casserole for dinner.  No can soup used to help make it!  It was yummy!  I also made stuffed mushrooms.  We filled them will pimento dip and then baked them.  Yum!!!! Christmas music was listened too, lots and lots of food was consumed, a few games of ping pong played, and later when the little's were tucked in bed Winston and I cuddled in his bed and watched  Santa Paws.  Oh, I also finished my Christmas quilt with the help of my mom. Pictures coming on that soon.    I hope your Christmas was filled with lots of joy.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve










The Stockings are hung, the presents are wrapped, and the children are snuggled in bed.  Clarence has gotten his wings (It's a Wonderful Life) and we are ready to celebrate Christmas.  Are hearts are full and we are grateful for we are truly blessed.  Come let us adore him Oh come let us adore him, we sung at church this evening.  My family wishes you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  May 2013 bring you happiness and joy! Love, Frank, Kelleyn, Harris, Winston, Roman, Addy, and soon coming from China this upcoming year Avery.

Cheesecake
3 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
3 packages of softened cream cheese
12 crushed  graham crackers or 1 package
6 tablespoon of melted butter
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 large can of fruit topping or fresh fruit.
I medium container 16 ounces of sour cream and 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

In a bowl mix crushed graham cracker and melted butter along with 1 tablespoon of sugar.  Then press mixture into your spring form pan.  Bake crust for 10 minutes.

In a bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Pour onto crust and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.  Should be slightly golden and spring back to the finger touch.

The combine sour cream, sugar and vanilla and pour onto cake and bake for another 10 minutes.  Allow to cool for about a 1/2 hour and pour fruit on top.  We always have cherry at Christmas!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Light "Corner View"


There are no words to describe or to explain the events that occurred on Friday.  I wish I could almost say it is unbelievable, but that would not be true.  Events like this have occurred 37 times in my life time.  Once is to many.  I grew up in a home where we had guns.  We used them for protection as we owned property on the border of Denali National Park.  Guns were a necessity  to protect oneself from bears, wolfs, and a charging moose.  So, I understand the argument very well from those who wish to have the right to bear arms.  What I don't understand is why anyone would need a semi-automatic weapon.  I don't understand why anyone would have these guns in a home where there are children.  They never talk about the accidental shootings that occur each year from a child's curiosity, or the husband or wife who in anger loose their temper and take it too far.  When are we going to say enough. 

Across town a friend who lost her 10 year old son three years ago to cancer, is now battling to save her husbands life from pancreatic cancer.  How will she survive?  She is a stay at home mother.  Who will look after her children when they come home from school.  How will she pay the bills!  It seems almost too much to ask of anyone person.

In another home a husband and wife grieve the lost of their 6 year old daughter.  She died this summer to Mitochondrial disease.  There will be no squeals of delight on Christmas morning.  Even the poor dog is grieving. 

The grieve is so thick!  The pain is so real!  I hug my children closer.  I put down what I am doing to listen more patiently, and despite all this darkness I have to choose the light.  The light of goodness!  The light that Jesus is the Christ!  That he lives !  That through him everything will be all right in the end for in Psalms 147:3 it says "He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds." I choose to follow the light for it says in 2 Samuel 23:4 "And he shall be as the light of the morning when the sun riseth, even a morning springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain."

I choose to let my light shine to share all that is good in me and with others. In Mathew chapter 5 verse 16 it says, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."  While I am only one I can make a difference. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christams Card fiasco



With Christmas just 10 days away, I thought I better get my act together and get my Christmas card made.  Usually, I have my cards out by the 1st of December but this year we have been way to busy.  This week I came up with an idea and purchased the children beautiful sweater vest and Addy a holiday sweater.  This morning rolled around and the weather  was just blah.  However, I have heard many photographers say that they perfer the over cast day.   I got the littles bathed and dressed and told the bigs if they weren't dressed they could forget about having Christmas.  One 13 year old insisted his hair despite sticking up looked fantastic.  We got in the car and went to the location.  I first took individual photo and then proceeded to try to take a group photo.  No one would cooperate.  Out of 60 shots in various configuations not one worked out.  Addy really didn't want anything to do with the whole process.  She would not sit on their laps and she wouldn't allow them to hold her.  We tried having her standing, but she would not look at the camera.  It just wasn't meant to be this year.   In the end this is what I came up with and it is what it is.  To tell you the truth, I knew it was going to be difficult and I would  perfer a root canal than to try an re-shoot the photos!  That being said, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12-12-12 and other events


I guess we all survived the end of the world and we are now on the other side.  I like the other side.  My house smells amazing as I just pulled out a batch of molasses cookies.  It smells like Christmas!  These are my favorite holiday cookies.  I forgot a few people in my operation cookie and so I found my self baking, but that is no big deal because it really makes me happy to know someones belly will be filled with something I made. 

Heard at my house today a little girl saying baby.  A middle age mother belting out holiday carols as she folded laundry.  It made her so happy.  A teenage boy declaring he was happy his mother could cook. 

Discovered a little boys writing declaring he would be a good elf because he is a good boy. 

One happy father as his little girl squealed as she saw him.  Someone has become a papas girl.

Excited because I am almost done with the Christmas shopping and just maybe I might get a card out if the vest I ordered arrive tomorrow.

Are you finished shopping?  What is on your agenda for the weekend.  We don't have really any grand plans.  The boys are excited to go see the Hobbit.  One will go with him grandmother the other for a friends birthday party.

Looking forward to going to dinner at Nan with our friends Matt, Lisa, Marco, Simona, Michaela, and Olga.  I hear the decor is fabulous and the food is amazing.  I am not a big Thai fan, but Frank loves Thai.  I am sure he will be in heaven.   

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Corner View "White"


One of my favorite holiday memories is going to the Christmas market in Germany with my husband.  There is nothing more magical.  The twinkeling lights hanging from the wooden huts in the dark northern skies. Fluffy white snow crunching below boot laden feet.  Craft booths selling everything from homemade honey to wooden toys, but a Christmas market wouldn't be a Christmas market without food.  Gingerbread hanging in heart shapes on red ribbons, roasted almonds covered in vanilla sugar, wurst, and potato pancakes. Traditionally in Germany they are served with applesauce. Our house it divided: my husband loves them with applesauce, I love them with sour cream, and the children love them with ketchup.  They really are so simple to make. 

4 large potatoes shredded
2 eggs whisked to break the yolks
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 leak chopped finely
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
6 Tablespoons of flour

Oil for frying.  I used olive oil, but you can use vegetable oil.  Just enough to coat the bottom of the pan.  We aren't deep frying these.

In a bowl combine everything but the oil.  With a 1/2 cup measurement cup scoop mixture into your palm of your hand and form a small patty as if you were making a hamburger.  Then gently lay in your heated oil.  Oil should be heated on medium.  Too high and you will burn them and they will be raw on the inside.  Cook until golden brown then flip and cook until golden brown on other side.  I like mine extra crispy, so I leave in pan just a little longer.  The trick really is to leave them alone as long as possible because if you flip them too early they will fall apart. You can place these on a paper towel and place in your oven at 200 to 250 degrees until you have cooked all of them to serve everyone at the same time.  My family just steals them as quick as I can get them out of the pan.  Enjoy! 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Operation Cookie and Other Events Snap Shot Sunday

St. Nicolas visited us this week.  He comes on the 6th of December per German tradition.  The Children  left their shoe by the fire place and when they woke up they found that St. Nicholas had brought some new books for our collection this year: Olivia helps with Christmas by Ian Falconer, How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss, How Many Miles to Bethlehem by Kevin Holland, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson, and the Miracle of the Wooden Shoes by Deborah Rowley.  He also gave the bigger boys i-tune cards and some candy for everyone.

Yesterday after taking Winston and his friend Matt to see The Rise of the Guardian (Roman stayed home with the babysitter.  He loves her), I spent the afternoon in the kitchen baking and baking.  I made three types of cookies.  The first was a cherry white chocolate shortbread, the second a peppermint blossom, and the third cookies are my favorite double chocolate chip.  Now our teacher gifts, neighbor gifts, Dr. Gifts are complete.  It feels so good to have that checked off our to do list!  Yahoo!

Well, Frank and Addy are out delivering cookies and the sun is starting to dip into the sky.  It was a beautiful day today.  Loved the message at church today which was Do you have room for Jesus in your life.  It has me thinking that while I do many good things with my family, is all of it necessary.  Could we cut back on some things to make more room to include the Savior in our lives.  Soon I will put on Michael Buble on the stereo, the Advent Candle will be lit and we will begin the celebration of second Advent.  Hope you are having a great weekend! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Serendipity "Corner View"

image borrowed from google images

In August of 1992, I was living in Provo, Utah attending a small community college.  A couple of weeks before the semester was to start I went to the financial aide office to make sure everything was OK for the upcoming semester.  When I got there the lady in charge of grants and loans told me that I could not use both my loan and the Pell Grant that I had to much money.  I think I probably looked at her with a sign of questioning on my face along with a face that she had horns coming out of her head.  What do you mean I have too much money?  The combination of these two grants would barely pay for my school year.  Their had been some change in the rules and I could no longer use both loans.  I could use one or the other, but not both.  I left the office not knowing what to do.  The job market in Provo was horrible and with a minimum wage of $4.25 even if I were to work 20 plus hours there was no way I would be able to cover my expenses.  My parents were in no position to help me.  I could move to my father's in Massachusetts and go to school in Lowell.  My mom had moved from Anchorage, Alaska to a small town in Nevada and there were no possibilities there for me.  Later that day, I spoke with my girlfriend and she said I could live with her and get a job and go to the community college there.  I am not sure why that spoke to my heart in comparison to living with my father, but it did.  Two weeks later, my mother picked me up and drove me to Portland, Oregon.  I arrived on a Saturday and the next day I went to church where I met a guy whose co-worker was looking for a part-time Nannie   It was perfect!  I interviewed for the job and go it!  The best part was not only was the salary enough to help with my tuition, but I could live with them and had a car that I could use to get around.  The job didn't start until noon when their five year old got home from school which meant I could take classes in the morning.  Call it Serendipity, call it fate, or call it God a door was closed, but another one was opened.  I know it was meant to be!  To be honest, I was actually unhappy with living in Utah.  I missed the ocean and I missed the green.  Portland was perfect!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Weekend in December "Sunday Snapshot"







Tomorrow is the the beginning of Advent.
You seriously need to make these brownies! They are to die for! I am not joking!
We made cookies for the neighbors! 
 I should have shared the brownies,
but they were so awesome we ate them all.
Haven't caught the Christmas spirit yet?
You will after you download this free Christmas music!
Hope you are having a great weekend!
Now it is off to watch a Charlie Brown Christmas.

Friday, November 30, 2012

It is starting to feel more




It is starting to feel more like Christmas.  I think my problem was that I thought I needed to be done with all the shopping which  I am not because to be honest the adoption has taken center stage.  In order to proceed certain documents have to be turned in before you can make go to the next step.  Anyway, I am usually done with all the shopping by this point because that is just how I roll.  I am a doer.  I am closer to finishing.  I just need to do my two oldest boys which I will get started on in the morning.  The second problem that was keeping me from feeling the holiday season is my diet.  See I have been really trying to lose weight, but the last month I haven't been sucessful.  I really wanted to reach my goal this year and finally lose all the baby weight of 5 pregnancies.  I didn't make my goal which made me sad.  Also because I haven't been eating well and not exercizing I just over all feel like crap.  So today I got off my b.u.t.t. and went to the gym even though it was dark and cold outside and I was tired.  I feel so much better.  Today, I retrieved all our Christmas books and wrapped them and put them under the tree though I might need to find another place for them because baby girl is determined to pull the Christmas tree down.  She has managed to mangle 6 ornaments.  Last night she attached poor frosty that was made for me by a blog follower.  I was sad.  She covered him in chocolate and pulled his yarn hook out.  Maybe that was the third reason why I was having a hard time with getting into the spirit.  This little girl of mine is one determined little girl.  She see something she wants and she goes for it.  Like Halloween candy for example: the fact that it is wrapped doesn't stop her from eating it.  She manages to bite through the paper until she can release the candy.  She knows where her brothers secret stash is and then we find the evidence all through the house. 

So, What is on our Christmas reading list:The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell, The Tale of Three Trees retold by Angela Hunt, A Present for Santa (Dora the Explorer) by Chris Gifford, McDuffs New Friend by Rosemary Wells, The Gift of the Magi adapted from the O. Henry, Duck and Goose It's Time for Christmas, by Tad Hills, How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas by Jane Yolen and Mark Teagan, Christmas Oranges by Linda Bethers, Merry Christmas Curious George by Margaret Rey, Snow Happy to Be Here by Cheryl Hawkinson, Santa's Stuck by Rhonda Greene, The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, The Snowman Storybook by Raymond Briggs, Twas the Night before Christmas, The Legend of Candy Cane Lane by Lori Wall burg, Carl's Christmas by Alexandra Day, Christmas in the Manger by Nola Buck, Die Weinachts geschiste by Eleonore Schmid, The Snow Angel by Glen Beck, A Christmas Dress for Ellen by Thomas S. Monson, Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner, Frosty the Snowman by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins, Bear Stays up by Karma Wilson, Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden, Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, and The Animals First Christmas adapted byGaby Goldsack.
 
While the bible story of baby Jesus birth is my favorite Christmas story The Story of Holly and Ivy is my all time favorite.  I found it in cartoon version on You Tube.  There are 4 parts.  Grab a box of tissues and a mug of hot chocolate and don't forget to watch.  Have a great weekend!  I am going to a holiday party for the woman of my church.  I am sure it will bring in the Christmas season.  The program is usually always so wonderful. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Welcome Holidays "Cornerview Thankful"












Throughout the neighborhood lawns are adorned with Christmas lights, wooden reindeer, and and an occasional blowup snowman.  Yesterday, I joined the mass and finished the majority of my Christmas shopping on the internet.  Rod Stewart plays and his voice floats through the air singing I am Dreaming of a White Christmas.  Sitting at the table two boys crying over who gets to decorate the gingerbread house.  "No, I want the snowman to go here, cries Roman."  Winston tries to be patient but he also wants to decorate the house.  He finally walks away.  Addy has managed to find a piece of candy cane.  Her face and hands are covered in red which she smears all over my white shirt.  Later papa brings the tree in from outside.  He places it by the window.  Twisting it one way and then another trying to make it look best.  Some branches need to be trimmed on the bottom, but we don't realize this till bedtime.  It will have to wait till morning.  I string the lights around the tree.  The children ask."Where are the colored light?"  I answer, "I thought I would try white this year. It reminds papa of the candles on his tree growing up in Germany."  Roman is desperate to hang ornaments on the tree.  Addy wants to help too, but ends up breaking one that Roman hung to close to the ground."  She wants to be held, but I can't if I am going to finish decorating the tree.  Harris walks in the door and declares, "What's with the serious tree this year?"  I grew up with colored lights.  I can feel my blood pressure begin to rise as the boys begin to squabble over who is going to hang what ornament.  I am not feeling the holiday spirit.  I don't know why, but I just can't seem to catch the holiday spirit. I haven't even begun Christmas cards and I am not sure I am going to this year.  The idea of getting the kids gathered and dress for a photo just doesn't seem like fun right now.  I didn't buy any special outfits for them this year except for Addy.  I am trying to save money so we will have the money for the fees for our adoption.  Thankfully, the agency doesn't demand the money all up front.  Hopefully, I will start to feel the Christmas spirit soon.  The Grinch Who Stole Christmas  is on TV tonight or maybe I will read Roman a Christmas book tonight.  How do you get into the Christmas spirit?  

Sorry, I know a couple of the photos are blurry, but I wanted to post the whole gang.  I hope to take new ones in the next couple of days.

Thankful that I can be a mom and thankful that I am blessed to have all that I have even pickering and all.  If you missed our trip to Orlando check it out.  It was one of the best Thanksgivings we have had in a long time.  

Monday, November 26, 2012

Orlando Part 2

The day before Thanksgiving the children and Frank went to Sea World with our good friends Marco, Simona, and their children. Unfortunately, I am having a hard time downloading the pictures tonight, so I will have to post them at another time. They had a great day! Roman didn't originally want to go, but when he came home he said it was the best day of his life. Afterwards, everyone came back to our condo and we enjoyed a turkey dinner. I wasn't taking any chances this year, so I made sure we had everything we needed to make dinner this year. Everyone was super excited. The next day, Frank stayed home with Addy and I went with the children along with the Marco and Simona's family to Universal's Islands of Adventures. Harris and Winston were super excited to get to taste the Butterbeer this year. That is the closest they will get to tasting beer. Actually, it is a cream soda like drink with cream on top. It was pretty good, but it was a good thing we only ordered one because they are pretty rich. Roman was in heaven on the Spiderman ride. He is still in love with all things Super Heros. The next day, Frank had to work and Harris didn't want to go, so Winston, Roman, Addy, and I went to Animal Kingdom. It has been a few years since we have gone to this park because usually we go to Magic Kingdom. We met our good friends from our life in Michigan there! We had so much fun with Rick and Kierste and their family. We also met up with Julie and Dale and their family who we knew in Seattle, but they also know Rick and Kierste because they live in Michigan too! A small world. It was like we were never apart. It was so easy. Everyone had a great time though I suspect it was a little too baby like for Winston. He did enjoy riding Mt. Everest. They really need some more roller coasters in the Disney Parks for the big kids. The trip went by way too fast! I guess the saying is true when you are having fun time flies. We arrived home really late on Saturday night. The traffic was bumper to bumper. Well, I hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving! We sure did!!!!



Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday at Home


Hi!  We arrived home late last night and are now enjoying a day at home.  Just about everyone is sick, so sadly we won't be going to church today.  The good thing though is I was finally able to finish a book and it was fantastic. The book is called Where The Mountain Meets The Moon by Grace Lin.  The  story takes place in China and is about a little girl who goes off in search of changing her families fortune only to realize she all ready had everything she needed.  This book is such a sweet magical story and is a great story to read at this time of the year.  It is a children's book, but I think it is equally enjoyable for adults too.  Well, I have a lasagna to put in the oven and clothes to put away.  I promise to share the rest of our trip to Orlando soon.  It was one of the best trips we had in a long time.  See you soon!  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Energy "Corner View"






When you have 4 children soon to be 5 your house is filled with a ton of Energy.  This week we have off from school, so we headed south to Orlando.  Saturday, we made a stop in Jacksonville where we visited our cousins Teddy, Anya, Olivia, Ellie, Eddy, and baby Natasha.  Roman and Eddy hit it off and had a blast.  Addy loved having someone her own size to play with and we all enjoyed Teddy's beef ribs.  They were mouth watering.  Yum!  It was so nice to catch up and see their new home.  Sunday we drove the rest of the way to Orlando and went straight for the pool.  The kids had fun hopping between the hot tub and the pool.  Personally, I thought the water was a little to cold.  Afterwards we tried to go the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, but I didn't realize it was $15 to park at City Walk near Universal.  Boo!   Since it was getting late we just headed to Olive Garden.  The kids were happy!  Monday, we headed to Down Town Disney.  The kids always have fun at the Lego Store.  Then it was off to pick up Frank at the airport.  He had to work over the weekend and could not drive down with us on Saturday.  Everyone was so happy to see him.  We celebrated with Hostess Cupcakes.  We tried to find Twinkies.  The kids never had them.  We sad our goodbyes to Hostess and went out for a steak dinner.  Tuesday, Frank took the car to get detailed.  It was a mess and then after the kids finished swimming he took Harris to get his haircut and to see Skyfall the movie.   The said it was fantastic!

Coming up in part two! Thanksgiving dinner with friends, Sea World, Universal, and Disney!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Gobble Gobble
from Sunny Florida
Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A New Language

Roman and  his turkey A.K.A. Spiderman

When Roman was diagnosed in utero with congenital heart disease we learned a whole new language and I cannot say necessarily welcomed.  Words like Tetrology of Fallot which by the way is the name of his heart condition, but words like: echo, stenosis, blue tet, pink tet, VSD, pulmonary valve, syonotic, aortic arch, and a long list of other words that relate to his condition.  I also become familiar with other words that relate to other congenital heart diseases as I became friends with other families who had children who had congenital heart disease.  Now that we are adopting we have had to learn a whole new language.  I have to say this language is welcomed because in less than a year we should have a new daughter.  The children are so excited.  They have all ready begun including her in our family prayers and in their individual prayers.  We do not know what she looks like or how old she is, but we know she is meant to be apart of our family. In the upcoming year I will be using words like dossier, homestudy, LID, 1-800, LOA, TA, and Gotcha Day.  Last night we completed our homestudy.  What is a homestudy?  It is a series of meetings with a social worker.  They come to see that your home is safe.  They talk to you about things like attachment or lack of attachment.  They talk to you about how to include your children in on the conversation when people in the supermarket find it fascinating that you have a child adopted from China.  They talk to the children to see what they think about adopting and many more things.  It can be a little scary because your life gets examined under a microscope, but as the agency explained to us it is more an opportunity to exclude you in than out.  They want to make sure you are prepared for this new addition not just financially, but emotionally.  We are excited to have this part of the process completed because that means our 1-800 can be sent in to the government to get approved.  This document states that we are requesting approval for the adoptive child to become our relative once they enter the United States.  You cannot send your documents to China without this approval.  The process seems to be moving pretty smoothly.  The agency knows me well by now as I call just about every other day to make sure I am filling out the forms correctly.  Let's pray it continues to go smoothly.  

Well, we are off for the week!  We are heading south.  My children have off from school this upcoming week and we are going to go to Orlando.  I am so excited because a friend of mine and her family who I haven't seen in 10 years are going to be there at the same time.  Along with another family that we know, so it is going to be a fun week.  I may or may not blog, but I hope you have a fantastic week and a Happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Spirituality "Corner View"


It is Easter and everyone is gathered at Owens home. The home is not large maybe no more than 1800 square feet.  It is a Salt Box home built when he was a baby and belonged to his parents.  It is white with blue shutters and door.  In front of the home is a circular concrete driveway  and leading up to the door are three concrete steps with an iron railing. She is 4 and her almost white hair hangs to her shoulders to one side a bow tucks part of her hair behind her ear.  Her aunt has dressed her in a dress which she finds a little uncomfortable.  She much rather wear pants like her cousin Shawn.  As she enters the door she sees the fireplace but it only has fake electric logs which she finds rather amusing and to the left her grandmothers piano which no one plays anymore, but under the piano bench are song books.  Sometimes she pretends she can play the piano.  The piano needs tuning.  Someone once taught her how to play twinkle twinkle little star.  Near the window is a couch and there are a couple of chairs that lean back and you can put your feet up if you are tired.  On one chair is a multicolored afghan. A small table sits to the side of the couch and on it is a lamp, a  pair of reading glasses, a crossword puzzle and pen, along with a rosary.  To the right of the fireplace is a dining room.  A table and chairs take center stage.  The table is covered with delicious food such as leg of lamb with mint, a bowl of black olives, chips and dip, a tray of veggies and dip, a platter of deviled eggs, mash potatoes, and peas.  She doesn't really like the peas, so she hides them in her potatoes and somehow they taste much better.  The room is filled to the max capacity.  Aunt Peg is there with her children Mary and Warren, Aunt Mary and her husband Freddy, Mo and Peggy Anne, My cousin Shawn and his father Eddy.  The little girls father Owen comes in after her and when he walks through the door he has to duck his head in order not to hit it on the door frame.  He comes to shake Shawn's hand and it vibrates.  The boy squeals at the surprise.  The little girl wants to be next so she pushes her way past the people and sticks her hand in her father's hand.  It vibrates and tickles.  She laughs and wants to do it again.  Food is running out and one of the Aunts goes into the kitchen.  Over the doorway is a wooden plaque with a heart on it, the heart has a cross on the top and  wrapped around the heart is barbed wire.  It kind of scares the little girl, but she knows it is sacred.   On the wall beside the door to the kitchen someone has pinned palms from Palm Sunday.  The love in the room is so thick you can't help but feel loved too.  Later that evening the little girl is looking for her cousin before she goes to bed and as she goes into her cousin Mary's room she sees her cousin kneeling on the wooden floor holding a rosary counting the beads in her head and saying "Hail Mary Mother of God."  She repeats the prayer over and over taking no notice that the little girl has entered the room.

Years have passed and the little girl is no longer the same faith as her family, but she knows these images planted the seeds for what would create a desire to know God.

Monday, November 12, 2012

In Gratitude


Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I have so much to be thankful!  I am blessed beyond measure! Here are 10 things I am grateful for:
1)  I am blessed to have a knowledge of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, His Father, and the Holy Ghost.  I know my testimony has guided me in my life in good times and bad.
2)  I am blessed to have a husband who honor his vows in marriage.  In an age where marriages are disposed by the waste side I am grateful to have a husband who believes in our marriage and making it work.
3)  I am grateful for my 4 beautiful children.
4)  I am grateful that while we all don't agree in this country that we are blessed to live in a country that believes in choice.
5)  I am grateful for my extended family!
6)  I am grateful for seasons.  Right now the changing of the leaves are at their peak.  I can't get enough of their beauty, but without the other season it wouldn't be as sweet.
7)  I am grateful that right now all my laundry is washed and folded.  It may sound silly, but it makes me very happy.
8)  I am grateful for this beautiful world we live in and all the diversity of land and cultures.  I can't wait to get out there and explore somewhere new.
9)  I wouldn't be me if I didn't say I am grateful for chocolate.  A little piece can offers so much joy.
10)  Last but not least I am grateful for you for stopping by, your comments, your prayers, and offering pieces of your lives that make me such a better person.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Why Adopt?

Sorry I left you all hanging, but dinner was calling.  My boys have great appetites!  Anyway,  many of you are probably wondering why we are adopting?  Our journey started many years ago when my husband and I first got married.  I had always wanted to adopt in that I felt there are so many children out there with no homes, so why not give them one.  My husband on the other hand had no desire to adopt.  He felt that we should have our own children and as I would bring up the topic  up over the years he would list a 100 reasons why not to adopt.  We had our children and when we had our last child Adelaide who is 16 months we felt that our family was complete.  I mean 4 children is a lot.  A lot of busy, a lot of stress, but a lot of love and happiness too!  Then I started having the feeling that we should have another child, but it was not possible since I had my tubes tied when I gave birth to my daughter.  Her birth was so difficult and dangerous.  I really did feel good and had prayed that tying  my tubes was what I was suppose to do.  I didn't say anything to my husband.  I thought he would think I was nuts.  Then one day he said, "I wish we could have more."  I just ignored the comment because I thought he wasn't really being serious.  Then he said it a few more times and finally I answered him back with, "You know we can't have anymore.  It isn't possible."  Then I threw out the idea of adopting.  At first he said no, but then later he came back to me and said I should look into it.  Well, I knew exactly where to go because for years I had been following several blogs of families who had adopted from China.  Before he could change his mind, I sent out several e-mails asking for more information from a few families and began researching on-line the process. 

Why China?  Well, after looking into all the possibilities of adopting from around the world we felt that China was the best fit for our family.  Why not just adopt domestically?  It just wasn't right for our family.  Yes, there are many children here in the states who needs home, but as we prayed we just did not feel this was the direction we were suppose to go in.  

I could quote you many scriptures that spoke to us as we prayed and searched our scriptures in coming to the conclusion that we should adopt, but I won't .  Believe me there are many.  I bet many of you don't know how many orphans are out there-millions!  However, I am not here to give any one a lecture on how they should adopt too!  I am just simply telling you how we came to the decision to adopt.  Not everyone is in the situation to adopt and it isn't right for every family.  It is for our family.  We have the love, the room in our hearts to love someone who wasn't born biological to us, and we definitely have the room

What do the children think?  They are totally excited to adopt and add a new member to our family.   

So what is next?  Well, we started this process a couple of months ago.  We researched agencies and found one we are comfortable with and now we are in the process of completing a ton of paperwork. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Remember








I want to remember how adorable this little girl is at 16 months.  Time is going by too quickly and I am finding that it is hard to remember her as a tiny baby.  How she smelled, how she held her hands together like  she was praying,  and if I am not careful before I know it she is going to be all grown up.   Today I want to remember her in all her sweetness.

At 16 months, she says 6 words (papa, mama, baba, this, here, and oh no).  She has 5 teeth of which two are on top and three on the bottom.  She loves to sit and look at books, but she is very busy and loves to pull everything out of the cupboards.  She is not a fan of food except for chocolate.  I can't blame her on the last one, and she loves to dance to music!  She is pretty loud and makes sure everyone recognizes her when we are out and about.  She is so cute when she puts the telephone to her ear and in baby gibberish starts talking.  She gives kisses and waves bye bye. She lights up when she sees her brothers and they usually can get her to smile.

I want to remember how my 5 year old Roman said today, "Mom, I love it when your pick me up from the bus stop.  I don't like walking home alone.  It makes me sad."  He never walks home alone.  Usually his brother Winston walks him home, so maybe he meant he likes it better when I walk him home.

I love how hard my oldest son is working on fixing his robot for this Saturdays competition.

I want to remember that my 10 year old is giving over 1/2 his candy to the troops.

Do you remember a couple of post ago when I told you we will be going to China sometime in the next year?

Well the reason we are going to China is because we are ADOPTING!!!!!!  You read right!  We are adopting.  I will tell you more on that later though because right now I have to go fix dinner for my kiddos before we head off to Scouts.  Hope you had a great day today!