Sunday, March 28, 2010


Did you see my header?  Isn't it ADORABLE?  I LOVE IT!  My sister-in-love, Allyson, designed this in a matter of hours!  She has some major talent!  She and her hubby just got this program and she has already mastered it.  Ally said she could make others to switch out.  I just love it!  It makes me smile, for sure! 

My spring break is over :(  but it will be a short week.  My mom has surgery Tuesday (PLEASE PRAY!!!!!) and then we have Good Friday off.  I'll be back to post more!   I want to do a post about cooking with your kids, my mom's surgery, and the girls' new room!  Lots to talk about!  Stay tuned!

Have a great week! 

LOVE my cute girls-turned-cartoon!  Love it!


Monday, March 22, 2010

My cutie

Want to see a picture of one of my cuties in her new shirt?  Well, you're going to have to CLICK HERE.  While you're there, register for the giveaway.  Trust me, the shirts are to. die. for!



Thursday, March 18, 2010

Three Posts in Three Days????

Today, we had a FUN field trip to a local high school that has a hydroponics lab. They were growing GORGEOUS tomatoes and the biggest healthiest looking lettuce I have ever seen!
This is a sample of what the set up looks like. It is entirely run by high school students. They sell the produce to keep it up and running! It was awesome!
They also raise Tilapia through their animal science classes. They have these massive tanks of fish. Mr. Redden, the ag teacher, said they had nearly 3.000 fish. One of the tanks was an old cottage cheese/dairy tank...reused!

They even showed how to fillet a fish. The kids were appropriately grossed out. But the group I was with, included some daredevil boys who wanted to touch the eyeball, gills, and all the other internal parts. It was lovely. Ha!

Finally, we went into a classroom and talked about all that we had seen. Being the ultra cool teacher he is, he brought out dried mealworms. Then, in Fear Factor style, he offered a mealworm to anyone who wanted one! The kids looked at me to see what I'd do. Well, like any good fifth grade teacher, I took one and popped it in my mouth! It was crunchy and disintegrated into dust. It was a bit spicy because they were seasoned like corn nuts. Hmmm, come to think of it, they tasted like corn nuts!

He proceeded to offer crickets too, but I declined. Enough protein for one day.

I know, random post, but it was such a cool trip! I'm looking forward to going back and buying some of that produce!

So...would you have tried the mealworm?


Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Here I go with my numbered lists...

1.  Thank you for the comments yesterday.  I'm so thankful I don't walk alone in my struggle.  I'm also so thankful I serve a forgiving God.  I'm working on it. 

2.  Have I told you...lately...that I love you?  Ok, bad song reference aside, I really do love you all.  You have such open hearts.  You're such good friends.  I love that you'll listen/read and encourage/challenge me.  LOVE YOU!

3.  Note to self:  get a second job to support Etsy habit.  No, make that a second job to support Sarah habit who supports her Etsy habit.

4.  One of my students came home and hung out with us last night.  It was a great experience (for both parties, I think).  She wants to come back and spend some time with us again!  The girls loved her and she fit right in with us.  She gagged when I showed her guacamole.  Poor girl has never seen or heard of it.  She about flipped.  The girls dug right in and she literally gagged!  I told her if she is going to hang with us, she'll have to try some new foods.  She looked like that might be the deciding factor on coming back!  Haha!  Such a sweet girl who is naive in so many ways, and yet she has been exposed to far too much for a fifth grader.

5.  Note to self:  lose weight.  I could barely button my pants today.   Yikes.  (Yes, I heard you, it COULD be the guac that is making me fatter!)

6.  Tony is sick, poor guy.  Allergies.  They are directly from the devil! 

7.  The girls are learning about Jesus.  They want to know when they get to go to Heaven.  Laney told me she prayed and asked Jesus to come into her heart (hold the applause) but she didn't see Him go there, so it must not have worked.  hahahah!  So she's getting there, but not quite.  She'll understand soon.  They were able to tell us about the crown of thorns and Jesus carrying the cross.  One more reason I'm so thankful they're going to a private christian school.  (And yes, I'm a public school teacher saying that.)

8.  I only have two more days until spring break.  Can I get a woot woot!

9.  We have homegroup tonight.  So glad to learn about God with some of my bestest buddies.

10.  I still have orphans on the brain.  I'm praying for, asking for, begging for direction on how I can change the face of God's kingdom through orphan care.  What is my role?  Where does He want me?  What should I be doing more of?  Where does God see us in five, ten, twenty years in relation to orphans?

Ok, that's all I've got.  Just had to spill my brain!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I'm a fake and a phony.  I can recite scripture.  I can encourage others with God's words.  I can comfort others with God's promises.  But when it comes to life?  All bets are off.

With my mom's recent illness, I have been challenged.  She was so very sick.  She was literally, at death's door.  Many didn't realize that.  I didn't want to acknowledge it, so I didn't share that fact.  It was during this time that I would lean in and tell Mom that God had her in His lap, but when I'd lean back I would hear in my subconscious, "Really?  Do you truly believe that?"

There were many times when I would sing praises to Him.  I would be shaking with joy over her progress.  But it seemed (and sometimes still does seem) that she will take a few steps forward and one step back.  It was as if I'd barely be finished thanking God for His latest miracle in her, and she'd take a turn for the worse.  Or my dad would get sick.  I knew satan was at work.  Taunting me.  In my head, his lies sound a bit like how Yoda speaks. 

"Trust God, you will?  
Thank Him for what?  
Still in the hospital, isn't she? 
Just when you thought your GOD had healed her, she fell ill.  
I will hit you where it hurts.  
Your family.  
I will challenge how you think you feel about God."

I would lie in bed at night during those rough days (if I'm being honest, even this past weekend) and begged God.  Pleaded with Him.  He can move mountains!  Why can't He heal her once and for all?  How could he let my dad get sick too?  My mom needs him!  My dad needs her!  Oh, friends, I'm being from-the-gut real here.  I accused God.  I told Him that I thought I served a mighty God.  I was so angry with Him.  With the whole situation.  
Two steps forward and three steps back does no good for the psyche, you know?   

Yes, scripture says praise Him in all things.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  And I tried.  Oh, how I tried.  I would praise Him that she was still living.  I would thank Him for gifting the doctors with amazing skills.  I would be so grateful that I could walk this road with siblings.  How terrible it would have been to be an only child and facing this!  

But my heart.  I would scream inside my head.  My heart would pound, and break, and race, and stop.  Where was this God that I told others about?  The loving, merciful, great healer?  Was it all a sham?  

Was I a fake Christian?  Who was I to say that I am a child of God?  Good grief, times got rough and I split.  What a good daughter to the King I am.  No wonder non-Christians think we are the biggest hypocrites!  At this point, I was the QUEEN of Hypocrites!  

There were times in our adoption journey that I wondered where God was.  But a wise pastor told me about Kairos.   That chapter in our lives was more about patience and waiting on God.  It was about seeing His picture for our lives, instead of my own.  This time was different.  

Maybe this post today is a place where I can...


I am weak.
I stumble.
I question.
I wonder.
I cry.
I worry.
I wait.
I learn.
I grow.
I change.
I challenge.
I am.

Mom's journey to wellness is certainly not over.  She and dad have to learn their "new normal" as far as living goes.  They need to work on making a lot of things stronger...her legs, her body, their bond, their relationship.  They will be challenged.  I will be challenged.

I am just praying now that God prepares my heart.  That this last round of spiritual calisthenics strengthened my spiritual muscle so much that when the next valley appears on the horizon, I won't be tempted to jump ship.  I'm praying I will stand strong on all those promises I KNOW to be true.  We DO serve a mighty God.  One whose heart breaks for what breaks ours. I need to train.  To fill my heart and mind with scripture.  To revisit my Memorial Box posts where I have evidence of God's faithfulness.  

And I'll need your prayer.  Stand beside me in prayer.  Don't judge me.  I'm human.  I falter.  Just pray that I'm stronger next time, because we all know there will be a next time.

Thanks for letting me be transparent.


Friday, March 12, 2010



Right now, she has the coolest necklaces as a giveaway!  I've been wearing a jade necklace since we were in China and the thread is getting more and more fragile.  I wondered if I would replace the thread, or replace the necklace.  I think I have found my answer!  These hand stamped necklaces are awesome!

Check out SARAH'S GIVEAWAY BLOG or the Etsy shop BITTY CLIPPIES for some awesome jewelery!

But don't enter the giveaway...hahahahah.  I WANT TO WIN! 


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Very Thankful Thursday

Ever have one of those days where there is a long road ahead, but for today...for right want to burst with joy?  Today is that day for me.  There is a lot of pain (physical, spiritual, and emotional) happening in the lives of some people I love.  But, I have SO seen God at work and want to sing Him praise!

  • My mom is being released from the hospital TOMORROW at 10:00 am!  She has to continue working hard at home, but I believe in her!  God has been working in her in MIGHTY ways!
  • Sunshine!
  • Our 11th anniversary is Saturday!
  • Spring Break is six school days away!
  • A student of mine will be spending Tuesday evenings with my family starting next week.  I'll share more about this on a later post, but for now, praise God her foster mom and my wonderful hubby both thought this was a good idea!  I'm preparing to be challenged and blessed!
  • My daughters are learning in leaps and bounds!
  • Flip flop season is just around the corner!
  • Our homegroup met last night and it was SO good!  It was emotional, and challenging, and I am SO blessed to be a part of that group.  I love each and every member!
GOD IS SO GOOD...He's so good...good to me!

Are you thankful?  Really really thankful?  Ok, for what?  TELL ME!


Tuesday, March 09, 2010

You've Gotta Bid!

Help Adeye and her family rescue TWO, yes, TWO adorable children!  God chose them to parent two angels with Down Syndrome, Hailee and Harper! 

CLICK HERE  to find their auction and bid!  They are very close to their goal!

Just think, YOU can change the face of God's kingdom by helping this family.  YOU can have an impact on a little life that needs saving!  YOU can unite a family and bring hope to these little girls.   YOU can bring them one step closer to their daughters, and the girls one step closer to a forever Mommy and Daddy!

CLICK HERE!  You won't regret it!


Monday, March 08, 2010

Man of Steel!

So do any of you read "Adoptive Families" magazine?  I really like the information they provide.  Well, I had lost my latest issue for a few days and wondered where it went.  When I finally found it, I opened it up to start reading.  I always start with the reader's comments and "Thumbs-Up" and "Thumbs Down" page.  Imagine my surprise when I started reading a comment written, and it started like this..."We met our twin daughters when they were 22 months old."  I was like, HUH?  NO WAY!  We did too!  That's wild. 

So I read another sentence, then skipped to the reader's name and it was ME!  Bwhahahahah!  I had submitted a comment but didn't think it'd get published.  I was giddy!  Finally!  I'm published!  hahahaah.  Mind you, I have always dreamed about getting published in magazines.  I've written several articles, but always denied.  So, when I called my dad and told him that my comment was in there, he was like, "YAY!  You're published!"  Sweet man.  My parents share that same dream with me.  They hope to see my name in print some day.  God-willing, some day they will, and it won't be a measly comment!

OK, moving on...that had nothing to do with the post title.  Just a side note!  Anyway...

I need your help.  As you saw from my (obviously too long according to Sarah) list about my sweet hubby, our 11th anniversary is coming up.  I looked it up, and traditionally, it said steel is the material the gift should be made of.  Now, we don't usually follow this or anything, we're just trying to be affordable and creative this year.  So steel.   Steel?  Really?  Uh, weird.

I looked up a site w/ steel gifts and there are some pretty creative things.  Like, a steel woven wallet.  Steel rings.  But they're all ridiculously priced.  So then, I was thinking, how about something Superman.  I mean, after all, the guy in tights IS the Man of Steel, right?  And he shares a lot of characteristics with my husband.  Well, all except for the tights.  Tony doesn't do tights. 

But I just can't settle on anything.  So, I need some help!  What do you think?  Are any of you the creative type?  What should I get him?  (He probably won't read this, because he only reads it when he posts, or when I direct him to it to read.)

So thoughts?  Seriously.  HELP ME!


Friday, March 05, 2010


Did you know that I love my husband?  I do.  A thousand percent love him.  But, you, bloggy friends, don't really know Tony like I do.  Ahem, not that I want you to!  :)

Next week is our 11th anniversary.  I wanted to write a post about him today in order to free up the time for him to write a mushy loving post about ME next week.  Did you read that honey?  I'll get my post about you all out of the way, so you will have time to write, edit, tweak, and gush in a post about me next week.  BWHAHAHAHAHAHA.  Not likely.

Anyway, I DO love my man, and thought I'd let you get to know him a little better.  I KNOW it will make you want to peek over at his NEW BLOG when you're done!

Facts about Tony:

  • He loves God.  Even in high school everyone knew where Tony stood.
  • The skaters in high school called him Jesus.  It was said with respect.
  • He has mad love for cars.  
  • His first car was a 1969 Nova.
  • He taught me how to drive a stick in a different Nova.
  • That nova was lovingly referred to as, "The Turd".  I don't need to describe the color do I?
  • He used to own yet, an entirely different Nova.  (That's three if you've lost count)
  • He still owns the first Nova.
  • He also now owns a Nova station wagon.  Well, WE own that one.  She's my baby.  We named her Bulah.  (So he's owned four Novas so far)
  • He has a younger brother (also talented artist) and sister-in-love that we adore.
  • He has been and is the youngest member of our church board.
  • Tony is a gifted artist.  I mean, beyond gifted.  He just doesn't have the opportunity to use this gift often.
  • Tony is way creative. 
  • He saves parts from broken or disassembled things.  You know that weird bolt thingy that came off that spring thingy that was attached to that rod thingy?  Yeah, he kept all three when we threw the big thingy away.  AND, he has probably found uses for them all!
  • He is wild about his daughters.  He calls them "baby" which makes me melt.  
  • He LOVES Seinfeld.  Giddyup.  No more needs to be said. (Get the post title yet?)
  • Hate to admit it, but we both love Two and a Half Men.  We laugh until we cry.  
  • He digs any movie with Clint Eastwood.
  • He knows more about city, county, and state government than most people do.
  • He learned serious work ethic from his parents who owned a service station for many years.
  • He does oh, 95% of the housework (according to HIM).
  • He "gets" politics and some strong opinions about it.  The current president infuriates him.
  • He is probably one of the smartest people I know.
  • He LOVES Jeeps.  We have three.  (Wrangler, Cherokee, and 4-door Wrangler)  Used to own a different Jeep (Liberty).
  • He rolls his eyes when I tell him I am ready to adopt again.
WOW.  Ok, so maybe that was more than you needed to know.  But it's easy to talk about him.  We've been together for nearly 20 years.  I honestly could have written dozens more, but I won't.  :) 

ANYWAY  (Note, I did not say, ANYHOO-I HATE that. HUGE pet peeve, I'm just sayin') have a creative release (since he works in government), he started his own blog!  Please take a minute to head over there and leave a comment.  Ooooh, and if you would become a follower, I am sure he'd be pumped!

Like I said, he's all about cars, but I'm hoping he'll put some of his artwork on there too.  He has serious talent.  And he is a great writer, so the blog should be pretty great.

Thanks for listening to me rave about Tony.  I adore him!  I'm SO thankful that Jesus created us for one another.  Happy anniversary, Tony!  I love you!


Thursday, March 04, 2010

SO Thankful This Thursday!

Satan is doing a number on us.  On my family.  On my friends.  But, thankfully, I know who wins this battle in the end!  WHOO HOO!  Satan has NO hold on  us!  So, STEP, you vicious thing! (said with attitude and snapping fingers!)  Jesus reigns here!

This Thursday, I choose to be thankful.  My mom is healing.  Her attitude and spirit is returning.  She has a renewed sense of determination about her.  She is committed to getting better.  Oh, how I love that woman!  And my dad has been her steady companion.  He sleeps in her hospital room, nightly.  He tends to her needs throughout the day.  I love him, too!!!!  THANK YOU, JESUS for sending me Godly, wonderful parents. 

I'm thankful that there are only two weeks until spring break.  You hear that Mother Nature?  SPRING break.  Give us a break, and give us SPRING!  Sweet Abby has been itching to take walks and get out side and play.  Laney just keeps asking, why is this winter such a long DAY?  heheheh.

I'm thankful that Sarah is doing a giveaway blog.  It's so fun to read the reviews and get a chance to win something!

I'm thankful for a husband that I adore.  He does more than his half of the housework and kidwork.  He loves me, even with my faults.  He makes me laugh.  He provides for us.  He loves God.  I would be lost without him.

I'm thankful I serve a MIGHTY God.  He HEALS, PROTECTS, LOVES, CHALLENGES, BLESSES, KEEPS, and COMMANDS us.... You hear that Satan?  So get to steppin'!


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Blog Hop-Easy Peasy Appetizer

Layered Cheeseball

I saw a recipe for a layered cheeseball in a magazine one time.  It looked SO yummy, but for my family to eat it, I knew it needed a twist.  You'll find that twist below.

1-brick cream cheese
1-small jar of marinated artichokes
1-small can of pitted black olives
1-small package of sundried tomatoes
Drizzle of olive oil
Coarse salt (optional)

Take dental floss and slice the brick of cream cheese lengthwise twice.  You will have three layers.  Take the top layer and place in on a plate.  Roughly chop the artichoke hearts.  Start with half a jar.  Once chopped, place those on top of the first layer of cream cheese. 

Place the second slice/layer of cream cheese on top of the layer of artichoke hearts.  Roughly chop about half a pack of the the sundried tomatoes. Place those on top of the second slice/layer of cream cheese.  Drizzle just a bit of olive oil on the tomatoes and then top with final slice/layer of cream cheese.  Roughly chop half a can of the black olives.  Top the final later of cream cheese with the black olives.  Sprinkle the top with coarse salt.  Serve with crackers!

Because you only used half of each of the ingredients, you could buy a second brick of cream cheese and do a second appetizer.  You could substitute any of the ingredients for pine nuts, coarsely chopped basil leaves, green olives, etc.  The possibilities are endless!