Monthly Archives: July 2012

Strawberries, peanut butter, and lots of Cheerios!

Let me start off with letting everyone one know that I am a NON COOK! The kitchen is a foreign world and I am a weary traveler. Hubby does all the main dinner cooking in our home. Yes, I know, I am a very lucky girl. Now don’t think I am totally helpless. I can make a rocking grilled cheese, waffles, omelets, and about five dinner meals. These I can completely cook on my own and are presentable to guests. I also make the assortment of cookies and cakes for the kids, but I confess they are semi home made. That is my repertoire, my comfort zone, and I stick to it.

So with that information in mind…..I looked into the fridge this morning to find an excess amount of strawberries. I mean, three large cartons on the verge of going bad. I then noticed we have two peanut butter jars that are open and I purchased the plain Cheerios versus the honey nut. ( You would have thought the world was ending. )

What to do?

I don’t know what came over me, but I decided to make a pie. With the strawberries of course.

My neighbor is an excellent cook. A “from scratch” kind of girl. A quick call to her and I had an easy to make strawberry pie recipe in my hands and lots of encouragement. I got a little nervous about making the entire pie from scratch, so I decided to cheat a little….Just a little.

Recipe in hand and kids in tow, I head off to the grocery store. The kids are in total awe, wondering what could have possible gotten over mommy.

I head straight to the baking section and select a pre made pie crust. What?… I swear I will do all the rest from scratch.

I quickly find the supplies that I need except for one.


I honesty never have heard of this product and was stumped were to find it in the store. I couldn’t find it in the baking section. I then headed to the salad dressing/oil section. Nope, not there. Ms. A then announced “It’s syrup, so would it be where the pancake stuff is?”

I was about to shush her so that I could think…hmmm, she might be on to something. Oh, let’s give it a try.

She was right…it was right next to the maple syrup.

Back at home we lay out the supplies and start the experiment. Ms. A dancing around the kitchen and Mr. D snacking on some cheese puffs watching us like a car wreck is about to happen. I finally made it to the stove to cook down the ingredients and had to ban Ms. A from the kitchen as she kept trying to spin and jump near the stove.


I managed to brown up the crust with some egg whites. Fancy, yes?! I then dumped everything into the crust. Maybe dump was not the correct term, but that’s how I did it. Then in the fidge it goes.


Since I am in the kitchen, we might as well keep going.

Ms. A got on the iPad and googled “treat with Cheerios”. Voila! A modified rice crispy treat recipe. But what to do with all this peanut butter? Another google search and a recipe for rice crispy treats with peanut butter. Sounds good, so we give it a try.


They smell great and they get a thumbs up from Ms. A.

Lets hope the pie is as successful!



Filed under cooking, Family

Adoption update for July part 3

Oh, China…. You just need to do a few more days of work. Yes, the numbers came out today. China has matched up to September 19, 2006. That means we didn’t get matched up this month (LID September 22). Let’s cross our fingers for next month…. Only three more days to go!

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Adoption update for July part 2

The saga continues.

I now find out that our home study is not in compliance with Homeland Security. They will not move on with processing our paperwork until we completely redo our home study. For those that have done home studies, it is not an easy process.

We need medical exams on everyone in the family. That doesn’t sound to difficult, until you try to schedule an appointment. Our primary physician is booked until October. I then asked if we could see anyone in our practice. The first appointment available. The receptionist proceeded to tell me that if I were to do that, I need to also do paperwork to switch that doctor as our primary….So complicated for just a quick exam and a signature. I kept explain the situation, but was not making any head way with this woman. I almost started to cry on the phone. I then asked her if she could relay my dilemma to our Doctor and have him call me. I have been waiting by the phone all day, afraid to go anywhere in case they would call….

The office just called and will squeeze us in this Wednesday for me and next Wednesday for Hubby. Phew…..that is one thing down.

The next thing is to get three references. Preferable one being a teacher of one of our children. HELLO, it’s summer break. How am I suppose to do that? Plus, what fourth grade teacher has close interaction with parents well enough to write a reference letter. Not the ones we dealt with this past year. Instead I asked a church friend, a childhood friend, and one we met through the adoption process. I emailed them the guidelines of the reference letter. Yes, they sent me guidelines. I also told my friends that they must SEAL their letters up and mail them directly to my social worker. No peaking allowed.

The financial stuff I am leaving for Hubby. It’s like doing your tax return on crack. Sounds like fun! He also needs to have his boss write a letter on “company letter head” stating his position, salary, responsibilities, and his future in the company. I can’t wait to hear how that request goes.

So….I am just a tad bit STRESSED OUT !!!!!

What was the motto I said I needed to follow. Oh yeah, No Worries. Well, that’s out the window.

I have learned from this 6 year process that there is a huge period of waiting around and then there is mad frantic dash to get things done.

I hope I will have better news by the end of the week.


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Adoption update for July

This is the week that the matches will be made. I am on pins and needles. We only have seven days to go. Will China do big numbers? Will it be this month?

I also keep plugging away on my paperwork. Our family used up all of our I-600 renewals, so we needed to switch to an I-800a form. This led to the extra forms, parenting classes, and what nots. Well, today I received a letter from Homeland Security stating that I need a Hague approved agency to review my home study. This is the same “base” home study that they have approved for the last six years and now it needs to have a special letter saying it is reviewed and approved by a Hague agency. I gave Homeland Security a call and let the officer in charge of our case know that we are working with a Hague approved agency. This, of course, doesn’t mean anything to them unless it’s on a certain form, accompanied by the letter they sent me. I explain to the officer that I will get that letter taken care of and then I asked if everything else looked alright. She proceeded to tell me she would not look at the file until I proved that it was reviewed and approved by a Hague agency. Sigh….

Hopefully, this will be worked out by the end of the week. I am trying to not worry. Things will work out. I just keep repeating that over and over.

Our agency also gave us a contact list of families that will be in our travel group. There are ten families in our log in group. Four of those have been in contact with us. These are people who we will forever be linked to. Our daughters will all be from the same orphanage. I hope that we can create these relationships for the sake of our girls.

Keeping my fingers crossed and holding my breath that everything works out….no worries…no worries…no worries


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Break from reality.

I have had a break from the reality of my life. A much needed break, but a poorly timed one.

When posed the question “what are you going to do?” after a major event in your life….


Yes, we still left on our family trip last Thursday and just arrived home today. Mom died last week on Monday night and my Dad gifted me with his blessings to continue on with our family trip to Walt Disney in the following days.

Remember, Ms. A and her dance team qualified for nationals and it happened this past week.


Her team did great. Four of the dance groups made it to the “Grande Finale.” Ms. A and her tap group performed spot on for the first time on the national circuit. They scored a gold. The highest the ever manage so far this season.


We were able to spend the rest of the non dance time at the parks.


She tried on all the hats in the Downtown Disney store.


This was an amazing candy shop. It was unbelievable what they could coat in chocolate.


Mr. D loved Small World! It was his favorite out of all the parks and it soon became a joke between the families we travel with. The kids would ask details about the rides and I would always respond…..”It’s just like Small World, but with—–.”


The kids enjoyed being secret agents in France at Epcot. It was a fun interactive game in the World Showcase of Countries.


Disney Studios was fun. Ms. A and Hubby love the Stars Wars ride! Mr. D opted to sit that one out. However, the whole family gave the new Toy Story ride high ratings. “It’s like Small world, but there is no water and you get to play an interactive carnival game.” (you see how that works, but just imagine the description coming from some slap happy overheated adults)


We had a yummy dinner at Mexico. However, it abruptly ended when Mr. D vomited on the table. Did I ever mention his unbelievable gag reflex….well it almost started a chain reaction. Hubby left a HUGE tip and we promptly exited after profusely apologizing to our waitress.


Sea World was our last day and it was a hot one. The entire week was in the ninties, but at this park you are outside for almost everything. Gramma and Poppy drove up to spend the day at the park with us. We started bright and early when the park opened, but gave out around three in the afternoon. The temps just reached 100.


Of course, their shows were amazing and the aquarium was unbelievable.

We had an great week and we kept ourselves very busy. Now it’s back to reality. Thanks you everyone with your kind words and prayers. My little family feels very loved by all..


Filed under Family

Learning about death.

I was with my mother when she took her final breaths last night.

Not knowing what to expect when death arrives.

Watching her chest rise and fall. Her breath more labored, more shallow, each a struggle.

Skin turning a bluish hue. Restless and agitated.

I leaned into her and whispered that it was OK, she could slow down. I told her that I loved her. I let her know the she was a good mom. I then sat and watched.

Trying to soothe her with touch and whispered words. Fixing her blankets and trying to help her find a comfortable space.

We were no longer at home. It was just too much. We were able to go to Hospice.

What a wonderful place. What exceptional people working there. What a safe place to die. Surrounded by people to help you through.

She fought for ten years and fought till the end.

She took her last breath holding my Dad’s hand. Me, I was sitting at the foot of her bed. Watching her chest rise and fall. …waiting.

At the end, she turned her head and looked upwards. What did she see? What did she hear? It leaves me to wonder. What can we be expecting at the end of our lives.

All the waiting came to such an unexpected ending. Relief washed over me. She lay there soundless and peaceful.


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Register or not?

The question of the day… Should I do a baby registry or not? When I look around our storage room, I think no way. When I look in the nursery room closet, I think no way. But…..when I go into our local Toys R Us, I squeal with delight. Yes, I squeal. After six years of waiting, I am just a little baby crazy. Hubby has been keeping me at bay. Holding me back from going shopping, or at least he thinks that. I have to admit that there are several years of Christmas presents on the top shelf of my closet waiting for her arrival.

At one point, we thought the adoption and Mr.D would be happening at the same time. This resulted in me getting a second of every baby item. Yep, I have two high chairs, two pack & plays, two cribs, a double stroller, and tons of toys. I then have been blessed with a very generous “Shopping Buddy” who has passed down all her clothing from her daughter.

If I really had to look at what I needed versus wanted, it would be slim. I need a car seat. Although my ten year old seat is in great shape, I think for safety reasons it should be upgraded. I also need to look at bottles. There is such a huge variety available. I am concerned with the plastic of the bottles I have. I was even looking to switch to glass bottles…Still not sure about that, I’ll have to do some further research on that.

So…I am putting the question out there…register or not?


Filed under adoption, Family