Thursday, February 28, 2008

You Know You're An Adoptive Parent If....

This was sent to me by another mom:


1. The fact that there are 143 million children without a parent to kiss them goodnight has made you lose sleep.

2. You realize DNA has nothing to do with love & family.

3. You can't watch Adoption Stories on TLC without sobbing.

4. The fact that, if 7% of Christians adopted 1 child there would be no orphans in the world, is convicting to you. (This statistic was checked out by another mom and found to be true)

5. You spend free time surfing blogs about families who've experienced the blessing of adoption.

6. It drives you crazy when people ask you about adopted child's "real" parents.

7. You've been "pregnant" with your adoptive child longer than it takes an elephant to give birth.(2 years!)

8. You'd no idea how you'd afford to adopt, but stepped out in faith anyway, knowing He'd provide. (& He does!)

9. You've taken an airplane half-way around the world with a child you just met.

10. You believe God's heart's for adoption.

11. You realize that welcoming a child into your heart & family is one of the most important legacies you could ever leave on this earth.

12. You know what the word "Dossier" means & you can actually pronounce it correctly!

13. You've welcomed a social worker into the most private parts of your life.

14. You shudder when people say your child's so lucky that you adopted them, knowing full well you're the blessed one to have him or her in your life.

Lots of news!

First: My brother is flying in today for a visit! I haven't seen him in over seven years! He's been serving in the military all over the world in the last few months. He's shipping out again to the Middle East soon so he thought he would come see us before he does.

Second: We have a court date of March 18 for our two new girls! Once court is successful we can post pictures of the beauties. And most importantly we would travel three-six weeks after court to pick them up.

Third: I've been working on college paperwork for Jesse. We found out about a scholarship opportunity at the college that he'll attend, but the paperwork is due tomorrow. I just found out about the scholarship yesterday. Talk about hitting the panic button! It's possible to have anywhere from $1000 taken off to having a full scholarship. So I at least want to try and get it in.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Losing a first tooth

Joel lost his first tooth the other day. I like to get a picture before it actually falls out. His other tooth had already grown in behind it making for two extra teeth in his mouth. (he has an extra incisor that has always been there as long as he has had teeth)

Meeting Grandpa & Grandma

Saturday Anna & Adah met their Kentucky grandpa & grandma. For some reason we didn't get pictures of Anna meeting them on our camera so I'll have to see if they took some on theirs

Grandpa talking to Adah. She just woke up and he didn't want to scare her.

Disneyland Again!

There aren't many week days when nothing is scheduled. Yesterday happened to be one of those days so the four boys (Joe-Joel) and I headed to Disneyland for fun in the sun! Sarah offered to watch the little girls for me since she just went to Disneyland on Valentine's Day. We started at California Adventure on the Tower of Terror and California Screamin'. I absolutely LOVE rollercoasters! After a few more rides and eating lunch we left the park and went over to Disneyland. Of course there were too many people and found we needed to go to areas that weren't so congested. We HATE waiting more than thirty minutes for a ride so we usually walk around until we find a ride worth waiting for.

The park closed at 8pm and we finished our last ride on Splash Mountain exactly at 8. We had a full day of fun, hugs, bonding, and my boys realizing what a nut I am, especially when I scream on the rides, just for them. :0)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Chalupa Grande

1 pound dry pinto beans
1 pork roast (3 pounds), fat trimmed
7 cups water
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
Shredded cheddar cheese
Diced avocado
Diced tomatoes
Chopped green onions

Place first 10 ingredients in a large kettle. (Beans do not need to be soaked, but you should rinse them and make sure there aren't any rocks/dirt.) Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 3 hours or until beans and roast are tender. Remove roast; cool slightly. Remove meat from bones; shred with fork. Return meat to kettle. Cook, uncovered, until thick, about 30 minutes. Serve over corn chips. Pass remaining ingredients as toppings. Yield: 10-12 servings.

Marcia noted that she uses beef instead of pork. That would probably be just as yummy! Also as we were eating today we thought that we could use the meat/bean mixture over rice or even lettuce.

Recipe found in The Best of Country Cooking, Second Edition by Taste of Home Books.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Spaghetti Sauce

I make my spaghetti sauce from scratch. It's very easy and is much yummier than canned. Canned is good for quick lunches, but letting it simmer all day is just a feast waiting to happen and your mouth will love you! I make a double or triple batch of the recipe below. This recipie is from Betty Crocker's Cookbook.
I served it today and it was a hit-again!

Italian Spaghetti

1 pound hamburger (Costco sells organic hamburger!)
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 clove garlic, crushed (I use the garlic chopped in a jar)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon oregano
3/4 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1 bay leaf
1-8 oz can tomato sauce
1-6 oz can tomato paste

Another ingredient I'll add like I did today is Italian sausage. I take the links and cut each into four pieces or so and fry them up in olive oil. When they're done I place them on paper towels to soak up the fat and then add them to the sauce.

Also, use good spaghetti. Don't use store brand. I use the kind from Costco and it's from Italy.

Top it off with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Menu Plans

Sat down with some cookbooks yesterday and came up with:

Buttermilk Baked Chicken
Pot Roast
Chalupa Grande (Mexican type pork roast/pinto beans/fritos/avocados)
Hungarian Chicken
Red Beans & Rice
Potato Soup

Yesterday we had Chili.
Two days ago we had Chicken Noodle Soup. (I used my Turkey Noodle Soup recipe and used two chicken carcasses for the broth instead of one turkey carcass.)

My most used cookbook is Betty Crocker's orange cover from way back when. I used my first one up and had to buy another on Ebay. I bought one for Jacob when he moved out. It has basic but tasty recipes. It has never let me down. :)

Girls Night Out!

Last night we had a girls night out. Sarah and I, her friend Hanna and her mom, her friend Taylor and her mom. :) We went to Black Angus and ate our little hearts out. We didn't have as much time as we would have liked due to school schedules and we had to go to a play. Their friend was in Annie and played Grace, Daddy Warbuck's secretary. It was put on by Christian Youth Theater and was very well done. We had a great time and I look forward to going out more with my daughter on a Girls Night Out!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I've been catching up on grades and lesson planning. I have found that I wasn't at all diligent in keeping up with what was expected of the children and whether they did it or not. Now I am getting on top of the game and some of my kids are doing multiple lessons a day in certain subjects.

I have felt overwhelmed lately with the amount of work needing to be done by me; one person. Even though my family helps tremendously there are still things that only mom can do or decisions that mom can make. Did you know in Ethiopia the lady of the house had a maid for the cleaning and a cook? I think I need a cook, laundress, housecleaner, teacher, nanny, chauffer.......................As long as we stay home and don't waste our time we can get usually get everything done.

How does one go from answering Algebra questions to phonics to changing diapers all in the span of fifteen minutes? By being flexible, with God's help, and a little insanity helps.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Our second medical evaluations are in!

We received our new medical exam information on our new girls yesterday. I had fun picking up some clothes for them. Our older girl is about the same size as Joel and our younger girl is about a size 6. They're both healthy and ready for their court date to get scheduled.

Fun Birthday!

I took James for a little one-on-one shopping time today. We hit Target and Tilly's. Then we met dad for lunch for some chicken alfredo. Yum!! Steve and James then went off by themselves for shoes and an airsoft gun. After cake & ice cream they went out to the yard and tried out his new gun.

He's such a great boy. He was a lot of hard work when he was young, but well worth it! He's the one who makes my hot tea almost daily. He watches out for his mom. I think I'm going to make him live with me forever. :0)

I bought the girls these $1 hats from Target. They love hats and when I saw them I knew they would LOVE them. They remind me of church ladies.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday Church & Celebrating James

Today I worked in the nursery during Sunday School and then in the early childhood dept with Steve during the church hour. We had Anna & Adah with us so they colored, play-doh'ed, played outside, and had muffins and oranges with the rest of us. :0)

We took James to In & Out for his 11th birthday. Then we went to see National Treasure and Cold Stone. Tomorrow he has a special day with mom & dad at Olive Garden and shopping. Gotta love that boy. He's my lovie.

Met some other adoptive families yesterday.

We had the greatest time! There were four-five families represented and all had little ones and one family had a girl the same age as our oldest one that we're adopting. It was so encouraging to be able to visualize her in this girl. I asked for advice and received it, picking their brains on little things. I came away very encouraged and a little bit more knowledgeble.

Friday, February 15, 2008

It's a Wonderful Life!

Things are going splendidly around here recently. I got a full night's sleep last night. My husband took me out for dinner two days in a row. I've been working on lesson plans and grades. I feel as though I've been drowning lately in the schooling department. I bought more yarn to finish my lapis blue scarf. It snowed yesterday at my house!!! Yes, here in San Diego County!!! Of course, it melted as soon as it hit the ground, but who cares?!!! It was beautiful. I don't know how all you people who live in cold weather do it. Our weather was in the low forty's and I thought I was dying of hypothermia.

I signed us up for Ethiopian Heritage Camp. We'll go this summer for a few days. :) Tomorrow we're going to another adoptive family's house for a get together with other families with Ethiopian children. Can't wait!!!!

Thinking about using Bob Jones University books exclusively next year for school; maybe using their satellite system. It's been a long time since I've used BJU and I like what I see this time around. It seemed they used to be so dry and uninviting.

Well gotta go..........Have a great night!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Family Accused of Having Too Many Kids-Give Me A BREAK!!!

No Sacrifice

I've been planning Joe's history lessons for the rest of the year and came across this quote in my BJU's World History teacher's book.

David Livingstone said of his service for the Lord. "I never made a sacrifice. Of this we ought not to talk when we remember the great sacrifice which He made who left His Father's throne on high to give Himself for us."

Received new pictures of our girls in Ethiopia

Our agency sent us updated pictures today of our two new girls. They're both beautiful! Older sister looks a little apprehensive, but I know they're not used to cameras flashing in their faces and it was the first or second day at their place so it should only be expected. Younger sister has a radiant smile! We're now waiting for a court date! One of the boys showed Anna & Adah the pictures and they kissed them. Aaahhhh!!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Our girls were moved to the care center!

Our girls were moved from the orphanage to our agency's care center today! They'll receive their second medical evaluations and testing and then a court date will be set. I predict that our embassy date is two months from now.

Went to the dr. Got a novacaine/cotosone shot (I don't know how to spell either of those), pain meds, and an x-ray. We'll see what we come up with.

The weaning is going FANTABULOUS by the way!

Bursitis/Rotater Cuff Tendinitis

I can hardly lift my left arm. I went to Kaiser yesterday and came away with anti-inflammatory pills, two exercises to do, and a physical therapy referral. The pills aren't working, I can't get my arm away from my body to do the exercises, and the physical therapy is weeks away.

My arm has bothered me for years, but not to this extent. It hurts so bad. Poor Steve doesn't know what to do with me because the pain brings me to tears and he can't do anything. I slept sitting up last night as my arm hurts too much when I'm lying down.

I'm not used to being incapacitated. I feel like I have a claw for an arm since I can use my arm from my elbow to my fingers as long as my upper arm is right next to my body. Lifting is out of the question. Pray for healing please!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Weaning from the bottle!

Yesterday I was dog tired. I've been dog-tired quite a bit lately. Part of it comes with my age, I'm forty-seven and I believe in pre-menopause (I think I had my first hot flash last night-Sigh). I often have insomnia once I'm awakened. Steve has been very gracious in getting up with the girls at night to give them their bottles. Even when he is getting up out of bed, I'm still waking up. I decided yesterday that I've had enough!

The bottles are OUT for nighttime sleeping. I know they should never have had them in the first place, but for them it was a comforting thing in an uncomfortable and unfamiliar time for them. They've been home for five months now and their teeth are popping in like crazy. Adah has six going at one time. I cannot face the dentist and tell him that they have major cavities because we let them have their bottles at bed, and I need my sleep. So the bottles are out.

Our first try was naptime yesterday. Anna had just about stripped herself, she has discovered she can take her own clothes off) and was yelling because she was stuck. I went in and took her outfit off, laid her down, gave her a babydoll and placed her blankets over her. "Go to sleep!" I think I went in twice to quiet the girls down, but they finally caught on that mama wasn't budging!

Naptime didn't last long. Our second nap went better. Before bed last night we sat down with them and gave them their bottles and put them to bed. They protested and I think it took two times on my part and once on Steve's, but they finally relented and fell asleep.

I heard them about 1am and got up with them. I figured since they were in bed at 7pm they were probably hungry so I filled bottles, changed diapers, sat down and rocked, and watched tv. When I found they were losing interest in their bottles I took them back up to bed and put them down. We walked to the fridge before we went to their room so they could see their bottles were staying in the refrigerator.

I put their babydolls snuggled in with each of them, their blankies on top, and they didn't (GASP) wake up until 7am!!! I was estatic!!!!

Their nap today was pleasant and uneventful! I had watched Toddler Trouble! and read a little of Jo Frost's Supernanny book to come up with ideas. The babydoll idea is the top tip I came away with.

I nursed my other eight children so bottles have never really been an issue except for one of them. Jake did take one because he weaned at ten months. He ended up having problems with his front teeth though.

So I think we're on to something! Next step is to get rid of the bottle all together.........then potty training this year! WooHoo! Let the fun begin!

Thursday, February 7, 2008


I found this survey on The Family's blog. I do consider myself a Fundamentalist. So there you go!

What's your theological worldview?
created with
You scored as Fundamentalist

You are a fundamentalist. You take the Bible as the foundation of your faith and read it very literally, and it shapes your worldview. Non-fundamentalist Christians have watered-down the Gospel in your view, and academic study of the Bible stops us from 'taking God at his word.' Science is opposed to faith, as it contradicts basic biblical truths.



Reformed Evangelical


Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Neo orthodox




Classical Liberal


Roman Catholic




Modern Liberal


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Panic Button

Our oldest son is a Highway Patrol Officer for CA. He was on duty, took a break, and watched part of the Super Bowl at our friend's house. I guess Anna & Adah pushed one of the button's on his walkie-talkie. It was the Panic Button!!!! Fire Trucks and officers showed up at our friends with sirens blaring. No one in the house knew what was going on, they heard the sirens, but didn't know all the commotion was in their front yard! Jared had to explain to his buddies that he didn't know how to turn the button off so they walked him through it. What a riot!!!


Steve & I were able to get away for a few days to the Palm Springs area. We had a wonderful time! We ate, went to a movie, shopped at the bookstore, and enjoyed each other's company. This was our time away before our new daughters come home, and also an early Valentine's. He's so sweet he bought me a portable DVD player, a pound of Butterscotch Squares from See's (Dawn I'll think of you when I'm enjoying them), and Angel perfume. He also sent me a dozen roses when I was at the conference Friday night. What a guy!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sally Clarkson, Food and Fellowship!

I left Friday for a WholeHearted Mother's Conference. What a treat! We (Sharon & I) stayed at a nice hotel with clean sheets and a clean room. We went to Joe's Crab Shack for a late lunch/early dinner and then went back again for dessert! We both had Bananas Foster and agreed that if it would have been socially acceptable we would have licked our plates clean. :0)

Sally was wonderful as always. She is an encourager. I saw ladies that I sat with last year and we got updates on each other. God sat me next to another adoptive mom who brought her baby boy home in August from Kryzaghstan (I know that isn't spelled correctly!)

Our I-171 H arrived while I was gone. That is great news! We need that document so they can move our girls out of the orphanage and into the care center/foster home.