Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Texas Sheet Cake

I suppose it can't be all rainbows and unicorns all the time. It has been a hard with with a stomach bug that is being passed from one child to the next to my computer breaking and because it broke before I could back it up just my luck the computer company without my permission deleted all my hard drive. Thankfully most of my pictures were backed up, but some computer files to support my Lightroom package were not and I am still working on getting those back from the supplier. Then my almost 5 year old Avery decided to cut her hair giving herself a mullet. Thankfully the hair dresser was able to pull some hair forward and sweep it to the side along with bringing up the sides and it looks much better. Thus the idea of making a Texas Sheet Cake came into view as a way to make life just a little sweeter when it sure does seem like everything is going wrong. I have never actually made one, but boy are the super easy.

  Texas Sheet Cake
2 cups of flour
2 cups of granulated sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 cup of water
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of coco powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of instant coffee
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
6 Tablespoons of milk
1/2 cup of butter
16 ounces of powder sugar
1 Tablespoon  of vanilla
1/4 cup of coco powder

in a bowl mix all the dry ingredients listed for the cake and in another bowl cream butter and sugar together then add eggs, sour cream, water, and vanilla.  Then add the dry ingredients to the dry ingredients to the wet.  Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray and spread out cake mixture on the sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until a tooth pick can be inserted and pulls out dry.

Let cook slightly and in the mean time combine the ingredients with a mixture  and spread on top of cake while it is still slightly warm.  Slice and Enjoy!  Super tasty!

Hope your week is going better than mine!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Apple Picking 16

Saturday was a perfect day to head up north and go apple picking.  Our season starts a little earlier here in Georgia and if you wait to long the apples are all gone, so off we went to Ellijay to BJ Reece Apple Farm.  We have been going there for years and the children love the promise of apple cider and doughnuts.  Nana and grandpa came with us and afterwards we went to the Varsity for lunch.  When we got home nana babysat, so I could go buy groceries for our dinner guest Kostas, his wife Konstantina, and baby George.  I made stuffed mushrooms, a watermelon, blueberry, feta, and candied pecan salad along with Arroz Con Polo and Rice followed by a peach and blueberry tart with vanilla ice cream for dessert.  So so yummy!  It was my first time meeting Kostas wife and baby.  We all had a good time despite having to literally having to grab our plates off the table as the sky literally just opened up and started dumping rain.

Friday, August 19, 2016

3 years

It has been 3 years since we saw Avery's face for the very first time.  A beautiful sunny day here in Atlanta and we got the call from our adoption agency in Colorado that they had a file of a little girl who was just a little shy of being two years old.  We were ecstatic!  It was like Christmas day but so much more!  She has been the best gift anyone could have given our family.  I don't know all the reasons behind her being given up for adoption, but I am very grateful her mother choose life and she is in our family today.

3 years ago, she was hardly walking.  Only said mama and had no chore body strength.  While she self-feed herself she still drank primarily all her meals from a bottle, she was not potty-trained, and was primarily on the level of a one year old.  She was tiny!

Today, she loves Peppa Pig, playing dolls, singing (always singing), swim, she is very creative, a good friend, and can do everything that an almost 5 year old can do.  Avery has now lived with us longer than she has lived in China.  How the time has gone by so fast! Happy Referral Day Avery!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Camping in Georgia

Hi!  Can't believe another weekend is almost upon us!  Do you have any fun plans for the weekend? We plan on hanging out at home this weekend.  Winston is getting his braces today and tomorrow he is having some oral surgery to remove some teeth and pull others into place.  We are also having some friends over for dinner on Sunday.  I just want to post these pictures of Harris from his camping trip last weekend with the scouts.  Despite it being hot and muggy and being chased by yellow jackets which leaving many stung the boys still had a fantastic time.  Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Life Marches On

Time sure doesn't stand still!  We are now in our second full week of school.  Mostly it is going well except a couple of the little ones are having a hard time with the changes in their schedule; especially, Avery, who get naps at school and thus doesn't want to go to bed at night and is a bear in the morning. We are having lots of melt downs.  I have asked the school not to let her sleep, but I am not sure they are really understanding what a monster she is at home.  I may have to put her in a different program if she doesn't adjust soon.  She is almost 5 and giving her a nap means she doesn't fall asleep till almost 11 p.m. at night.  Adelaide is loving school and jumps right out of bed each morning so excited for the new day.  Harris got into the A.P. Calculus course he wanted to get into and Winston seems to have no complaints.  Every time I think I can move on from summer, I find more photos of stuff I haven't posted such as photo's  from Winston's High Adventure Camp with the scouts, EFY, dinner from our 19th wedding Anniversary, and so on.  Can't believe 19 years has past since my husband and I said, "I do."  What an amazing adventure we have been on!  I am so grateful I have gotten to have spent it with him.  It is funny when you first get married you think you are in love, but it isn't until you have been in love for many years that you really understand what real love is!  Well, it is very late, so I better get to bed.  Morning comes fast. Have a great week!

Pokemon fever hit our house

We went to Bahama Bucks to celebrate going back to school.
Super Yummy!

Winston spent a week on a high adventure scout camp.
They built these amazing stairs as part of a service project.

Winston also attend EFY in Gainsville, Georgia at the the beginning of July.
What's that?  A week long church youth camp.
He had a blast!

 We went to Black Walnut for lunch to celebrate 19 years of marriage.

 Addy's teacher sent me these darling photos of her!
We couldn't miss out on trying the new flavors of chips this summer.
They weren't so bad and actually pretty good.  

Friday, August 12, 2016

Olympics and Back to School Dinner.

School started the day before the Olympics opened.  I am sad to say sadly we haven't had much time to watch many of the events since the kids are back and school and so have many of their activities. Harris is going camping this weekend with the Boy Scouts.  He organized the hike and trip as part of completing his eagle scout.  Hopefully, they will have decent weather as it has been threatening to rain all day.  The nice part is that it has seemed to have cooled off a little, so they won't be sweating to death in their tents or hammocks which many of the boys are using these days.  Winston has been sick with a cold for the past week, but plans to participate in a soccer tournament.  Not thrilled about the 90 minute drive each way, but I am grateful that Frank is home this weekend so that he can take him.  The girls and I are going to a dinner tonight to celebrate their swim season.  It should be fun to see everyone and the club has purchased a foam machine, so I am sure the children will have a blast. Roman is going tomorrow morning with the cub scouts to the park to play Frisbee. I have also been keeping busy by completely reorganizing our house.  What started off as a need to switch a couple of bedrooms around has turned into operation clean out.  Just alone today I was able to throw away three bags of trash and have two more to go to goodwill.  It is amazing how much stuff one can accumulate.  We moved into our house 5 years ago with three children added one more shortly thereafter and in the last 3 years have added two more through adoption.  Anyway, I am kind of digressing.  Back to the Olympics, what is your favorite sport to watch?  I love swimming since I was a swimmer, but also enjoy watching gymnastics and rowing.  We watched part of the Germany girls soccer game yesterday against Canada, but didn't get to finish watching the whole game.  Did you see the French gymnast who broke his leg?  It was horrible!  Poor guy!  What I love the most about the Olympics is the stories behind how the people there.  The other night I watched Boys of 36 on PBS it is the story behind the Olympic rowing win in 1936 in Berlin.  We know the son of the coxswain on that boat.  It really is a pretty fantastic story since they had everything going against them.  I used the Olympics this year as our back to school theme dinner.  I love encouraging my children that they can be anything they want to be and that the only thing that limits them is themselves.  The children thought it was fun to eat cupcake Olympic torches and pizza with the Olympic rings made on the top with pepperoni along with watermelon stars and blueberries.  Well, I better go!  I need to go pick up Avery from school and change my clothes for tonight.  I am still in my jammies  and it is almost two in the afternoon.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Xuchang Reunion 16

We are back from our little reunion trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  Holy Cow what a weekend!  We left Atlanta around 3 when Adelaide got off her school bus, and had we not stopped at McDonald's for dinner or been rear ended we would have made it there by 7, but instead we made it there by 8 p.m. Yep, you heard right I was hit.  The car behind me was hit and they hit me.  Thankfully, the children are OK;  however, I am suffering from whiplash and my bumper on my car will need to be replaced.   The drive through the Smokey Mountains was beautiful and what was so cool was that right as we were entering into the national park we saw a herd of Elk.  They are huge!  Anyway, we made it to the hotel and the children were so excited to get into the pool and play.  There were a total of 6 families who came this time. All the children were adopted in about a year and half of each other.  On Saturday, we played at Top Jump Trampoline Park followed by lunch at Cheddar's.  After lunch everyone went back to their rooms for a little nap.  Addy doesn't take naps anymore, but Ivy fell asleep as soon as we entered into the car.  Naps were followed by more swimming and dinner at Calhoun's.  On Sunday morning we met one more time for breakfast and it was time to say our goodbyes.  As I said, the children had so much fun together.  The next reunion planning is in the works.  Until next year!


Friday, August 5, 2016

Back to School

Hi!  How are you?  Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?  I am off to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for an adoption reunion for children from the Xuchang Orphange.  It is going to be so much fun meeting up with other families who have children adopted from the same place and while Ivy is a little young to understand really why we are meeting up.  I hope that as we continue to meet up that these children will be able to form a bond that will last them throughout their lifetime.  Some of the kids were there at the same time and others not, but as they get older I am sure it will be nice for them to have each other.  Thankfully, it is only a 3 1/2 hour drive.  Some families are driving from much farther away.

Anyway, my children went back to school this week.  They were so excited; especially, Addy who is entering kindergarten.  She loved her first day of school and could wait to get up and go again.  My oldest is finally a senior.  I am going to miss him next year when he leaves for college, but for now I will soak up every minute I have with him.

Have a great weekend!

 Harris a Senior 12th grade
 Avery Pre-K
 Addy Kindergarten
 Roman 4th grade

Winston 9th grade

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A Day in Louisville

I have been crazy busy since I got home from vacation.  Back to school shopping, registering Adelaide for kindergarten, grocery shopping along with rearranging 3 bedrooms.  It started off with wanting to give Winston and Roman their own bedrooms; but this also meant putting the girls all together in the same bedroom.  I don't think we realized what a task it was going to be to move all the stuff from one bedroom into another. I am beyond thrilled because now their rooms are so clean.  This morning we squeezed in a few more fun summer activities like swimming, lunch, and shaved ice from Bahama Bucks.  Yummy!  I just realized that I still have some photos from our trip that I haven't posted. Our day in Louisville!  We drove to Louisville on Monday with a stop in Murfreesboro, TN to visit our friend Abigail who is also adopted from China.  We met her and her mom and dad on our trip to get Ivy.  Such a lovely family!  We ended up hitting some traffic just outside Louisville, so we didn't get to our friends house until dinner time.  The morning sky tricked us into thinking the weather was going to be lovely all day.  As soon as we pulled out of the driveway to head to the zoo, the sky opened up and we were being hit with some pretty heavy rain.  We needed to put plan B into action and we ended up going to the Children's Museum.  What a great museum! We stopped by the slugger museum, but didn't go as the children were starving by this point.  Ended the day with a BBQ with friends which you have already seen the photos.  Thankfully, the sun came out just in time for that adventure.