Monday, December 31, 2012

This is how we make stuffing

Kylie, my niece, and Joe mixed the stuffing for me. I tripled my recipe so we had to use 27 cups of bread cubes. Thus, the big stock pot to mix in. We outgrew regular mixing bowls many kids ago.

This is the recipe I used, but I tweak it here and there;

Happy Birthday, Son!

My youngest son celebrated his 12th bday while our family was in town. He and I went to breakfast, and then did some bday shopping. Later in the afternoon we took him, one of his brothers and three of his friends to Phil's BBQ for an early dinner. We all had the yummy rib tickler plates, and finished them all. Once we got back home we had cake and ice cream with everyone.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Family Reunion

This Thanksgiving I was reunited with my mom, my younger sister and younger brothers. It was the first time in thirty-two years that we had all been together in the same place. I had seen my siblings or my mom at different times in different places, but we were not all together until Thanksgiving. I also met my niece for the first time.
To add to the fun my other niece from Florida came out for a few weeks.
 Joe the youngest, Teri my younger sister by 12 months and 3 days, and then my younger brother Steve. I'm the oldest if you didn't catch that. (That's why it's easy for me to be so bossy.)
                                    My mom with her four kids.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Free Adoption book on Kindle

This Mean War: Equipping Christian Families for Fostercare or Adoption

I bought this book in print form several years ago and loved it. It's offered for free today on Amazon for Kindle readers. Don't have a Kindle? You can download the app to your computer and read it there. Here's a write-up I did on it a few years ago.

This Means War Write-up

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Starbuck savings & recipe book

I subscribe to The Krazy Coupon Lady. In today's email she has an article on how to get more savings at Starbucks. Since I didn't know about these savings I thought maybe you didn't know either. Sip and Save is where you'll find out the ins & outs on how to save more at Starbucks. There is also a 32 page recipe book that is available at Starbucks Recipe Book. Unfortunately they don't have the recipe for the iced coffee that I love and my 15 year old son knows how to make perfectly, but I did find the recipe for their frappucinos. Enjoy!

World AIDS Day 2012: Five Things You Should Know

World AIDS Day 2012: Five Things You Should Know

World Aids Day

Today is World Aids Day. I don't know anyone in my everyday life that has Aids or HIV, but I do know plenty of adoptive families that have brought HIV+ children into their homes. Knowledge is the first step away from the fear of this disease. We are approved to adopt a child with HIV+. I wanted the approval just in case we needed it. We haven't, but I did get a bit educated in the process. We're not in the 80's anymore!

Project HOPEFUL is going to be sharing facts about HIV over the next few weeks. Please help us end stigma and fear by sharing these daily. You can be a part of educating, encouraging and enabling families to advocate for and adopt children with HIV/AIDS.

Project Hopeful video:
Truth Pandemic

You can also visit: The Farmer's Wife Tells All
to see how one family lives with a daughter who happens to have HIV.

Upside Down Christmas?

As the mom of a large family I do not look forward to Christmas for the above reasons. What if we celebrate simply? Do my kids remember what their third gift was last year? I'm already thinking that we will go to the thrift store and let the kids pick out $5 or $10 worth of gifts for their family gift swap. I do need to read with my kids more. We should play more games. That's what they'll remember. Not all the stuff that was in their stockings. How did we get to where we are? Get us off the merry-go-round, please!

For more on this topic go to That We Might Be Adopted

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Miles Family Adoption Puzzle Fundraiser

An online friend is fundraising for her currrent adoption. Please read their story below, donate if possible, and/or share on your blog if you can!

Hello, we are Michael and Megan Miles! We have been married for 3 years and began our first international adoption when we had only been married 1 year. We currently have three beautiful girls.

Our youngest Ammar-Juliana, was brought home from Ethiopia this past February. We feel so blessed by the love she has shown us that we wish to do this process all over again.

We are now in the midst of our second international adoption from Ethiopia and are hoping this time for a son! Some may wonder if we’re crazy or if we are trying to start a baseball team, but neither are true! We have a deep passion for defending the fatherless and feel nothing but gratitude to be able to open our hearts and home to them.   

Of course with all of these adoptions under our belts many may wonder where the money is coming from. With Ammar-Juliana we were lucky enough to have the money needed, but this time around we have to do a bit of fundraising. One of our largest fundraisers is our “puzzle fundraiser.” We have purchased a puzzle that we wish to frame once completed in order to hang in our son’s room. We are selling each puzzle piece for $5. Once you have graciously provided us with your donation we will send the piece(s) you way!  

 You are more than welcome to write a note to our precious boy or simply sign your name on the back of the piece. Once you are done with that just pop it into the mail (stamped envelope provided) and your part is finished! Once we have completed the fundraiser we will display the framed puzzle for all to see! …A simple way to change our lives and our son’s life forever, right?


Thank you so much for taking time to read our story. We are forever changed because of all of the support that surrounds us.



ABC's of Curly Hair

ABC's of Curly Hair

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Stockings are done

I made twenty stockings for my friend. She's giving them to her husband for his sailors. She allowed me to keep some material to make some of my own. They turned out so cute!

                                          My friend made the one above.
                                              This is one that I made.
These are some of the twenty-two. I made twenty and she had two.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Youth Rummage Sale

This last week has found me busy getting ready for our church's youth group monthly rummage sale. The funds that come in go into an account for the kids that work that particular rummage sale. So far my kids each earned $30 and they can use the money towards a youth activity, camp, or a summer missions trip.

We set up on Thursday night because it was supposed to rain on Saturday and wanted to beat the rain and not get wet carrying the items from storage. Turns out it didn't rain, but it was chilly. We spent a good 2 1/2 hours setting up and the kids were very helpful carrying heavy, dirty boxes full of junk I mean stuff.

We spent a few days here and there also doing pick-ups so people didn't need to take it all the way to the church. My kids have really outdone themselves and have not complained a bit. I've taught them to work hard and don't quit until the work is done.

Saturday came bright and early at 6am. The kids started arriving to work and so did the customers. I really didn't want to price things so I let our youth pastor's wife do that since she loves doing it. I was able to talk to a lovely older woman who shops monthly. We talked about her family and how she snuck away from her son's house that morning. It had rained the night before and he didn't want her driving so she stayed there, but as soon as the sun came up she snuck out of the house and drove home, a good thirty miles. We talked about her missionary daughter and the rest of her family.

We went through each box and organized, threw stuff away and donated some to Good Will. We really pared down what we had but we still have a lot. The kids carried it all back to the storage and we'll take it out again next month. We were beat afterwards and came home to take a nap. We were SO TIRED! Our bodies were sore from all the bending. It's definitely different being in my fifties.

My next post will be about the Christmas stockings for sailors.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Court Date!

We have a court date on December 7 to finalize Meskerem's adoption! She's been in our home for almost a year and we've been fighting for her since Summer 2011. Now with all the i's dotted and t's crossed we've been issued a day for her to FINALLY and legally and forever and ever be ours. Yay!

                                             On the plane home.
                                                     At the bay
                                       At church wearing her Ethiopian dress.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Toby Mac Christmas in Diverse City

Christmas In Diverse City

I found this at Walmart for only $5! It was in the Garden Center in one of the cardboard bins set up with Christmas CDs. If you love Toby then check out your Walmart. Your ears will be glad you did!!!

The Real Mother Goose


I used to read this book as a child over and over again. I loved the nursery rhymes and didn't mind reading them over and over again. I found this the other day at the thrift store so I bought if for myself. Rhymes are good for children and my older girls missed out on this in their education so backtracking can't hurt.
My dame has lost her shoe,
My master's lost his fiddle-stick
And knows not what to do.
Cock-a-doodle do!
What is my dame to do?
Till master finds his fiddle-stick,
She'll dance without her shoe.
The Pumpkin-Eater
Peter, Peter, pumpkin-eater,
Had a wife and couldn't keep her.
He put her in a pumkin shell,
And there he kept her very well.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

New coupon site!

I found a new coupon site that is going to save me a lot of time. Fabulessly Frugal has a list of the coupon inserts in MY paper! I live in the San Diego area and have found that the coupon lists I've been able to find are pretty generic and the coupons may not be in my inserts. The coupon may be somewhere in the country so it's added in the list. I googled the info I was looking for and came up with Fabulessly Frugal. I LOVE IT!
It not only has the coupons in my inserts, but they also have the value listed and the expiration dates. Wowza!!!

I had been using the binder method, and I still have my binder, but the hours and hours of cutting were way too labor intensive for this busy mama. I started filing my inserts by date in a file box. Then I felt lost because I didn't know what coupon was where so I've been winging it for the last month or so, until now. I now have my list in front of my insert so I know if I have a coupon for a sale.

I do use Grocery Smarts but it's not very reliable and relies on a lot of internet printable coupons. I love the internet printables, but I needed something to tell me what I already have. Fabulessly Frugal is the ticket.

By the way Food 4 Less has Green Giant vegies on sale for .38 a can and Campbell's Cream of Chicken or Mushroom or Chicken soup for .48. I've been there twice in the last two days and have bought at least 150 different things that are on their mega-sale. I went back today and got the BIG soups which were .25 after the coupons. I split these between my younger girls and they can take them to school for a hot lunch.

I have found that I need to coupon and follow sales to be able to afford to feed my family. If you have any great websites I'd love to visit them. Leave me a comment.
I also like The Krazy Coupon Lady.

Facebook posters

These are just some of the cards/posters that have been on my newsfeed today. What a variety!
May our hearts be full of the determination and love needed to rescue the orphans all around us.

Codeblack Funny part II:
It's a ride or die day today folks! You ready?



Haha...thought about you two when I saw this!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Shades of People

Shades of People 
I found this book at the thrift store last week so I HAD to snatch it. The first two pages: "Have you noticed that people come in many different shades? Not colors exactly, but shades."

My girls consider me peach and they call themselves brown. My youngest wants to be peach in the worst way, but I tell her I would love to be a lovely brown like she is. I explain to her how most peach people lay out in the sun so they can get browner.

We were at our Ethiopian church a few years ago and the children's teacher explained to the children that we are not black and white. She held up examples and asked if she were as dark as black, and if I was as white as the white paper she held up. They responded no and that is where they got the brown and peach idea.

Keep your eyes open for little gems like this book. They're great to show your kids that people come in all shades and can look very different from one another, but w're all people!

This is an Editorial Review that was on Amazon. Shades of People

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1—This book is filled with wonderful photographs of happy, smiling, inquisitive, trusting, and adorable children—all with varying skin tones, hair colors and textures, and facial features. "Have you noticed that people come in many different shades?" is the opening sentence, accompanied by framed head shots of youngsters. It is followed on the next page by, "Not colors, exactly, but shades." The text is minimal, with approximately 3 to 10 words per page. The last page features a large photograph of eight little hands of varying shades. The message is clear and to the point: "Our skin is just our covering, like wrapping paper. And, you can't tell what someone is like from the color of their skin." A good introduction to racial and ethnic diversity.—Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH END

After Church Antics

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Photo: Yoda

Fall Festival

Meskerem Amy at the beauty salon booth


                                            Anna at the Tiki Nut Hunt.

                         Pumpkin Squirt which was WAY too labor intensive.