Sunday, December 30, 2007
I posted an update on Alyzabeth An's OHGWQ Quilt Blog (click on link - right side bar).
MIL, Joy has done a wonderful job and says she will finish in the next few weeks. This picture is of the quilt when she brought it to us over Christmas. She has about half of the hand stitched-quilting completed.
Can't wait to have the finished quilt! Now where is Lizzy????
Here's a new recipe I "borrowed" from someone's blog; if you are the person who posted this recipe, let me know and I will link you up!! I somehow "lost" the place where I borrowed this from. The comments from the blog was:
"Go make these cookies now - they make your house smell heavenly and everyone will ask when you're going to make them again".
That was enough to get me baking the Cranberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies!
Do you see the dried cranberries and the white chocolate chips? Delicious!
I made them on the 29th to share with family visitors.
Cranberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Whisk together 2 cups flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, & 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg.
Beat at medium speed: 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup solid Crisco shortening. Add 1 1/2 c brown sugar, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 large eggs, 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and the grated rind of one orange.
Stir the flour mixture into the sugar mixture until well blended. Then stir in 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats, 6 oz. dried cranberries, and 11 oz. white chocolate chips.
Drop by heaping tablespoon onto cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
I wish to share a post entitled Slow Leak beautifully written by Pundit Mom. Her heartfelt writing towards the attachment issue, as played out each morning between mother and daughter, is both revealing and tenderly insightful.
Friday, December 28, 2007
I have been visiting some "doggy" blogs (yep, lot's of dogs have blogs) and re-found this music. Hope it is not too late to put a smile on your face!! Happy New Year from the Red Baron (OK, don't gig me, it is really a Christmas song from the Royal Guardsmen).
Some more smiles from these doggy blogs: Izzie, Gus and Pappy's.
Happy New Year and may there be peace on earth and good will toward men! Peace to you too!
Thursday, December 27, 2007
No, not that time... It's LID time.
Today we ring up #23 which means we most assuredly will pass the 2+ years mark before our referral. Not whining. Well ok, maybe just a little, as we (merrily) comply with the tenants of the LID Count Down Club in announcing our 23rd anniversary.
We so understand the letters written in IA world to all the unforgotten daughters. We know what it's like to wonder: Where are you? When will we see you? When will it be our Forever Day?
As is with each day and each passing anniversary, we offer up a prayer for God's love and protection for all the little ones waiting to be joined with their Forever Family.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Here's some pictures from our Christmas celebrations from Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and today. Many thank-you's to DD who hosted Christmas Eve family gathering and delivered a delicious dinner for all of us! She and SIL are wonderful hosts! We immediately went to www.food.com to get the recipes - all yummy!
Check out Livi's new red shoes and Kilee's lovely new bike. Fun for all!! We received many wonderful gifts - thank you to the family for remembering DH and I, but also Alyzabeth. For her we have more books from Maine from my Maine family, angel ornaments, Chinese good luck charms & bracelet, plus a book from C&W, written by a family member "Jungle Sleep". Thank you!!
We are expecting more guests this Friday so will continue celebrating family Christmas love with DH's sister and family.
This is a very quick post, hopefully to make you smile (from the church cartoon blog)!
Our family is getting together this morning (26th) for Christmas brunch and to open our tree. Yep, TODAY is our Christmas with the kids and grands! Merry Christmas (again)!
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.
How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth just, GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santa’s and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.
Stop worrying about who is calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can & may remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching explaining who I am in relation to you & what each of our tasks were. If you have forgot that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.
If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it.
1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.
2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.
3. Instead of complaining about the President, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.
4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.
5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.
6. Did you know that some people in your town will attempt to take their own lives this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who those people are, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile. It could make the difference. Also, you might consider supporting the local Hot- Line: they talk with people like that every day.
7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word even if they aren't allowed to wish you a “Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families.
8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary, especially one who takes My love & Good News to those who have never heard My name. You may already know someone like that.
9. Here's a good one. There are individuals & whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, and neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them (and I suspect you don't) buy some food & a few gifts; give them to the Marines, the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me & they will make the delivery for you.
10. Finally if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.
P.S ~ Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me & do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above & get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember I LOVE YOU
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass - it's about learning to dance in the rain.
I read this on Books, Movies and Chinese Food...... Since we are using the word "imagine" all through out our adoption process, I know I was meant to find this devotional out in blogger-cyber-space! Merry Christmas!
Celebrating the true meaning of the Christmas season, GRPR is proud to introduce to you the twelve days of Christmas. Twelve inspired devotional thoughts written by some of the best and brightest authors in the Christian industry.
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me....
The Gift of Imagination
God's Gift of Imagination
by Jack Cavanaugh
Christmas is a holiday for the imagination.
Angels and shepherds and wise men (oh my!),
Tyrants and taxes and stars in the sky!
No room for a bed
As tidings were spread
And the Father looked down from on high.
It’s no wonder the story of the nativity thrills our hearts year after year. It’s a wonderfully creative event orchestrated by a Deity who loves using His imagination. Take the temple priest’s robes for example. When the temple was first built God assembled all the skilled craftsmen and gave them instructions (Exodus 35:10). The craftsmen designing the priestly robes were told to adorn them with images of blue pomegranates (Exodus 39:24).
There’s no such thing as a blue pomegranate! What was God thinking? If this kind of creativity were to catch on we could end up with Christmas cards with images of green angels, pink Christmas trees, and a plaid star over the manger!
If blue pomegranates bothers you…get over it! We have a wonderfully imaginative God who frequently colors outside the lines. Go, and do thou likewise.
Wishing you an imaginative Christmas season.
Monday, December 24, 2007
One tradition we had up through the 1960's was after Christmas dinner, we would travel back to my Nana's (great-grandmother's farmhouse) for a visit and to "find" our gift from her, on her Christmas tree. Her tree was decorated with lights and old fashion tinsel and a handkerchief for all the relatives, probably over one hundred handkerchiefs. Each handkerchief had a tag with a name written on it. Sometimes it took quite awhile to find "yours" with your name on the tag.
I have a small tree I put handkerchiefs on at Christmas time, the tree is a "skinny" fake and has old multi-color fashion bulbs (C7 size). Any one visiting our home during the holidays may select one hanky to keep (men's and ladies cotton handkerchiefs). I buy many through antique shops year round. After taking a picture of the tree, I see gaps, so will add more hankies!
Most people don't use them anymore, but it is a fun memory to carry on!
I also have some handmade bird house ornaments from a co-worker's son; he makes wonderful items from turning exotic or "pretty" woods.
The log cabin ornament is from sister & BIL; you can see the gift tag in the cabin window - just so I don't forget who gave it to us!!!
It is a fun tree and helps with the Christmas Spirit!
Sunday, December 23, 2007
This is a little early so will get my mind ready to break in a new habit!! Here's what I am going to be doing every day in January 2008! I don't want to get back like this room was right before Thanksgiving (it still looks like this with the addition of a few storage tubs of Christmas gifts to wrap)!!
Checkout Savvy Organizer - Throw away, Giveaway, Recycle daily - help me remember to do this daily!
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Yesterday (Friday) was a sad day. It will always begin with the memories of my Dad who passed one year ago. I dreaded calling my Mom as I get weepy at the drop of a hat. We did talk and didn't fall totally apart.
My Mom did have a happy story to tell, one that didn't involve a contractor ripping off a widow. You see, my Dad did all the repairs and handy-man chores around the house. So when the roof needed shoveling due to the large amount of snow and the expectation of more snow and freezing rain in the next few days, my Mom was searching her brain for someone she could call. She remembered a distant friend who had a construction company. So she took a chance and called, he was glad to refer her to his grown nephew who did snow plowing and those type of jobs during the winter. The nephew agreed to come and give my Mom an estimate. He called my Mom while she was getting off work and said he was at her house. Here's the short story; he shoveled off the entire house and garage roofs, shoveled the pathways and the pathway to the fuel tank, cleared off the decks and spoke to my Mom in a very nice, very respectful manner. He even took time to tell stories about my Dad that his Dad had told him. And then he gave my Mom an unbelievably low price for doing all the work. What a blessing to have a happy story on a day that she needed some cheering.
Here's what else happened, sharing our memories....
I drove home trying to be in "Merry" spirits as no going back to work again until Thursday - yeah!!
I drove around the corner in view of the empty lot next to us where the new owners are going to build a home (was the home of our dear neighbors) and with much of the lot clear, I didn't expect any new changes. There (were) two large citrus trees to the front/side of the lot that we have watched the fruit ripen and enjoyed so many times due to the generosity of our old neighbors. Well, now both trees were bull-dozed over, uprooted, killed. In addition to thinking of my Dad and all, I started bawling. Thinking of the good memories with our neighbors. What a waste. We do not know our new neighbors and they would not understand our sentiments. Our loss.
When I arrived home several boxes had arrived and so I had fun opening them. Of course, I started crying AGAIN, when we opened the box from Tom & Wendy. They were a local family in the same FCC Waiting Family group and Wendy got pregnant! So after a move out of state and the difficult decision to stop their China adoption, they sent us two shirts we loved seeing them in. Her shirt, which is now MY shirt (actually, she had two and now I have one) is so cute. It has the Baby with an arrow pointing to "mommy's stomach" with the word China. Ford's new shirt has Ba Ba on it. We thank them very much for thinking of us and passing on some of their personal adoption journey memories to us. We'll wear them proudly! Thank you!!
Another box had a CD in it with no name of the secret giver. The CD is Crimson Bridge, Common Bond. I hope someone will come forth and let us thank them! We had suspected friends had sent CD but found out who right after Christmas! Update - Sister Mia and family visited with us after Christmas and she sent the CD to us! Yeah, secret solved. Thank you!
It was a great day to receive so much thoughtfulness.
Lastly, we drove around our little town and looked at the Christmas lights to wind down the evening (of course Salty Dog was with us). We went to Spring Park and looked at the "parade" of Christmas trees. Each year it gets bigger. Lots of decorated trees honoring the military and various other groups and individuals.
Saturday (today) was a great day with haircuts and a baby shower and more boxes arrived (more on those later). Christmas guests are on their way and all is well. Merry Christmas Everyone!!
With all the holiday activities and my melancholy day on the 21st, I somehow neglected to post about my recent Secret Buddy gifts. I took the pictures a few days ago and then life just flew by..... Please forgive!!!
I received the most cuddly "My First Christmas" teddy bear, a brown bear along with the Hallmark Keepsake China ornament "Joy to the World" Collection and lastly, peppermint truffles from Hallmark. Can't wait to try one.... I will wait and put them out once our guests arrive.
Thank you so much... Lizzy will always cherish the ornament and have lots of snuggle time with the brown bear.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
DH has been cooking like crazy!
He tried many new casserole recipes and the kids really liked these in addition to the Pizza Casserole. One is "Family Spaghetti Pie", the other is "Beef & Cornbread Bake". Both are yummy!
These were in the freezer and we did reluctantly deliver them (I was tempted to keep!) to our kids who all work and each have one of our Grands. May they have a night off from cooking in the near future. Just warm up and serve!
He then tried a Mexican Enchilada Casserole which was also yummy. Almost like a hot bean dip with lots of "stuff" in it. The kids liked it and so did I! More leftovers for my work lunches! You may notice the green sliced olives - DH uses sliced black olives but we were out when he made this one. (Plus - I don't like olives that much and he sprinkled half on top rather than mixing so I would know where not to spoon when fixing my plate)
My DH is the BEST!! I added his recipes below:
Beef and Cornbread Bake
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves, crushed
3/4 cup Picante Sauce
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (about 16 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 pkg. (about 8 oz.) corn muffin mix
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Cook beef and oregano in skillet until browned. Pour off fat.
- Add Picante sauce, tomato sauce and corn. Heat through. Stir in cheese. Pour into 2-qt. shallow baking dish.
- Mix corn muffin mix according to pkg. directions.
- Spread over beef mixture.
- Bake 25 to 30 min. or until crust is golden brown.
Family Spaghetti Pie
1 lb. ground beef
1 cup (Pace) Mild Picante Sauce
1 cup (Prego) Fresh Mushroom Italian Sauce
3 cups hot cooked spaghetti
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp melted butter
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
· COOK beef in skillet until browned. Pour off fat. Stir in picante sauce and pasta sauce. Heat through.
· MIX spaghetti, Parmesan cheese, egg and margarine. Spread on bottom and up side of greased 10" pie plate. Spread ricotta cheese in spaghetti shell. Top with beef mixture.
Bake at 350°F. for 30 min. or until hot. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Let stand 5 min. before serving. Cut into wedges.
Easy Enchilada Casserole
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 cup (1 small) chopped onion
2 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 3/4 cups (16-ounce jar) Thick & Chunky Salsa
1 3/4 cups (1-pound can) Refried Beans
1 1/4 cups (10-ounce can) Enchilada Sauce
1/2 cup (2 1/4-ounce can) sliced ripe olives
10 (6-inch) corn tortillas, sliced in half, divided
2 cups (8 ounces) Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese, divided
Sliced green onions (optional)
Preheat oven to 375� F.
Cook beef, onion and garlic in large skillet until beef is
browned; drain. Stir in salsa, beans, enchilada sauce and
olives. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring
frequently, for 5 to 6 minutes.
Layer half of corn tortillas on bottom of greased 13 x 9-inch
baking dish. Cover with half of meat sauce; sprinkle with 1 cup
cheese. Repeat layers. Bake, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove
cover; bake for additional 5 minutes or until bubbly and cheese
is melted. Sprinkle with green onions before serving.
Note* Served this with shredded lettuces, chopped tomatoes, chopped onions and guacamole sides along with your favorite corn tortilla chips.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
We have many activities we have been doing so thought I would post a few to catch up!
DH has made multiple batches of his absolutely delicious peanut brittle. It is crunchy and does not stick to your teeth. Yummy!!
We went to my Florida United Methodist Children's Home Board meeting and had a wonderful time with the children and Staff for a Christmas dinner. They served over 600 people in the gymnasium! Unbelievable, all the children in residence, the foster families, the Home's staff and their families.
Each table was beautifully decorated for Christmas and included Beanie Babies (Remember, we're talking lots of kids). We had assigned seating and we were seated in front of a Panda Bear! Can you believe the coincidence (it wasn't, we know it was meant to be!) that the Panda Bear was in front of us? Of course they were for the children so we snapped a quick picture before a very beautiful child asked if she could have THAT one.
A great time with singing Christmas caroles and Santa too! The Sacred Dancing was beautiful. These children have a huge range of issues and many circumstances that brought them to the Home. God Bless all who help the children.
I have a few cactus's that are blooming. The pink ones are all from an original plant in Maine that was my Grandmother's. I will have to ask my sisters and Mom about where E-E's plant came from. We also have a white cactus that was sent to us from Cousins Gloria & Joan when E-E died (December 2000). It is still alive and doing well. A great reminder of our loved ones passed.
In memory of our family members no longer with us, we light candles and talk about them. So last night we did that and shared some memories. In front of our candle memory holder is a "white" centerpiece that Mom sent to us - a L.L. Bean three candle juniper centerpiece. I love the smell of Maine! She's so thoughtful. We are remembering that my Dad passed last December 21st. A sad day for us.
I was more conscience this year of being "green" so have a picture of a gift that I used recycled Christmas wrapping paper (my Mom sent us gifts last year and I saved the paper; difficult to do, literally have to grab it from the kids before it is mangled!!), recycled ribbon, recycled Christmas card made into a gift tag.
A picture of DD and Grand-baby at the playground. DH took this picture last week. We have had such great weather. Today it is raining but we really needed it!
Lastly, Sunday was Nicole's Graduation party at a local restaurant. She officially graduated on Friday with honors!! How great is it that she couldn't decide what to do after high school so went to work. After a few years she began taking classes and now has her four-year degree. We are so PROUD of her. Working full time and going to school. Younger sister Christa had also began college so Nicole decided she would graduate ahead of her and she did it! We had fun celebrating with family and friends, so pictures will be forth coming!
Monday, December 17, 2007
I am still amazed at all the wonderful blogs and the variety of topics.
Here's the same blog, A Frog in My Soup, where I read about the Christmas Home Tour and now about this contest to win a gift basket of candles. Being a true blue "Yankee" candle lover (and Village Candle) I am skeptical about the claims made here. However, I am not one to turn away a good deal so will check out the candle shop Southern Candle Lady. I hope you will too. With so MANY candle lovers in our family, it is always a welcomed, appreciated gift!!
Visit this food blog and submit your favorite cookie recipe. You just may win a book "Desserts by the Yard".
Update: Found this on Nadine's Blog while visiting homes on tour. You MUST listen to this Christmas song..... very festive!!
Please visit the tour of homes sponsored by BooMama.
She has done this in the past, so if you want to see some great decorating, get new ideas, or just share in the holiday "Beautifulness" of Christmas.
We have bags of homemade peanut brittle and caramel popcorn all made (bags and bags were shipped out in the 17 boxes we have mailed so far!).
We have decorated the fireplace mantle (no picture yet) and always place our stockings along the couch, simulating the adoption "red couch" look, waiting to add Alyzabeth's stocking.
Enjoy the holiday home tour!!
It's looking alot like Christmas!!!
My cousin sent us these pictures from Sunday morning in Maine. How cool! (literally!!).
We (NE Florida, commonly known as south-Georgia for weather reports) had very cold weather this morning, close to freezing, should reach a high of about 60 degrees - and the sun is shining!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
We just "discovered" this web site for Mom's. We received an email and I enjoyed reading the short article on adoption advice.
Also, following some of the links came across this one for "Hungry Girls"! If even half the information and archived articles are great, I'll be searching for more! Check out the low calorie Starbuck "taste-a-like" recipes. This was from 2004.
I love yogurt, but you can imagine the calories that you can take in if you are not careful, so I appreciated this tid-bit of info too - check out this yogurt comparison.
Great fun reading.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Our months seem to fly by....
Thanks to Seventh Diamond for organizing....
Here's my Secret Buddy gifts for December - how great is the pretty dress with matching panties? The personalized Christmas stocking with Alyzabeth's name on it too!
She even sent our doggy (SD) a crew toy and Christmas outfit! SD didn't care for it but he's not used to "dressing up"!!
All great surprise gifts, thank you again!!!