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Friday, August 30, 2013

Beyond Traveling



While one may think we are constantly traveling we spent the majority of the summer at home.  This year I did not sign up the little kids for camps because I wanted a more relaxed summer.  Roman loves to do projects; especially, science projects.  He got a kick out of putting eggs in various liquids and seeing what happens.  One of the liquids was vinegar.  It dissolves the shell.  What would summer be without making a little slime, and every little boy loves explosion hence Mentos in Coke bottle were another bucket list item. Following the coke explosion, a little Harry Potter Butter Beer was up next and that was a huge hit and I don't know about your kids but Roman loves doing art projects.  He made the cutest Eagle around the 4th of July, and with all these project on the agenda we worked up an appetite and devoured these s'more brownies.  Yummy!  Well it is Labor Day weekend and amazingly I am at home this weekend.  Harris and Frank are in Key Largo getting certified for deep water scuba diving.  I am at home with the other children which is fine because I have a ton of paper work to do for the finalization of our adoption. Just when I thought we were done they sent me more. Ha!  I am also working on putting together Addy's new bedroom so that I can transition her out of her crib.  Hope you have something fun on your holiday agenda, and if not then you can always try one of the fun project we did recently.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Business


Hi!  How are you?  Hope you had a great weekend!  Ours was pretty busy as Winston and Roman attended a birthday party at the local bowling alley for their friend Rohith.  Harris had a ton of homework and had a fireside last night to watch a slide show made from all the photos that were taken during trek, and we had the missionaries over for dinner.  Now it is Monday, and I am knee deep in things I need to get done.  The carpet cleaners are here.  Yeah!  I finished the paperwork sent to me by the adoption agency and of course the checks for fees that we owe.  Emptied out my e-mail box and canceled a few subscriptions to various things, and tonight Winston has soccer practice. Frank and I are still in a daze.  We can't believe our adoption of Avery is really happening.  After waiting so long to see her sweet little face, it is crazy to think in a few months we are going to have another toddler in the house.  We are so excited.  On the flip side it has been a hard week for us as our 14 year old adjust to high school and the expectation that come with that.  It has not been an easy transition for him.  My husband and I are sitting on the fence as what to do when it comes to the homework.  Do we help him out even when it cause us to be late somewhere when he forgets to put his assignment on the SD card or do we say sorry you should have been more prepared and let him get an F on the assignment?  I want to help him out as much as possible, but at the same time it seems much of the grieve could have been avoided in the first place.   Things have changed so much since my husband and I were in high school.   All our homework was hand written.  We are also having a hard time with him managing his time with assignments and playing video games.  We can't take the computer away because then he can't get his work done.  Ugh!  Anyway, I thought I would share this yummy side dish with you!  I love rice, but I don't like the mess that comes with rice when children are eating it!  This dish is  a perfect solution and it has hidden veggies in it.  Yummy
Broccoli Baked Rice Cups
1 1/2 cups of rice uncooked
4 cups of liquid chicken broth
3 eggs slightly beaten
10 ounces of broccoli florets chopped and slightly cooked
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 1/2 cups of your favorite cheese
1/2 cup of ranch dressing

Cook rice in the chicken broth.  When done allow to cool and scoop out 2 cup of rice and place in a bowl.  Now chop up broccoli and and par-boil for 1-2 minutes.  Immediately cool off broccoli in an ice bath to stop cooking.  Drain out water and add broccoli to to rice.  Beat up three egg and add that to the bowl.  Mix in ranch and 1 cup of the cheese along with salt and pepper.  Grease 12 muffin cups and scoop out rice mixture into each slot and top with cheese.  Bake for 25 minutes until rice has set and cheese is melted on top. Take it to the next level by adding a slice or two or three of chopped bacon.  Super simple and very tasty.  They were a big  hit with the kids!  Have a Happy Monday!  

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Our Baby




Introducing  Avery Elizabeth

We could not be more excited to bring this little one home and into our family!
She is 3 months younger than Addy!
So it will be like having twins!
Addy kisses her picture everytime I show it to her!

The wait is almost over!
When will be traveling?
Somewhere between Christmas and Febraury!
Not soon enough, but we have waited this long, so a few more months will have to do!
Please pray for our baby that she will be treated well and that our journey to her will go smoothly.
Have a Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

One Step Closer



Isn't this sunset beautiful!  As I was closing up the house for the evening, I spotted this sunset out the window.  My breath was taken away.  I couldn't help to give it my full attention.  I ran to go grab my camera and sadly the photos don't nearly do it justice. I watched it until the sky became darker and darker and the sun dropped out of sight.  Speaking of taking my breath away, yesterday  I saw the face of our little girl form China for the first time.  Shortly after 4 p.m. the phone rang.  Normally, I don't answer the phone because it tends to be a telemarketer; however, I was in the playroom and the TV was on and the TV has a feature that announces who is calling.  I saw the name of our adoption agency.  Boy did I fly to the kitchen.  I picked up the phone and it was Sarah who asked me if it was a good time to talk.  I found this a little funny because what family who is adopting is going to say no when they are waiting to be matched with their child.  She then preceded to ask me if my husband and I would be willing to look at a file of a little girl who will be 2 next month.  This makes her three months younger than Addy.  She was born premature.  My heart was racing!  I was so excited as we have been waiting for this moment since march when our documents were sent to China. It didn't take me long to say, "Yes!"  Sarah forwarded her file and her photo!  She is beautiful!  She is so tiny!  She is only 15 pounds.  That is about 5 pounds less than Addy.  Frank wasn't home.  He was at the gym.  I tried calling him, so that I could forward the information to him; however, he didn't answer his phone.  I am not very patient, so Addy and I got in my car and went the the gym.  When I got there Frank was surprised.  I told him we had our baby.  He had a puzzled look on his face and I preceded to tell him that the agency had called and had a file of a little girl for us to look at!  He then told me that he had a feeling the previous night that we would be getting a call really soon about a baby.  I handed him my phone and he looked at her picture.  He said, "she is so cute."  We just sat there for a moment kind of stunned.   Sadly, I can't show you pictures of our sweet little girl yet.  Today we sent a letter out that will be translated by our agency stating our desire to adopt this little girl.  This letter is called Letter of Intent.  The next step will be a letter from China stating their acceptance of our desire to adopt and this is called Letter of Acceptance.  Once I get this letter than I can show her face here on the blog.  Just before Addy and I got back in the car to head home Frank said, "I just want to go over right now and bring her home!"  It will be anywhere from 4 to 6 months before we can go over and get her.  As of yesterday though, we are one step closer to bringing our little girl home.  

Monday, August 19, 2013

I am in Love!

Hi!  How are you?  Did you have a great weekend?  I did despite all the rain!  It is flooding in some areas where I live.  Thankfully, I live on a hill.  On Saturday, I went to a birthday party for my friends mother who turned 75!  What a wonderful celebration.  It was so sweet to watch each of her children and her grandchidren say a few words on her behalf.  On another note, I am in love!  I am taking a class on how to use Lightroom editing program for photos.  I love the editing program.  So much easier than photoshop!  I still have so much to learn, but I thought I would just show you one photo.
Before

After


Yesterday, was just the first class and we didn't even really touch on how to use all the features.  I can't wait to see how I am going to be able to transfer my photos from Ok, to fantastic. I edited this photo a little lighter than I would normally for my blog because I plan to print it and when you print photos, you should always go a little lighter because they look darker than what you see on your screen.  If you haven't tried Lightroom, you can try it for 30 days free.  I think you will fall in love with it too!

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Calm Before the Storm and What I Read This Summer

The house is quiet.  Addy is taking a nap and all the boys are at school.  I should be doing something, but I don't feel like it!  I just want to relax if one can do that while waiting for the  microwave repair guy.  Our microwave has been broken for over a week.  One guy came to fix it, but left and said he had no clue what is wrong with it!  We had a busy morning.  Addy attended her first music class called Kindermusik.  She loved it!  Afterwards, we did some shopping. Tomorrow, we are attending the 75th birthday party for my friend Yvette's mother Miss Joy, so I bought her a really nice candle.  The house is clean.  It smells so good.  Now I am going to sit down and drink my mint tea, eat my blueberry muffin, and curl up on the couch and read a book titled The Thread by Victoria Hislop.  The book is set in Greece.  I wouldn't mind being in Greece today.  It is so cloudy and has been raining for days.  I can't believe our summer.  I feel like we haven't had one with the weather we have been having.

Have you read any good books lately?  While I was on the cruise back in July, I read Call the Midwife, And the Mountains Echoed, The Marseille Caper, and The Incident of the Dog in the Night.  I loved the last book.  It was so funny!  Well, I am off to read my book before the boys come home.  I hope you have a great weekend.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

First Day of School 2013

 Freshman

 6th  Grade

 1st Grade

Future Student

Summer has come to and end and the children are back at school.  Harris took a test on the first day of school and was bumped up to German 2.  Winston is thrilled to be in middle school. 
Roman wishes he could stay home.  There have been a few tear shed.  I think Addy would be happy to take his place. She will go to preschool 2 days a week.   Am  I sad? Not one single bit!  It means I can go back to the gym and get all my stuff done before they get home.  Have you started school yet where you live?  

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Lakeside Amusement Park


We were not short of things to do while in Colorado.  One day we all headed up to Denver to go to an amusement park called Lakeside.  I wouldn't really call it an amusement park because it is more like a permanent parking lot fair.  The park isn't much to look at and I almost turned around and headed home. The park has been around for ages, and I am sure in it's day was amazing.  Once we were there the big kids split off for the big kid rides.  Everyone had a blast!  It was so hot, so afterwards we headed over to Little Man Ice Cream.  Yahoo!  They had Mexican Chocolate  this  ice cream this time-yummo! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Pike's Peak

Buffi with Winston
 


Winston striking a pose!
 

Buffi my best friend of 27 years
 

 
Mountain Sheep


 
 Couldn't resist taking a photo of those freckles.
 

 
At the Top


At 14,110 feet, Pike's Peak located 10 miles south of Colorado Springs, Colorado and is just one of 54 (14,000 feet peaks) in the Rocky Mountain chain; however, it is the most eastern of the peaks.  It is worth the trip going up, and while I like to climb this baby takes hours to climb which isn't something I wanted to do with a six year old with a heart condition, so we took the Cog Railway which is a three hour journey round trip.  You can also drive to the top, but I thought it would be more fun to take the train.  We saw so many animals along the way such as mountain sheep, marmots, birds, and deer.  The guide has said they have seen a bear or two along the way.  If you decide to visit, make sure you drink plenty of water and bring a warm jacket.  The temperatures at the top are considerably cooler than below and the water will help you from getting altitude sickness.  I definitely felt the altitude and caught myself getting dizzy on a couple of occasions.  The view from above is beautiful!  If you are familiar with the song America the Beautiful than you won't be surprise that the view from the top was what gave the writer the inspiration for the poem that was turned into a song.  Winston and Roman thought it was cool that you can see all the way to Kansas.  Don't forget to taste the warm doughnuts up at the visitors center too!  They were fresh, hot, and very tasty! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Garden of the Gods













Hi!  We are home and are now getting ready to start school on Thursday!  I can't believe summer is over for us, but we sure did have fun!  This past week, Roman, Winston, Addy, and I flew out to Colorado Springs, Colorado where we spent the last 6 days with my best friend and her family.  The kids had a blast!  My best friend has 6 children, so there was never a shortage of excitement and fun.   On Saturday, we visited a geological park called the Garden of the Gods.  Sadly my photos don't do the park justice.  If you ever go to Colorado Springs it is so worth seeing.  I wish we had  more time to spend there because their are so many cool hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails.  Maybe next time!  What did you do this past week?  Well, I am off to take Winston to pick up his school schedule and get his locker assignment.  More photos to come this week! 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cohutta Wilderness








This past weekend, Winston went on his first overnight camping trip to the Cohutta Wilderness.  He was so excited to go!  He packed his pack days in advance!  He doubled checked the list just to make sure he didn't miss anything.  It is so funny how different he is from his older brother who flies by the seat of his pants when it comes to these things.  Winston wouldn't let me pack it because he wanted to do it by himself, and by the looks of these photos it looks like they had a blast. I am so grateful to the dads who volunteer in the Boy Scout program making it possible for all these boys to do so many wonderful adventures!

Oh, Happy Anniversary to my amazing  husband of 16 years!  I look forward to an Eternity of memories to come.  Love you Libeling!