Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Not Wordless Wednesday~

It's 2:30 here in our neck of the woods....I have been up since sunrise~  Trying to get some things done.

We have contractors here, finally fixing and replacing the floors that were flooded monthes ago. We had to do the grunt work....removing old moldy carpet and padding, not to mention the tack strips and nails...ouch!!

But it saved us money and that my friends is the bottom line.

The girls and I are solo for today only, so we decided to get some winter baking/cooking done.

First up, homemade spicy chicken chili. I think my eyes were permanently maimed. LOL  The guys working must have thought I was some crazy lady cooking chili's and onions at 8:30 in the morning.

But the smells, yummy!! And dinner is done for the day with another batch frozen for next week.

Next on the schedule, the 2 bushels of apples we got at the farm.

 ''I took the easy way out though....Just made simple apple pie filling. Apples, cinnamin, lemon juice, and flour....

Now that my friends has to be the best smell of the day!! There is nothing like cinnamin apples.

And we have enough for the winter with more yet to make....I ran out of lemons and the rest will have to wait until the weekend.

Ok, next up, chocolate chip cookies, by request of my sweeties Rachel and Gracie.

I had help with this one. Ran out of eggs to, so only one batch instead of the intended three so we could have some to freeze.

Maybe  I am nesting??

And after all that cooking

I start to see the tell tale signs of my kiddo's slowly getting sleepy.

 Which is ok. They helped a lot and deserve a nap. And me? Well, I will clean up the kitchen and roll myself out to the couch for a much needed nap also!! After all someone had to taste everythign to make sure it was ok, right?!?!

Stay tuned tomorrow for day one of home school....and if you would say a prayer. I am nervous!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

This and that~

Moving is hard stuff. Take it from me, we have moved more than 10 times in the past 17 years and you would  think coming home would  make it easier.....

In some ways it has, others not so much~

We still have to find new schools, new friends, new get the idea. As our family has grown and our kids have gotten older it's not just us that our moving affects.

This time around, it has been extra difficult. The school thing just isn't working out...We are about to venture into the home schooling realm. Wish me luck, this is something I have never done. I am nervous, the kids are excited. (which helps)  I also think it will help Hope's issue's and also allow Caleb to do the advanced classes he wants. And when Josh comes home, I will be able to take my time and take things slow and not have to rush the English just to get him in school. Not to mention the whole attachment thing, especially with him being older.

But, that isn't what this post was suppossed to be about....It's was going to be about our day and the fun we had, just the girls~

Lunch out, a rare treat these days~

My monkey girl climbing on everything~

At the orchard...doesn't even compare to the ones we were used to in MI or even VA. We'll have to try another one next week or make the trip to MI.

                                                         The three little's.

And my big helper!! Hope your Sunday was just as nice.

Sunday Snapshot

Monday, September 19, 2011

5 years ago~

in a stuffy Xian civil affairs room, Kerry, Hannah and I waited impatiently for Hope to arrive~

It was surreal and awesome and I am so blessed to have her as a daughter.

   Hope's referral picture. It was love at first site...her paper work was a little sparse and we were not sure about her special need but we took a leap of faith because we knew that she was our daughter.

  It was a long process, the home study we thought was being finished up was literally being eaten by the joke, that is what our social worker said when I called and asked her. I guess we will have a great story to share with Hope later, right??

Gotcha day, so scared and tiny. She wanted nothing to do with us at all.

But she was a strong child and made it through OK, with a little help from Hannah.

 and then she became my "Velcro" baby. For those of you in adoption world you know what that means. I was now her security blanket....and loving every minute.

Once we hit Guangzhou she felt a little better about us and this whole"family" thing and showed us her first smile. Hannah and Hope share a beautiful bond.

 We had Hope's 2nd birthday party soon after she came home~

 Followed by Music Together classes. She loved these and her teacher very much!!

And we brought Gracie home, followed by Rachel and now Joshua will soon follow~

And she has been wonderful, a true blessing to Kerry and I. Hannah and Hope still share a bond that is incredible, something I wish my sister's and I shared.

And Hope and Gracie, they are inseparable. Kind of like twins reunited or something.....They are always coming up with schemes...and I wouldn't have it any other way~

Happy forever family day Hopey!! We love you and can't imagine our lives without you!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

one word...YUM!!

OK, so i am probably buying more than I am selling.....(Always a bad thing)

But I have to say my new favorite thing is the Deep dish covered baker by Pampered Chef!!

If you are like me, you dread having to run around during the day and then come home and realize you forgot to take something out for dinner...Yikes, especially when you have a large crew like mine that is starving.

So I whipped out my box with the baker in it..(yeah, another story there, I hadn't even opened the box yet)

Looked through my recipes for the easiest yet satisfying thing and came up with Mexican lasagna.

Y'all I didn't even have to brown the meat on the stove!! It was all made in the microwave in one baker!!

And then because I was so excited that it only took 20 minutes I looked through the recipe book again and found the rocky road brownie dessert....

umm, can you so super yum!?!?!?!

and again only one baker, no bowl, no mess. and only 10 minutes....

I have to say this was the easiest dessert ever, I cheated a bit and used a mix but it still took only 10 minutes and well, it's in no left overs....and we loved every bite!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


On the adoption front...other than our home study is finished and we get to file our immigration paper work~

Which could take up to two months for approval in the great state of Ohio~  sigh...

We sent Joshua a care package for Autumn Moon and we were told he received it and that they would give it to him the actual day of the festival and he would be sharing it with a little girl who is also 5 and being adopted to Ohio...The kids will only be 2 hours or less from each other.

So in the meantime, what have I been doing....

well, sewing of course. (shop is open again and I have new Halloween pillowcase dresses coming soon!!)

and browsing the Internet. Found out we, well I, have Amish roots!! My grandparents on my Dad's side were actually Amish...not sure why they left or how but traced it all back to Germany in 1850!!

OK, so now I am off to something productive....any idea's?? LOL

Friday, September 9, 2011

Are you my momma??

It's that time again....advocating for two beautiful children...

First up is Ya Wein, she was born 10/2009 and is in Guanxi.

Her special need is microtia and motor delay.

Here is an update Wasatch just recieved:
There are two pictures also but my computer won't download them.
1. She likes to eat sweet potato, taro. She can also eat rice and drink milk.
2. She can crawl, and stand up with holding something to support her body, and can walk a few steps by herself.
3. She can speak “jie jie”(mean: sister), “da da” (mean: father), “gong gong” (mean: grandpa), “po po” (mean: grandma), etc.
4. Basically all the simple sentences people say, Ya Wen can understand.

5. She likes to play with Children and adopts that she knew. Right now she lives in the foster family.
6. She likes to play dolls.

7. She likes shower.

8. When Ya Wen crying, hold her and talk to her.

9. Ya Wen is a shy girl, when she saw a stranger she had no emotions on her faces, just looking at them, but after strangers play with her for a few minutes, she would laugh.

10. She can pick up some tiny staffs, such as: hair, grain of rice, etc. She can also find her toys and paly.

11. She has a bit of hearing; she will look for sounds, and can hear what people say
12. She can crawl, can stand up and walk with holding something, but she cannot walk independently

Next up is this handsome little guy~ He is so cute and his special need is not that big of a deal. He has a limb difference much like our Rachel has. I can answer any questions you might have!!
He is Panghai and was born 6/2004. He is so handsome and wants a family to call his own.

He was abandoned at age 4, can you imagine!?!?  He is also in a foster family and has a brother and sister.

Here is what his foster mama says about him:

Sometimes, when Panghai get food for award at school, he will take home and share with brother and sister; when the mother cooking in the kitchen, Panghai will make a paper plane, and let it fly in the room, which makes brother and sister laugh a lot happily.

One time, mother is ill, and father is not at home. Panghai can see that mother is not comfortable, then he said to his mother: “mum, you are uncomfortable, would you like to see a doctor? And let me phone father.” Then mother said: “no, I had some medicine right now.” then Panghai said: “you can lie on bed and sleep for a while, I can look after the brother and sister.”

For further information or to review their files please contact Kathy Junk at Wasatch.

We have used Wasatch three times and would not hesitate to use them again in the future. You may also contact me for more information.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What to do~

no, it's nothing major, just thinking about the boys' room and what we can do to make it work....

Jake has his own room but will be sharing with Joshua. I want beds that are low to the ground, maybe with storage...something a little like this~

Perfect for two little guys to share and plenty of storage...the problem of course is the cost~

I have googled and found the least expensive version is still $1400!! Which for me is simply crazy.

Now I can make my own configuration. I will sell Jake's current bed...(that we just bought when we moved here 6 mths ago and he has NEVER slept in....another story for another time)

And with that money will buy two platform beds and make a table for the middle where the heads meet.

Kind of like this~

My total cost, probably around $50 after I sell the original bed...not to bad and I will get the color I want instead if having to pay extra for a color not carried in stock.

But, I would welcome other idea's. We have tossed around bunk beds, but I have never been a huge fan of them and our ceilings are not high. Plus boys and bunk me that equals unnecessary trips to the ER.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A little culture added to the mix~

The girls were craving some good ole chinese food, not the "americanized" stuff you buy at take out places but the real deal...

So what to do....

Well, we looked up a recipe online and we made dumplings!!

I think it was as much fun having the little's help as it was eating them!! Yum!! And we could even adjust the spices to make them the way we like them....(extra ginger, please!!)

Sunday Snapshot

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Playing Catch Up~

With Gracie in and out of the hospital for the past week I am struggling to get back on a schedule. And for those of us with large families you know we have to have a schedule. Life just doesn't work without one~

So, the kids go to bed early for school and I find myself staying up late to catch up on laundry, dishes and just things in general.

But I am grateful that our little one is doing well and trying to drink fluids again. We'll work on solids later when her throat is healed.

All the kids but Gracie and Rachel are in school. Which does give me more one on one time with the Little's.

Hope had her first day of kindergarten. She was excited and a bit nervous~

The outfit was made by my very dear friend Robin over at Red Thread Stitches. Isn't it the most adorable outfit ever!?!?! You can visit her here to see more.

We also grew butterflies and released them the day before school started....

Right now we are just hanging around the house, waiting for Gracie to heal. Surgery is never fun for anyone but our girl seems to struggle each and every time she has surgery. And for our precious four year old this is her fourth and hopefully last surgery.

I want to thank each and every one of you who lifted her up in prayer. We appreciate that greatly.

And on the adoption front, nothing much going on....seems we are in a holding pattern. We have our home study complete but for some reason our state is super slow in reviewing them....once that is finished I have our I800A ready to go~

We still have some awesome fundraisers going on if any on you are interested...

The first is our Wild Olive t shirt can visit that by clicking on the picture below:

Just remember to use our code in the coupon section and again in the comments section. (CHRISTOPHER0722)

We also have a new fundraiser that my sweet friend Ruth and some of her friends have set up. I am so excited about this and the opportunity to help not just us but other;s after us if it is successful.

It's called The $1.44 Project. You can read all about it by clicking on the picture or on my face book page.

And the last thing is my pampered chef business. I am slowly trying to establish a customer base and earn some money towards our adoption. I can also do a fundraiser for your adoption. Just email me with any questions.