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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Whirlwind!

I'm still here...just being kept busy. We have had a wonderful Christmas and are so thankful for God's many blessings. On Christmas Eve we hosted my inlaws for supper and opened some gifts. Christmas morning started bright-okay, dark- and early, with a 4am wake up by both the little girl and boy. I think they are already in cahoots! Simeon LOVED his Veggie Tales Dance Dance Dance game, Trisha was thrilled with her gifts, Naomi, well, she seems to be enjoying her VERY PINK play mat/jungle gym thingie. Rich loved the clothes I ordered, and I was blessed with a beautiful necklace from the kids, and a bible I've been wanting for about a year now. Christmas day was spent nice and quiet, just the way I like it.

We're now gearing up for New Years Eve. We've invited a bunch of friends from church, and are not quite sure how many people or kids are going to show up. The more the merrier, as long as they bring an app or dessert, we'll be all set. New years Day we'll be going over to my inlaws for my father in law's famous spaghetti and meatballs. Should be fun.

I do have a cute video of Simeon, and a great picture of Naomi asleep in her horse jumperoo...will try to get that online sometime soon.

Oh, in other news, we have finally bought a wii, and I must say that Simeon and I are hilarious to watch playing against each other. Can you say competitive spirits?

Happy New Years Everybody!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thoughts

I've been thinking on 2 Corinthians 13:10

" This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority- the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down."

This past week or so has been challenging with Simeon. He continues to have a somewhat negative attitude, and will misbehave in ways that just baffle me. Part of it is being a 5 year old boy, part of it is wanting attention that I can't always give him in the moment. As I read this passage, I realized that much of my attitude and discipline have been negative. It seems that God has pointed out that while yes, he has given me authority, He gave it to me to build my children up, not tear them down.( not that I have been purposely doing that) So my challenge has been to be deliberately positive in my interactions with Simeon, EVEN when I have to punish or correct him. Not easy. It seems that God is not only working on Simeon, but my attitude. It's funny how I see my heavenly Father trying to work in me, the same thing I am trying to do in my children. The beauty and other challenge in this...God does it so gently in me, he is so loving and patient with me...I need to be that way with the kids...Help me be more like you Jesus! As John the Baptist said, " May I decrease that He increase!"

Monday, November 17, 2008

Praise God!

Naomi is doing much better on the Nutramigen. Rich and I were getting a little worried about the price. At the rate she was drinking now, we figured it would cost us $100 every 2 weeks for formula...God blessed us beyond compare though. Our insurance is going to cover the formula at 100%! We are so thankful for a baby that is sleeping better and for his financial provision for the formula! Way to Go GOD!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

random news and information

My plate has been full...Wonderfully full. Between my involvement in Biblestudy, Mom to Mom at our church, social calls, church itself, homeschooling and caring for an infant, add to that cooking and cleaning, and well...I am wonderfully busy.

Rich is doing well at work. Things are busy as usual, and there is no shortage of work. He continues to be a great help with the kids. I don't know what I would do without him. Lack of sleep is not something I do well with. He has graciously taken the night shift on more than one occasion! I am so THANKFUL for him!

Trisha is doing well. She is looking forward for this trimester to end. Honors history is doing her in. She has yet another boyfriend. While I remember liking a ton of guys at her age, I don't think I had as many boyfriends as her. She is keeping busy with friends and babysitting. ( I wish I babysat now...can you believe she makes between $6-%10 an hour? It pays more to babysit nowadays than working for minimum wage!)

Simeon is doing well. He continues to be the helpful and protective older brother. As soon as Naomi cries as Biblestudy, he runs into the room to check up on her. He doesn't like many people holding her, and wants to keep her all to himself. Yesterday he had to have a flu shot, since Naomi is too young for one. He was so brave. Poor thing, I wish I could make it all better. He was so sad and dejected after it happened. He wouldn't let himself cry no matter what Rich and I said, but you could see he wanted to. The past couple of weeks have been a challenge with Simeon. He has developped quite the negative attitude about school and just anything positive in general. I borrowed one of Kelly's ideas and adapted it to suit us. Simeon is now earning colored popsicle sticks for responding to our requests without complaint or arguement. He is also earning sticks for being positive about school. So far so good. He loves earning sticks, and counting them regularly. Today, he "bought" his first prize with his popscicle sticks, glow sticks. It was so cool to see him excited, and I think now that he's actually earned a reward, he is more motivated to earn more.

Naomi is doing well.She is quite alert as far as baby's go. She loves to watch Simeon play, and responds with smiles and the beginnings of giggles when he talks to her. She loves her baby massage time, and gets all excited when I give her the massage cues. She is trying to engage with us, and often times will let me know that I need to pay attention to her. She is a joy to have around. We are so blessed! As of yesterday she weighs 9lbs 8 oz, and has officially doubled her birth weight. She is now 21 inches long. Still a little peanut, but in the words of our pediatrician, " We can almost say she's chubby." While she is growing well, we have been suffering with little sleep, usually no more than 2 hours at a time, as well as a very fussy baby. Dr. thinks it may be either a milk protein intolerance/allergy or reflux or both. We were sent home with a sample of Nutramigen to try. So far so good. We also have to bring a stool sample tomorrow. I'm just glad that the Dr. took us seriously and is working with us to get Naomi comfortable! Naomi also had 3 shots yesterday. Poor little peanut was wailing like nobody's business. She has been sleepy most of today, and so its been quite quiet around her.

We are looking forward to Thanksgivings long weekend, when we will be heading to Canada to visit my family, it has been a year and a quarter since I was last up. Gas prices being so low (under $2 a gallon in our area as of yesterday) certainly helps!It will be nice to reconnect with family, and for them to meet Naomi for the first time. I can't believe she'll be almost 3 months old by the time we get there. Time flies, doesn't it?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pics of my blessings!


Naomi has been holding her head up more and more, so I decided to try her in the bumbo, doesn't she look ADORABLE? I know she looks so tiny to so many of you, and I realize she really is small for a 7 week old, but she seems HUGE to me. It doesn't seem possible that she will be two months old on Friday!




We really enjoy bath time. At first we used a hammock in the bath, and she would fuss and fuss. Now that we put her directly into the bath, she loves it. I was a little disappointed that I didn't capture the HUGE smiles she was giving Rich during this bath time. I grabbed the camera too late.






Simeon is a great big brother. He loves to hold Naomi, even when she is fussing. It's so funny, if she's crying and he's holding her, he starts to sing, and sure enough, she settles down. This is a picture of simeon singing to her. I love how she's looking right at him. This is typical of these two. They love each other SOOO much! I am truly blessed!



Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Still Alive!






I'm still here. I've been wanting to blog for a few days, but just haven't been able to find a down moment to do the typing and put my thoughts down.

The other night as I was up again with Naomi, I was thanking God for so many things. Here are a few of them:

A husband who is willing to go without sleep so I can get a few extra hours and feel human.
A husband who goes to work to provide for me and the kids.
Simeon and his sense of humour.
Simeon's silliness which defuses tense situations.
Simeon's desire to learn and gain knowledge.
Naomi and her sweet little smile.
How Naomi moves her little feet as she drinks her bottle.
The intensity with which Naomi looks into my eyes when we are alone in the middle of the night.
Trisha and how she's open with us.
How easy it is to tease Trisha and end up laughing with her.
Trisha's helfulness.

I am such a blessed woman!

So, what have I been up to?

1.Taking care of Naomi for one. She is sleeping more than she was. She has a somewhat firm routine, and it makes caring for her easier. She still has issues with gas, but that is slowly getting better. She is wearing newborn clothing and is just a sweet little princess. We are blessed in taking an infant massage class together. She seems to like it, as do I. It's a nice time for the two of us to connect.

2. I am homeschooling Simeon and having a blast. It is so exciting to see him understand and apply knowledge. My favorite moment was last week when I was up before 6. He was standing by Naomi, telling her the characteristics of a mammal. ( what we've been learning in science) You have to appreciate his interest at 6 am! Simeon is also taking gymnastics lessons at our rec. center and enjoying that!
Trisha is doing well in school and is involved with the drama club. They have a few activities going on in the next couple of weeks. She just got back from a youth retreat that she enjoyed. She took some wonderful pictures, and I'm thinking she has a knack at photography! She is no longer working, and doesn't seem to mind that. Overall she is just altogether GOOD!
Okay, now that the pics are up, time to go and get some supper going!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mommy Days: Eau de Puke

Warning: Content may upset stomachs and cause a mad rush to the facilities!


So when did you know you were a Mom, I mean, really, a MOM? I remember a friend telling me that the first time she caught her baby's puke in her hands, she felt like a mom. Okay, gross, and yes, been there and done that. I remember when it happened thinking,I must really be a Mom now.
Another Mom moment was when I changed MY child's diaper and did not gag, though changing any other diaper in the world is grossness itself. but NOTHING compares to my experience last night!

Simeon had a VERY long day. He was up before 5 and we had our Mom's group in the morning, did school in the afternoon, and then had his gymnastics or JUNEastics lessons. When we got home, he made cookies with Rich, had supper and it was time for bed. Poor little guy was really distraught. He got really upset that he couldn't play with Trisha. (In all fairness she was away at a youth retreat and then her Mom's since last week, so he really missed her.) As he lay down for bed he just started to wail. I finished what I was doing and went in. I sat on the floor and called him to me. He came and we start cuddling. I start talking about all the time he would get to spend with Trisha tomorrow, and poor little guy, (with nothing left in the department of self control after such a busy day with no nap)started to WAIL! Iwas holding him realyl close and the next thing I knew, he's PUKED all over me. Now baby spit up is one thing, but 51/2 year old puke is another. OH MY WORD! I started to laugh and wail myself. Rich came in asking what was wrong and all I could do was say, " Ohhhhhhh, Ohhhhhh, Ohhhhh!" Simeon at this point was giggling, somewhat better than the wailing in my opinion, and Trisha popped her head in and said, " Gross" while trying to hold back laughter. Needless to say, Rich finished putting Sim to bed, while I proceeded to a shower. Can I just say that I wasn't able to keep from gagging?
I did go put Simeon to bed after I smelled better. Poor little boy. He did fall asleep in a better mood... Being able to laugh about being puked on...another sign of mommyhood!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tales of a Sleepless Woman...

My wonderful husband let me sleep last night and took the night waking at 1 am and this morning I feel like a new woman! I LOVE MY LIFE, sleeplessness and all. I can totally smile at my day yesterday. I know that this too shall pass, and one day, I will look fondly at these moments, Heck, I already do look fondly at them, though it does paint me as one unstable Mommy!

So I love my baby girl. I love the newborn stage, all except for the sleepless nights. I have always been one to need sleep and lots of it. I was the kid who used to put herself to bed at family parties...I once fell asleep sitting up in a chair at a cousin's wedding ...I NEED SLEEP. So needless to say, the lack of continuous sleep has been wreaking havoc on my body.

Yesterday I had my first meltdown. I had gotten up a few times during the night trying to let Rich sleep. Simeon then woke up early and proceeded to check on me and baby every half hour, well more like 5 mintues. I then got up and could tell that the day was looking awfully bleak. I headed off to the neighbors, where my normally polite son decided he was not going to talk or answer questions, which raised my defenses...everyone is going to attribute his lack of "social skills" on homeschooling...Once back home, I proceeded to cook a gourmet meal, ummm throw together something for Rich and Sim, fed the baby and figured I'd take a nap after I had a nice nutritious meal...okay, more like tortilla chips, salsa and cheese melted in the microwave.

Our lunch goes well, Rich goes back to work and the baby is quiet, though awake. I manage to read a book to Simeon, and put him down for a nap. ( Yes, my 5.5 year old still takes naps, and for that I am VERY THANKFUL!) By the time I leave the room, the baby is asleep. YES! It looks like the planets have aligned for me to get a nap. I lay down on the couch with my favorite fleece blanket, close my eyes, take a deep breath....and Naomi proceeds to scream, and scream and scream some more. I pick her up, and cuddle with her on the couch, but am not comfy. I figure we'll both be comfier(is that even a word, and if it is, did I spell it right?), and so I head downstairs. Well, that was a BAD idea. My little princess decides to exercise her lungs as never before. Diaper is dry, she's been fed recently...I don't know what to do...I'm begging God to help me figure out how to make her stop. I decide to call Rich, and make him promise me that this will one day stop, that I am not going insane, and that she will grow up to speak rather than screech when something is bothering her. He promises all of the above and then proceeds to ask me if I've tried all the tricks in the book. Sway? Pat? Bounce on exercise ball? Walk around (yes, though this is dangerous when sleep deprived I tell you, one trips over her own feet)? The Wrap? No, actually, though I have worn her in the wrap nearly everyday since she's been born, I had not thought of the wrap. Sure enough, she falls asleep in it, so I lay on my back( Have I said yet that I am a stomach sleeper, and cannot sleep on my back?) on the couch. I'm very uncomfortable, but the silence is better than the hysteria of 5 minutes ago, so I turn the food network on and proceed to watch some shows.

I must have fallen asleep for no more than 20 minutes when I hear the front door open. At first I thought it was Rich, who had offered to come home more than once as I calmly (choking down tears and trying to act brave) asked for his advice on how to quiet our crying (hysterically) baby an hour and a half earlier. Then I hear the familiar, " Hellooo?" of our 15 year old who is supposed to be at her Moms. She proceeds to say she wasn't sure whether we'd be asleep, but she was here to get her school stuff and fundraiser things. ( word of advice, if you think a mom (okay, THIS Mom) to a newborn is asleep, please don't show up unexpected, wait until your sure they are already awake! She then leaves. As I continue to try to get comfortable, with an infant head under my chin, and a wrap knot in my back, contemplating how awful the pizzas Emeril is making look, my 5 year old wakes up.

Sigh...no sleep for the weary. Within the hour Rich arrives to the rescue. I then lose it, the tears start to flow and I look like a crazy lady. I feel like a two year old having a tantrum, except my tantrum is for sleep. After supper, I feel so much better. Hmmm...maybe I need to make sure I get more protein and caffeine in my diet. After Bible study, and some fellowship I feel so much better, but we still stop at Dunkin's for a donut...nothing like a little comfort food. Home and bed.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I thought I had ripped them all up....

Boy did that make me ANGRY! I've been homeschooling Simeon this year and we have been doing really well. Though of kindergarten age, he's working at an end of K, beginning of grade 1 level. As I pulled out a teeny worksheet for the letter Dd, he said," I thought I had ripped them all up!" When asked if he ripped them on purpose, his answer was, " Yes, so I wouldn't have so much work to do." Grrrr...Hiss...make my blood boil and curdle.I can't believe him! Needless to say there was a consequence. What am I to do with that boy?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Survived!





So yesterday went well, though I never did get back on to update. My day flew by, but I got a ton accomplished. In the evening, Rich had a men's meeting at church, and I had two friends over for supper and cooked! It was a little tricky trying to get Sim to bed early (since he skipped nap) and balancing Naomi, but overall, it went great!

Tomorrow Sim starts gymnastics lessons and is really looking forward to that. It should be fun! The poor little guy was disappointed when we signed him up, he thought the classes were EVERYDAY, and was bummed that they are only on Wednesdays. He continues to be a great big brother, and loves to hold Naomi. He is also very helpful with bath time as well diaper changes. He's just a great help!

Naomi is doing well and was 7lbs even. She is only at the 5th percentile, but is growing well and following a great growth curve, the Dr. is happy. Today was the first time I put on a newborn outfit that actually fit. Funny since she is already a little over a month old. I'm about ready to put away most of her preemie outfits. There are a couple that will still fit, but the others are too short for her. We are starting to get into a good groove and I'm able more and more to read her cues and cries. One thing I've noticed is if she spends too much time being held by others, she gets really fussy. A friend of mine used overstimulated, and I think that captures her state to a t. She still loves my moby wrap knockoff, and is asleep in it now as I type. She is also loving the swing and if she's in the mood, enjoys the bouncy seat with the vibration on. She is such a little joy.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Flying Solo

Well, Rich is back to work today and I am alone with both kids for the first time. So far so good. I've spent time with God, I've done my suchercharged sculpting exercise tape, started the dishes, tidied up the living room and umm...had breakfast. Will see what the rest of the day brings! I don't know who is having a harder time with Rich going back to work. Me or him? In some ways I'm looking forward to developping a routine, and I know he is missing being with us every waking moment.

Naomi goes to the dr's this afternoon,I'm dreading the shots she needs to have but am looking forward to seeing how much she's grown in the past two weeks! I'll try to post a better update WITH pictures later.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Mom to Mom

The first session for me of my Mom's group was today, and what a joy it was. There is nothing like getting together with other Moms and being real and transparent. There are 70 women total that have signed up, but we are split in groups of 7 or so. We are doing the Mom to Mom curriculum found at http://momtomom.org Anyway, today, the video discussed who we are supposed to be as Moms and addressed the myths women believe about being a mother. Here are the two that I found I struggle with:

"Super Mom": Since you are "not working," you can at least "do it all" on the home front.

"Performance Pit": What you do determines who you are.

I often think I should be able to do it all, cook, clean, homeschool and take care of the baby without help. Afterall, Rich goes to work, right? Then, not only do I have to do it all, but I have to do it well, and my kids have to perform well. I realize I put so much pressure on myself. Now I've been aware of both of these myths in my life for quite some time, but there's nothing like a refresher to really hit the nail on the head. Since coming home with Naomi, I've been struggling with the Performance Pit and the Super Mom syndrome. I have been putting alot of pressure on myself and expecting alot out of Rich and not giving either one of us any grace. I know I'm struggling with this, but seemed to be in a pit, in need of perspective. It really hit home and I loved when the speaker Linda Anderson said,
"Parenting is rooted in God's grace, not our perfection."

Really truly I knew that, but I needed to hear it. I guess I really needed to hear it, cause later, in a devotional I did ( God's Purpose for Every Woman by Lysa TerKeurst and Rachel Olsen)I read:

"The Bible advises against performance-based love, and advocates grace-based love instead. Proverbs 19:11 explains we should be slow to anger and quick to forgive. The Message puts it this way: "Smart people know how to hold their tongue; their grandeur is to forgive and forget." We're also advised to stop mulling over our grievances. First Corinthians 13 explains that a loving person is not irritable or demanding...

Dear Lord, I need help moving from an attitude of performance-based love to a grace-based perspective."

So what myths are you struggling with? Please share, we can strive to be better moms together!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Time Flies

I have been meaning to blog, but time just seems to escape me. It's not that I'm horribly busy...that I'm running around constantly or any of that. I have ideas of blog posts, and the next thing I know, its the end of the day, I'm tired and need to go to bed. It's funny, in some ways I am amazed at how much I can get done, and yet, am amazed at how little I get done. I guess it depends on my perspective.

While I was in Little Rock, I was blessed, and amazed to meet Becky's friends. Becky is such an awesome person, as are her friends. It truly was a joy to meet them. I came back telling Rich I wanted more "Becky" friends in my life. Friends who I could just be me with. Friends who will take me and my house exactly as they are, no comments made. I've been realizing that I have such friends. I'm really enjoying deepening and enjoying those relationships.

I was out for a walk today, and saw someone I would consider an acquaintance. She was so happy to meet me and see Naomi. It was really fun, and I'm hoping to have her over soon to develop more of a friendship. God just keeps emphasizing that I need to be more deliberate in my interactions with people and developing friendships.

I guess I just expected friends to be easy to make, like in college. The thing is, in college, we had time to just hang out between classes. We had study groups, classes together. We had lots of time together. As adults with families, we just don't have that much time in common. It takes effort and energy as well as good will to develop those friendships...so here's to more deliberate interactions...AGAIN! I feel like a broken record, but it just seems to be the way God is speaking to me of late.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Home at Last!


Well, we have been busy since arriving at home. Naomi did great on the flights and slept most of the time. Not a peep from her, which was great...I was so worried about her little ears during take off and landing, but neither seemed to phase her.

Things have been so hectic, I feel a little like I have been thrown to the beasts...Simeon and Trisha were both glad to see me after 2 weeks away, and totally excited to meet Naomi. Sunday we went to church. Oh my word, I thought we would never get out of there. It seems like we were stopped by everyone and their mother, on the way out. It was actually quite comical, and yet, such a blessing. Monday, we went to the pediatrician's. My little peanut is doing quite well growing. She was 5lbs 9oz already. She seems so big to me after getting her at 4.5 lbs...but then reality hits, she is still smaller than most newborns. We are dealing with a little bit of thrush...supposedly common with babies...

Tuesday, we took it easy and stayed home most of the day. Wait, we did adventure out to go grocery shopping. I also went for a nice long walk with Naomi in the wrap. I heart my stretchy wrap, as do most people I meet! I have showed/explained to so many different people about the wrap. It's great!

Today, we went apple picking this morning. Naomi slept through the whole thing, and Simeon expent some of his seemingly boundless energy. He is doing well adjusting to life with mom and baby. Our biggest struggle is keepingn him from smothering Naomi with love and kisses. Reminding him to wash his hands before touching her hands or face. He is a great helper. He has also been gung ho about homeschooling. I'm piece mealing my curriculum. Handwriting without tears for writing, Hooked on Phonics for reading, Math U See for math, and for science we are learning about different types of living beings ( ie mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish, birds and insects).

Trisha is doing well. She loves Naomi and gets teary when she holds her. School is keeping her busy. She is getting involved with the drama club and getting ready for haunted hotel and the storybook character hayride. She is also considering trying out for the school play. Busy Busy I tell you.

Rich and I...well, we are getting used to interrupted sleep. We celebrated our 8 year anniversary on Monday. We are enjoying parenting our three very different children...15, 5 and newborn...nothing like experiencing all ages.

Okay, here's a picture, cause I know that's what you all want!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Going Home!

I have been so blessed by my stay in Little Rock. As I sit in my friend Becky's livingroom, I am just in awe of what God has done/is doing. I mean who knew when we first met in an infertility support message board, that I would end up spending so much time with her and her family. Becky and I met for the first time face to face in February '06 in Kansas city. We had so much fun together. At the time, she lived in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Rich and I were not ready to adopt again, and would never have dreamt that we would be doing a domestic adoption. God then moved Beck and Ken to Little Rock, and as doors to adopting in Haiti closed for us, Rich and I began looking at adopting domestically, and signed up with an agency in Little Rock, Arkansas. Still, we could have been matched with a woman from anywhere in the US...but God had other plans. All this to say, Becky and Ken, THANK YOU for being God's hands and feet. Thank you for extending your hospitality to me and Naomi. These first few weeks of her life will be treasured, as both new times in my life, but time spent with friends who get it! Thank you for your support when I was homesick and lonely. Thanks Beck for being that extra set of hands. Kaden, thanks for lending your room/personal space to me, Elaina, thanks for your happy go lucky self, and Ken, thanks for "putting" up with me and losing privacy after long days at work. You are all loved and appreciated!While I am glad to go back home, I will miss you all terribly! Beck, I will try to be better about keeping in touch...

That said, court is tomorrow at 2pm. Rich is arriving tomorrow around 11 am. We will be flying home to Manchester on Saturday, and are scheduled to arrive at the airport around 5pm...Sigh...

Thank you Jesus for this journey. If there's anything I've relearned, its that prayer is not the last recourse, but a powerful and effective tool. Thank you for the blessing of Naomi, and the Simon family.

Special shout out to Shey! Thanks my friend for all the running around and phone calls you made on my behalf.I truly appreciate it and have been praying for you! You are a God send and were truly a blessing as you ministered to me.

Nichole...I don't know if you will even come to read this...but thank you. Thank you for the gift of Naomi...thank you for your selfless and painful gift. Not a day will go by that I don't think of or pray for you. I meant what I said, call or text me, I will be glad to hear from you. I will be printing those pictures and mailing them to the agency! Be blessed sweet friend! Looking forward to hearing of the grand plans God has in store for you. You are loved beyond compare!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

What a doll!




Pictures just don't seem to do justice to how tiny our little princess is. Becky and I decided that a little comparison to a doll would help. The doll is a wee bit shorter than Naomi,but Naomi likes to be curled up....Isn't she just precious!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Big Girl!

Well, Naomi went to the Dr. today and we have great news. She is back to her birth weight of 4 lbs 11 oz. The dr is satisfied and just recommended a normal visit in one month...we will be having a well visit at our pediatrician's when we get home though. By the time we leave Little Rock, she should be able to ride in a normal carseat. Yeah! I can't tell you how relieved I am that she is doing so well. The nurses though well meaning really worried me about how much she should be eating...the dr. said she is absolutely fine. I feel like there's one less thing to stress about.

As for the court date...well...keep praying. The date they gave us was unacceptable, so we are praying that the agency's attorney will be able to work with the judge and get something sooner. Please keep your prayers coming. I'm getting pretty homesick, as is Rich! Thanks so much!

Happy Birthday Daddy!



Happy Birthday Richie! Happy Birthday Daddy! We just want to thank you for all you do! For your patience and effort while we are away from you. Both of us miss you and long to feel your arms around us! Thank you for being such a great provider. May God bless you abundantly today. Wish we were with you!

Love,
Jess and Naomi

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

She's Here



Sorry it has taken me so long. Naomi Abigail Lyric was born on Friday, September 5th at 11:39 central time. She weighed 4 lbs 11 oz and was 17 1/2 inches long.

Things are going fairly well. Please pray for her to gain weight. She has failed the carseat test and needs to pass. I was able to bring her home with a car bed however.

Please also pray for a quick court date. Right now, the court was giving dates way further than I can/am willing to wait or mooch off of hospitality! We really need a miracle!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

THE Plan

Well, as of right now, the plan is for me to fly to Little Rock Saturday. N has a dr's appointment on Tuesday, if she doesn't go into labor before then. I'm looking forward to meeting her and spending some time with her. I can't wait to write that Naomi has made her entrance...in the meantime, we sit tight and wait...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The toothfairy has come and gone....


After lots of wiggling and a little bribing, Simeon let me pull his first tooth yesterday. He was so excited. This morning I woke up to cries of, " The toothfairy has come, look what she brought me," and, " I know you're the toothfairy Mom!" It's funny, we've told Sim the truth about Santa, toothfairy, Easter bunny...and yet, we still get all the fun and excitement, and no let down...Yeah for the toothfairy!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Not so Bad!

Well, we went to the picnic and it was great. I am not likely to remember most people's names...um...there were like, over a hundred people there, but it was great. It was so nice to hear other people's adoption stories, and just watch the multitude of kids playing. I think we will definitely try to catch up with this group again! Yeah for putting myself out there, and then having a good time!

Out of My Comfort Zone

Today we are going to our areas adoptive and foster families picnic. I'm not one who loves big crowds of people, familiar or not, so this is a huge step. I am looking forward to meeting families who look like ours, seeing Simeon make friends who share his life experience. I'm also hoping this will help me get my mind off of the wait. Everytime the phone rings I jump, and stare at the area code before answering. I am so antsy and wrestless, I'm hoping this will help...though I am nervous! Will they like me? Will I actually find people to talk to, or will they already all have their own group of friends...Stay tuned...I'll try to update about the whole experience when we get back!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Little Helper



Simeon LOVES to help. Tonight, I decided to make some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. He helped me make them. As I was spooning them onto the cookie sheet, I noticed him doing the dishes in the sink. He's been asking for some time, and I've been saying no, but I knew there were no knives tonight, just the baking utensils. Here are a few snappies!

She's having a giveaway!

One of the blogs I read periodically is having a "tea time" giveaway. I love this blog because of the simplicity of life her blog displays...I love the pictures, and just like reading about their family! Please check out Christina's blog at: http://hskubes.blogspot.com/2008/08/fall-back-into-homeschool-giveaway.html

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Butterfly on Butterfly Bush

I was getting ready to do school with Simeon this morning when I saw this butterfly. I decided that I just NEEDED pictures of it on my butterfly bush. Such a pretty sight this morning!





Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Random Pictures

Homegrown Tomatoes and Freshly Baked French Bread

Cloth diapers: 30 Rita's Rump Pockets and 21 Newborn Prefolds

Better late than never.Simeon's Birthday Cake- Here's Larry as the Pirate who doesn't do Anything!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Too soon...

Why do kids grow up way too soon. A few days ago my neighbor asked if Simeon had any loose teeth. I was so glad to be able to say no. It just seems like such a big step when they lose their baby teeth. Well wouldn't you know, that the next day IT happened. Sim took a bite out of a granny smith apple and said, "Ouch!" He then proceeded to tell me that his teeth were loose. Sure enough, the two bottom middle teeth are loose.(Sorry for being so non technical Kel!)The right one is looser than his left one. He's been wiggling and playing with it ALOT...and I'm sure that it won't be long before its gone...Sigh...they grow up WAY too soon!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

God appointed appointment...

Tonight, Rich and I brought Simeon to our church's movie slam. They had all kinds of activities planned for the kids, as well as some movies. The night was made complete with popcorn and snowcones...ick! Okay, so all that is all well and good, but what excited me was a meeting with one of Trisha's youth leaders. Jolene...she came to talk about T, but soon realized that we are the same couple/family, that some mutual friends of ours had mentionned. The appointment? Talking about adoption...it was so cool. I just keep seeing God using our journey of adoption, both international and domestic to encourage other couples. It looks like I have come across another kindred spirit in the world of adoption. It seems that God is surrounding me and I'm getting excited. Could there be an adoption ministry in my future? An orphan ministry? VERY LIKELY! Please join me in praying for God's will and His timing...ooo I could so run with this...but first things first...let's get baby Naomi home before I take on such an extensive project!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Waiting...

Okay, I'm coming clean, I am not good at waiting. I've been driving myself crazy waiting for N to go into labor, and her due date is not for another 2 weeks. The culmination of this craziness came when I awoke with a migraine like no other. It has been ages since a migraine this bad has hit...but I so recognized its symptoms. Not enough sleep, too much pent up stress, not enough release...

God is good though, my friend Katie showed up unexpectedly. Now we normally meet on Friday mornings, but I thought we had cancelled today's meetings. Despite my weakened condition, we spoke for about 10 minutes, but what's best is that she prayed with and for me! She hugged me, told me she loved me and was totally cool with me needing to go back to the darkened dungeon I call my bedroom!

What a great friend! Thanks Katie! You're the absolute best, and were the words and arms of Jesus to me today! Thank you!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Cloth Diapers

Melody asked me to write more about the cloth diapers I made. I don't know how much I can add, since I went to her blog to find the info...but alas...here is what I did.

I made 18 Rita's Rump pockets. I used fleece (alpine and blizzard fleece, when onsale at Joann's, as well as some remnants from some diapers I had sewn for a friend) for the outside, and flannel (good quality flannel found onsale at Joann's) for the inside. For the absorbant part of the pocket diaper, I used a mid quality facecloth, folded into thirds and a layer of flannel on top and a layer of fleece on the bottom. I did not use hook and loop fabric, nor snaps, my plan is to use good old diaper pins. The only problem with these, is that I misread, and did not cut them out with the seam allowance. I'm thinking they are smaller than they are supposed to be, but should work for a while.

I then made 21 flannel prefolds. Once again, the flannel I found on sale. These were easy to make, and I'm hoping that I will like these most. I don't have a cover for them. I'm thinking of using the shell of my pocket diapers for a cover. We'll see how that goes. I'm trying to save as much money as possible, as $$$ is tight.

If I have to redo diapers...ie if I really like the pockets, but they are too small, I'm thinking I would wash the fleece with a waterproofing agent before cutting and sewing, this would ensure that they really do keep baby dry.

We'll see how this all works out. Rich is a little leery of using cloth, but likes the thought of the savings. I'm debating whether I will buy the diaper sprayer for the toilet, or just go with diaper liners....I think what bothers Rich most about cloth is the poop, so liners appeal to him. If I could find them close by it wouldn't be so bad, but the shipping from the stores online has been atrocious, so we'll see!

Finally, I'd post pictures, but my camera died, and we've had no money to buy a new camera. When I finally have pictures of my stash, I'll post them.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Need Your Help!

So our estimated due date is about 2 weeks away. I'm starting to think of what I need to pack. Who am I kidding, the suitcase is open and being filled. I'll be gone 14 maybe more days.My question is...

What do I NEED to pack for a newborn?

Next question-What projects(cheap- as in no to little money involved) can I do to keep my hands and mind busy during the wait? I've crocheted 1 blanket, did a crochet border around another blanket, sewed 39 cloth diapers, made homemade faceclothes/wipes out of my remnant fabric, set up the crib, decluttered a bunch of areas in the home... Please help me find something to do to keep me busy!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fast and Slow

I was talking to N yesterday, and she was saying how little time there is to her pregnancy. TRUE! She also mentionned how quickly time is passing. Hmmm....it doesn't feel that way to me. In some respects, time is flying by, and yet, at the other end of the spectrum, it feels as if Naomi's birth will never come. While we have a due date, N could very well go late. I'm just so ready to have this little miracle be here. So ready to see her. The unknowns are just so hard for me.

While I wait I've cleaned and decluttered my living room, bedroom, kitchen...I've cleaned the plethora of baby gear we've been given, set up the crib...ummm washed all the baby clothes. I've basically kept really busy. The problem, I'm quickly running out of projects! Ugh! Need to find stuff to do to quiet my mind...Now if only Rich would chop more wood, I could pile that to get both exercise and keep my mind busy.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Ressourceful!

I have two very different children. T, 15, is always asking for things. "Can I get myself some juice? Can I take a shower? Can I have a snack? What can I have for lunch?" Now it drives me CRAZY. At 15, I expect that she shouldn't have to ask and just use common sense. Well, Simeon is the total opposite. I walk into the living room, and he has a whole bag of celery, and he's munching away on it one rib at a time. He wants to do everything for himself, for the most part. Well, this morning, he asked for some yogourt, and I let him get it. When he realized that there was none, he decided he wanted some of my homemade bread. I came upstairs after hearing some crashing to find my cooling racks on the floor, and a big hunk of bread torn out of the middle of the loaf. I don't know which makes me crazier, but I love to see how different two kids raised in the same household can be! Personality has just as much to do with their view of things as environment!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

30 Things that make me happy!

I was challenged by Faith, http://wingerteam.blogspot.com/, to write 30 things that make me happy. Here they are in no particular order:

1.Snuggling with Rich
2.Simeon waking me up with, " Good morning my precious!"
3.Seeing my flower gardens bloom.
4.Harvesting my home grown vegetables
5.The sound my jam makes as its sealing...such a distinctive POP!
6.Looking at my jars of freshly made jam.
7.Walking on the beach at low tide.
8.Blaring a great worship song in the car and having the entire family singing to it.
9.The smell of homemade bread baking.
10.The taste of homemade bread with homemade jam.
11.Hearing people rave about my baked goods.
12.Quiet time reading my Bible in the morning.
13.Crocheting a baby blanket for myself, a friend or family.
14.Watching the first two Anne of Green Gable movies.
15.Watching Fiddler on the Roof.
16.Getting a new book to read.
17.Snuggling on the couch and reading a book with no distractions.
18.Watching Simeon play in the pool.
19.Laughing with Trisha about "boys".
20.Spending time with friends.
21.Seeing Simeon understand a concept in homeschool.
22.Decluttering my home.
23.A freshly cleaned house.
24.Empty laundry baskets.(If only it would last longer)
25.Holding hands with Rich.
26.Snuggling up on the couch with Rich and Simeon.
27."Racing" with Simeon on the beach.
28.Taking a nap.
29.Laughing over the trivial moments in life with friends.
30.Hearing and seeing what God is doing in my life and the life of my family and friends!

So, what makes you happy? If you post your list, please leave a comment so I can go and check it out!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Overwhelmed

The past two weeks have been crazy, exciting, scary, and extremely hopeful and joyful. On July 17th, we got the call saying that we are matched with a young woman who is due to give birth to a baby girl on Sept. 4th. If all goes according to plan ( and we all know that plans can change) We will be the proud adoptive parents of Naomi Abigail Lyric sometime in the first half of September. We couldn't be more excited, and have had a great time getting to know that young woman, N, who is wanting to place her baby with us.

I was telling a friend the other day, there are times, when I feel like I pray, and its as if there is a wall to heaven. I know God hears me, but I don't seem to receive any of his answers. Whether the answer be yes, no or wait, I don't seem to have any sense that He is at work. ( I know that I can't base my knowledge of God on feelings, I'm just stating how it sometimes feels). Lately though, it seems as if God hears my prayers and at times answers before I even formulate a prayer.

Here are some examples.

Rich and I had virtually nothing for the baby except a crib. We were blessed in the past week with 2 infant car seats, a bouncy seat, a baby swing, a baby bath, a gift certificate which will cover the crib mattress and crib sheets we need.

Rich and I were thinking that we would not be able to both fly to Little Rock to get the baby. I prayed about a way for it to happen...wouldn't you know, I have a friend who has a free return flight from Southwest that can be transferred to whoever she pleases. Neither her nor her husband will be able to use it before it expires...Guess who was offered the tickets.

I've been wanting some pattern blocks as well as some unifix cubes for home school with Simeon, as well as a primary scale. My friend Jenn, who is a teacher had us over on Friday night. She asked if I could use any stuff for homeschool...Guess what was in her pile of giveaways...everything I mentionned + some books, one being Animal Animal by Eric Carle, a book I've been wanting to buy for over a year.

I'm telling you, I'm overwhelmed at God's grace and goodness. Sometimes it feels like I'm going to wake up and realize that this was all some twisted bad dream, and that my reality is not what I think it is. Why is it so hard to accept God's many blessings at times?

Anyway, I'm enjoying this while it lasts! God is good, whether He blesses me as He has been or not...I'm just so thankful that He is in my life!

Monday, July 14, 2008

It's been a while...

Well, things got busy with company and then recuperating from being so busy, and that has brought me to today. I've been meaning to blog for the past week or so, so many thoughts going through my mind, and yet, I can't seem to find the words to express them clearly.

God has been so good to me. I've been wanting some fresh herbs lately, but I can't stand the thought of paying for them at the grocery store, and we haven't really had the money for me to go out and buy some. Today, we had some friends come over and she brought me some excess herbs from her garden, and a couple of plants for me to plant. It's so exciting! Thank you Jesus for providing in such a simple way. Honnestly, I really felt like it was God, I even looked for cilantro at the grocery store this weekend, and they didn't have any.

I've been thinking a lot about friends, relationships and the like. God has been convicting me of not making a point of keeping in touch with people. I mean, I think of people, I think of calling them or e-mailing them, but rarely do I execute my thoughts or good intentions. It made me wonder if people really know just how much I cherish or think about them. Do they know how much I value them?

Today I made it my mission to e-mail, PM/IM, or call people who I have been thinking about. It felt really good. Later that day I read this in a devotional from Proverbs 31 Ministries, Written by Glynnis Whitwer:

" Unhurried women think about how to show love to others - whether it's picking out the right gift, a hand-written note of encouragement, or a phone call. Hurried women wish they had picked out the right gift, written a note, or made that phone call.
Although Jesus was busy, the Bible never mentions Him being in a hurry. Others around Jesus tried to hurry Him up, but Jesus refused to be rushed. He always made time to hold a child, touch a sick man or talk to a woman whose wrong choices ostracized her from others. Jesus could have hurried – He had more to accomplish in three years than we can imagine accomplishing in a lifetime. But He chose to put people over His schedule."

So, I am going to strive to put my thoughts to action, let people know how much I care, and keep in touch. Strive, and try being the operative words.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Laying Down My Life...

Have you ever wondered if you were in the right place? I mean, sure, I chose these circumstances,but have you ever had the feeling that it was all a mistake. That you weren't up for the challenge that this particular avenue was leading you to? It's too hard, and I don't want to have to deal with this? In a friendship? A relationship? With a family member? Well, as much as I hate to admit this, YES, I have! There is one relationship in particular that brings this up ALOT! In the past year or so, God has given me some insight, and yet I still don't like it, and in moments of crises and great emotional upheaval, I DETEST it...I resent it...I just plain sound like a two year old having a temper tantrum! I often think, what's the point? What I think, say, do, doesn't seem to matter, so why bother? Yet, I wouldn't change the circumstances that have led me here.

So this morning, after a very sleepless night, as I was reading my devotions, I got even more insight. John 10: 10-13

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. "I am the good shepherd, The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. the hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep."

Okay, so I'm not Jesus, and I realize that Jesus is the Good Shepherd...but if I am a christian, I'm to strive to follow Jesus, and live as he did. In my relationships, I can choose to be like the Good Shepherd,and lay down my life...put aside my ideals, desires, and ways in general,for the well being of the other person, even when I don't like it, when its not convenient....OR I can be like the hired hand and just run away...Well,I want to care, I want to be like the good shepherd, and so that means laying down my life. That means making sacrifice, and that means an attitude change for me. So,though I have no control over certain situations, though I am removed from the decision making process, though I am still effected/affected by results and after effects, I choose to remain. I choose to stand in the gap in prayer.

A woman I respect a lot shared how she had to parent her teen on a different continent from hundreds of miles away. She had to parent through prayer. Her challenge was that if she could do it through prayer alone, how much more impact can we have on our children when we have them in close proximity. So today, as I think over the situation at hand ( Sorry to be cryptic, but I hate when people put out all the details of their interpersonal relationships on their blogs) I choose to take that challenge. In this relationship, though I don't have any direct impact or influence on the decisions made, I stand in prayer, knowing that it will have FULL impact, and is probably the best thing I can do!

The other moment of insight came, when I realized that the enemy of my soul, would love for nothing more than me to give up on this relationship. To grow cold, develop apathy and just not fight. He wants this relationship destroyed...he wants my negative emotions to drive a wedge between me, this person and other relationships I have...It is all the more important for me to Lay Down My Life, Stand my Ground and Pray, watching the Victory that only HE, Jesus, can bring.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Baby Wearing Collection Contest

I loved wearing Sim, have enjoyed wearing my nephew, and am looking forward to wearing our much awaited and prayed for newest bundle/s of joy. So here's to hoping I win! LOL
Win the Essential Babywearing Stash from Along for the Ride (one Beco Butterfly, one Hotsling baby pouch, one BabyHawk Mei Tai, one Zolowear Ring Sling, and one Gypsy Mama Wrap)

BumGenius Contest

With Simeon, I had contemplated doing cloth diapers. With this baby, we are planning on using cloth. For the most part, I have sewed some prefolds, as well as some pocket diapers, but I am hoping to try the Bum Genius diapers, as I've heard WONDERFUL things about them.

Win a Bum Genius 3.0 Starter Kit from Nature's Child - Wholesome Goods for Mothers and Babies

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Divine Appointments

It has been a long time, okay, a VERY long time, since I have felt like I connected with friends in my here and now life. Often, I share my passion about the world's orphans, my desire to do more, my sense of injustice at the poverty in this world...I want to do something about it...well...for the most part, people kind of smile and nod, and then turn the other way. There is nothing wrong with them, and there is nothing wrong with me...God has just given us a different perspective/mission/passion, about who we are and what we are supposed to do in this world.
Friday morning, I had two women that I met this year in my Mom's group at church over. We are doing a weekly Biblestudy over the summer. Well, it was just wonderful. God has placed me with two women who get what I'm talking about. Who have similar passions, and who are committed to praying and encouraging, challenging and just exploring these issues together. I am SO thankful for them. I am looking forward to seeing where God leads us, and am just overwhelmed with God's faithfulness, as I take steps out of my comfort zone.

Strawberry Picking...

Last week we went strawberry picking with the kids. The berries were great and fresh, but I decided that we needed to go back this weekend so I could make jam. That's exactly what we did today after church. We headed over to the farm and picked berries. There was just one little problem...we OVERPICKED! Rich misunderstood just how much I needed, and I just assumed that he wanted lots of berries. Needless to say, the day has been full with making strawberry jam, rhubarb strawberry jam, dry packing some sliced strawberries for freezing, and now we have a nice amount of strawberries left to eat fresh. LOL...I'm looking forward to this winter when I can have homemade jam, look out the snowy window and think of the warm sunshine and fresh smell of strawberries at the farm....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Summer Treats

Last Saturday, we went strawberry picking. It was a nice morning. As we were sitting on the porch swing, relaxing, I mentionned wanting to make homemade strawberry ice cream. The only problem is, we don't have an ice cream maker. I then remembered an episode of Zoom, the kids show, where they made ice cream in freezer bags. Well, I found the recipe online, this is the one I used www.ehow.com/how_2042724_make-ice-cream-bag.html It worked fairly well. Rich and I kept ours simple and made the vanilla. Trish and Sim experimented. Trisha made cookies and cream, and Sim made strawberry cookies and cream. The only thing I would do different the next time, is that I would add my add ins before shaking in the bag. That way the ice cream would be totally ready to eat right away. All in all, it was a fun time. Trish is even wanting to make some with one of her friends tomorrow...an easy and inexpensive activity, that ends with a yummy treat!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I've Been wanting...

to blog, but about what. I was telling a friend yesterday that my news isn't the happiest news around. Between getting my wisdom teeth out, dealing with a full blown outbreak of ezcema, dry socket and now a nasty cold, this would sound more like whinefest 2008 than a blog post. So this morning, as I was wondering what I could possibly blog about, I thought of the blessings amidst the rough times this week:

  • A husband who loves me and is concerned for my wellbeing, he ran out for ice cream when I had first had my teeth out, and hasn't complained that I'm not keeping up with meals or the house.
  • My five year old will actually let me take a nap while he watches a movie in the afternoon, and if he MUST get my attention, he wakes me up with soft kisses and whisperings.
  • My flowers are starting to open up, I have the prettiest yellow rose bud that is starting to open, everyday has been exciting, as I watch its progress...I have some baby blue eyes that have opened, they are the daintiest blue flowers, as well as some annual babies breath, which reminds me of what I think a baby star must look like.
  • One of my tomato plants actually has a flower, and I just cut back a bumper crop of fresh lettuce. Looking forward to eating some homegrown lettuce.
  • I have a God who loves me for who I am, and not what I am, and when I am disappointed in myself, cause I don't measure up to my own standards, I am reminded that my identity is not in even my own image of myself, but in him, I am daughter of God most high, and he loved me so much that he died on the cross for me, and rose again on the third day. I am not simply loved, but am dearly loved. What a comforting and encouraging thought.
  • My five year old caused me to smile, when he showed me that I do in fact have some influence on his language. I hear the New England/Boston accent in him a lot lately, but yesterday, he used "eh" like a good Canadian would!

So, amidst the frustrating moments in the past two weeks, I have been blessed by the small pleasures in life!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Summer Squash Recipes

Here you go Melody (http://blog.yorkteachingstudio.com/)! Some of our favorites. For your pleasure, I normally plant quite a few squash and zucchini plants...this year...only one lonely plant. I'm running out of room, but hoping we may get another few plants in the next few weeks, seeing as its still early in the season here in New England.

Stuffed Squash ( this is my adaptation of a Giada DeLaurentis recipe)

1 small onion 1/3 c Romano cheese
1 large egg 1/4 c Italian Bread Crumbs
3 T ketchup 1 lb ground turkey breast
2 garlic cloves, minced 4 med/lge zucchini or yellow squash
1 tsp salt 1 1/2 c marinara sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray a 13x9x2 baking dish with vegetable oil spray. Whisk onion, egg, ketchup, garlic, salt, salt and pepper in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the the cheese and bread crumbs. Mix in the turkey. Cover and refrigerate mixtures. Using a melon baller or spoon, carefully scrape out seeds and inner flesh from squash, leaving a shell. Fill the squash halves with the turkey mixture, dividing equally and mounding slightly. Arrange the stuffed vegetables in the baking dish. Pour the marinara sauce over the stuffed vegetables. Bake uncovered until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown and a thermometer in the filling register's 165F, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Sauteed Squash ( My sister's recipe)

Summer Squash or Zucchini
olive oil
salt
freshly ground pepper
fresh garlic, minced
onion, chopped
Parm or Romano cheese( preferrable freshly grated)

Grate squash and then drain as much liquid as possible. I usually place in a clean kitchen towl, and twist until I've removed all liquid. Preheat olive oil in skillet, add squash and onions and garlic. Cook until all are translucent. Add cheese and salt and pepper to taste. I Loved this the first time Sarah made it!

Fried Squash ( My Aunt's Recipe)

Summer Squash or Zucchini
flour seasoned to your taste ( usually just salt and pepper for us)

Cut squash length wise so you have long slices. Preheat a skillet, add enough of your favorite cooking oil to cover the bottom. Dredge the squash slices in flour. Fry until golden on each side.
( I don't make this often, but when I do it is a yummy treat)

Squash Casserole ( My adaptation of Recipe from Parsleygirl on HP)

2 thinly sliced summer squash or zucchini
1/8 c onion
1 T butter
1 egg
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c milk
3 T butter
10-12 saltine crackers, crushed
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly grated pepper

Butter or grease a microwaveable dish. ( I use a pyrex glass pie plate.) Sautee squash, onion in first T of butter. Remove from heat and place in large bowl. Add milk, cheese, egg, salt, and pepper. In separate bowl, mix crushed crackers with last 3 T of butter. Mix into the squash mixture. Place in microwaveable bowl. Cook for 15 minutes at 60% power.

Zucchini (or summer squash)Cake
Story behind this recipe is that I have an allergy to carrots, and had been dying for carrot cake. I figured I would substitute the grated carrots with grated zucchini. YUMMY! Besides, Zucchinis are a vegetable right, so the cake must be healthy? lol

Cake:
4 eggs, 1 tsp baking powder
2 C sugar 1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 c veg. oil 1/4 tsp salt
2 C flour 1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 tsp cinnamon 2 C grated squash

Mix together eggs, sugar and oil. Combine dry ingredients, then beat into egg mixture. Fold in squash. Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 9 inch round cake pans.

Bake at 350 F for 35-40 minutes ( until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean). Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on racks.

Frosting:
1-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
4 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

Cream together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Frost cake.

Put first layer in refrigerator until frosting is set before adding the second layer on top. After frosting second layer, return to refrigerator to set again. Store in refrigerator.

Grilled Squash

Squash of choice
olive oil
salt and pepper

Slice squash length wise. Brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and grill until tender. This is yummy served with balsamic vinegar!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bagel Verdict

DELICIOUS! I finally had one this afternoon. ( dealing with dry socket made it virtually impossible to chew this morning) The cinnamon bagels are a real hit. Rich seemed to like the poppyseed bagels. I can't have one of those for a couple of weeks, due to the wisdom teeth situation...so I'll be able to comment on those at a later date. I will definitely be making bagels again. They were easy...they just have a lot of wait time to them. There really is nothing like a fresh bagel, or fresh bread. Store bought is good, but fresh out of the oven, just doesn't compare.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

In the Kitchen...

So a couple of weeks ago, I had told my in-laws that I was going to try my hand at making bagels. I just hadn't gotten around to it. My mil asked me about it on the weekend, when I had brought over some baguette's and foccacia, so I decided this week would be the week.

I've made bagels in the past, but it wasn't an authentic bagel recipe. While they were good, they just weren't what I was hoping for. They simply used a basic breaddough recipe and were shaped. While they tasted good, I wanted a "real" bagel.

So, I'm going to go to my trusty book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice for a bagel recipe. I bought this book a couple of years ago, and have loved all but one of the recipes I've tried from it. The author goes into the science of bread making, as well as explaining the hows and whys of technique. So, I'm going to split the recipe, and should be able to get 6 cinnamon raisin and 6 poppyseed bagels out of this batch. Yummy! Hopefully they will turn out. I won't know until tomorrow, cause the recipe is a two day recipe, with an overnight chill in the fridge for the bagels before cooking. Tomorrow will yield some yummy treats, I'm sure.

On the Calendar...

This week looks to be another busy week. Last week we were supposed to have a CPR class on Thursday, but that was cancelled and rescheduled for this Thursday. I'm hoping it works out, and that we have that out of the way.

I'm also waiting for a phone call from one of the local hospitals. They have an infant newborn class we need to take for our adoption, and so I'm hoping we'll be able to get into tomorrow's class. Nothing like last minute planning, eh?

Friday, I get to go see my oral surgeon again. Just a routine post-operative appointment. The area where my wisdom teeth were is not painful at all. But the surrounding teeth and my front teeth are sore. I have read that teeth sometimes shift, and am wondering if that's what is happening. Regardless, the pain is controlled with ice and prescription ibuprofen, so I'll stick with that unless it gets worse.

The end of the month is looking like its going to be busy. My Mom is talking about coming to spend a few days with us at the end of June. I can't wait. Visits with Mom are always nice. We tend to just sit on the porch swing and visit. I'm looking forward to it.

Then, for the fourth my sister is going to come visit with a friend. She wants to go to the zoo ( I've never been to the zoo in Boston, so that should be fun. I'm sure Simeon will have a blast, and he loves his Auntie Sarah.) We will also be going to Sturbridge Village. They will be having special fourth of July events in the evening. I have to buy tickets soon, can't wait for the paycheck to be here! Simeon is really excited about some of the contests they will be holding. He says he wants to participate in the pie eating contest. I'm really really looking forward to that. Since November, we have been reading Simeon the Little House on the Prairie series. There have been a few descriptions of their fourth of July celebrations and fairs. I think this pioneer village visit, with their festivities will be a great way to finish off this book series. We are on the last book, so the timing is IMPECCABLE! Yeah for good literature and for fun field trips that reinforce what we've learned.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Bread Making

So I mentionned making sour dough last week. It was yummy oatmeal sourdough bread, but I wanted to make something different. I've been doing some research, and figured out that my sourdough sponge could be used to make french baguette's and foccacia. So today, that was my endeavor...Mmmm, the kitchen smells good and the bread tastes fantastic.

I love working with bread dough. There's just something so satisfying about making bread, of kneading it, watching it rise, shaping it, and then baking it. Something comforting about doing something that so many men and women have done for so long. In some ways, it makes me feel closer to family from years gone by...The bread pans I use to make my buttermilk sandwich bread were passed on to me by my grandmother, and she says she received them from her mother, my great grandmother. I love thinking of both these women, going through the same motions as me, to provide nourishment for their families. The pans are worn, and dented, and even have a couple of wholes in them, and while I do own some newer bread pans, these are the ones I use and cherish most.

I've been reading the Little House on the Prairie series to Simeon. Making bread makes me think of Ma and Laura making bread so regularly. Creates a special bond...peculiar, I know, but satisfying and comforting at the same time. Sure, I could go and buy the bread at the grocery store, it would save me time and energy, but then I wouldn't have the satisfaction of making it, nor the satisfaction of people appreciating my hardwork.

The more I learn about the art of breadmaking, the more I realize that its an art, a science. It's a way for me to exercise some creative energy and at the same time, use my mind for something other than teaching simple arithmatic and reading. It's a challenge, and one that I thoroughly enjoy.

So...if you are ever down this way, let me know, I'll make sure to have some fresh homemade bread, some homemade jam and a nice cup of tea, or lemonade...we can have an old fashioned visit, and appreciate the simple pleasures of yesteryear.

My garden

I've enjoyed checking out my garden over the past few days. Our tomato plants are finally starting to grow, thanks to this long awaited heat wave. My lettuce is doing well, and I can't wait for a fresh salad, once my teeth are fully recovered.My flowers are doing nicely as well. I am so excited, I noticed a bud on my miniature yellow rose bush this afternoon. I'll be checking it every couple of days. I LOVE yellow roses.

I've also discovered some pests. I have some of those BLASTED aphids on my bleeding hearts as well as my butterfly bush and my climbing rose bush. I took care of those with some murphy's soap oil mixed with water. I was glad to see a bunch of spider's by all of those plants though. Eat up spider's, let's get rid of those nasty critter's together.

My delphiniums have been struggling. Something is clipping the leaves, and leaving simply the stems. No one really knows what could be doing it, but anyway. Of my 6 plants, I only had 3 that were looking good. I'm glad to share however, that the other three have more stems and leaves coming. I must look like a real goof talking to my plants...grow little flower, grow, grow!

Alas, I'm hoping for lots of flowers to admire in both the garden, and in a vase on my kitchen table! I LOVE flowers!

Tooth Update...

So the surgery itself went well. I no longer have my four wisdom teeth. Overall, I have little to no pain. My cheeks hurt more than my teeth, and I think that's from the swelling. I hoping that I will be back to eating normal food in a few days. So far, I've managed to eat stuff that will "dissolve/melt" in my mouth, rather than anything I actually have to chew. I'm taking it really easy, for fear of the dreaded dry socket. I've been looking forward to getting the all clear and start running. While I'm enjoying the gum numbing effects of ice cream, I'm dreading what its doing to my hips. LOL

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

WooHoo!

My sister sent me an e-mail about a class action suit for overpayments of student loans. In Quebec, the provincial government is the one that takes care of all of that stuff...Anyway, all this to say that I'm getting back almost 320 dollars. It's so exciting to me to see how God provides. It's not like we "need" anything, but with having my wisdom teeth out, it will definitely help. Yeah for unexpected cheques!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Busy Week

Ooof! What a busy week awaits us. It's a little overwhelming and quite a bit anxiety inducing. I know that I can do all things through Christ, but I seem to be having a powerstruggle with laying these anxieties at his feet. I lay them at the foot of his throne, then a few minutes/hours later I pick it up again. Okay, so here goes:

Today is Simeon's birthday. I made him a GREAT Larry Boy cake yesterday. I am hoping to get a picture of both cake and birthday boy...but our camera isn't working, so it will have to wait. We are supposed to go to the Amusement park this afternoon, but they are announcing thundershowers this afternoon. Hard to believe considering the sun is shining so beautifully. We'll see once we're closer to lunch time. Our backup plan is to go see Prince Caspian, which he's been begging to go see. Finally, we'll have cake and gifts with Nana and Grandpa late this afternoon.

Monday, we have our usual Biblestudy. Tuesday we have Trisha's chorus concert. Thursday we have an infant and child CPR class we need to take for our adoption. Friday I go to have my wisdom teeth out. Just typing Friday's "chore" makes my heart do flipflops. I'm thankful for a dentist who will put me out completely so I won't hear or remember the actual process of having my wisdom teeth out. BUT I am terrified of feeling groggy and out of control after I wake up, and dread the pain. I also don't like the thought of taking a narcotic pain reliever.Oie...I can do all things through Christ. Needless to say, if you can keep me in prayer, I would very much appreciate it!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Fresh Donut

Mmmmmm... I can't remember the last time, that I've had a donut. You see, when I was still in Canada, I lived within a 5 minute walk of THE BEST donut bakery around. Nothing compared to those donuts. It's been 8 years since I moved from that apartment, and though I tried early on to find a good donut, I have always been disappointed, so I've stayed away from those tasty treats. Today, Rich came home at lunch and brought me a fresh donut. Oh My Word! It was one yummy donut. It was so fresh and sweet. It rivaled my memories of the donuts from 8 years ago. Okay, back to reality...I'm so glad I had a good hard run today!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bits and Pieces

Just bits of news from our home...

Simeon is doing extremely well at reading. I'm amazed at how quickly he has been catching on. We are almost halfway through the Hooked on Phonics Kindergarten program. I have had the pleasure of "catching" practising reading his books. What a joy to see my son enjoy something that brings me such pleasure, reading!

We are getting ready to celebrate Simeon's 5th birthday. Where has time gone? He is TOTALLY into Veggie Tales, and so that is the theme of his gifts and cake. We were talking about a party, but decided against it. We are going to go to York's Animal Kingdom on Sat. afternoon, and go on the rides. Now I'm not much of a ride person, but both Rich and Trisha enjoy them, and Simeon has been asking to go since last year.

No adoption news for now. Simply praying that God would prepare all involved and to grow our family in his timing. In the meantime, I have been busy doing some sewing. We've decided to do cloth diapering, and so I've made 20 newborn size prefold diapers. They are the cutest little things. I have the fleece and yarn to make a crocheted border blanket, I just haven't had the patience to sit down and start it.

My garden is doing well. It has been a cool start to this spring, and so the plants are growing slowly. My lettuce is doing fabulously, and we have enjoyed simply going onto the porch and picking lettuce leaves for salads and sandwiches. I'm hoping my delphiniums will get stronger. I saw some beautiful ones at the cemetary the other day, and I'm hoping that mine will grow as strong and beautiful as the ones I saw. Out of the 6 I started with, I have one left...grow beautiful flowers, grow!

My breadmaking has been fun. I tried sourdough oatmeal bread over the weekend, and it was a huge hit. I brought a loaf over to the inlaws when it was still warm out of the oven, and it was gone in no time. Nothing beats warm bread right out of the oven. Just one of those simple pleasures.

On the health front, I've managed to get a grip on my out of control eating. Focussing on more fruits and vegetables. Lean meats and trying to cut some of the refined carbs, and simply carbs over all. Not a no carb, nor even low carb...more like carb choice counting. It's been working and the scale has started its downward descent. As for exercise, I've realized I have to keep changing it up. So, I do some running, and I've started to do some jump rope. I alternate between 5 minutes of jump rope and 5 minutes of jogging. I'm telling you, its a workout like no other. Finally, I've been going to the beach with Rich and Simeon when Rich comes home from work. The tide has been cooperating. There is nothing like a nice brisk walk on the beach, with the sun shining, the breeze blowing and the sound of crashing waves soothing away the stresses and worries of the day. I LOVE THE BEACH...Now if only the weather would warm a little.

Overall, life is good and full. Enjoying being me!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Life at 30

I turned 30 at the beginning of May. Most people kind of dread this milestone, but it has been one that I have approached with much thought and introspection. I've been realizing so much about myself in the past few months. So much about how MY VIEW of the world around me, has much more to do with me, than the people I come into contact with.

I want to LIVE life, I don't want to let it happen. I want to embrace where I am at. I don't want to wait for my ideal to actually live and enjoy. Too often, I'm so focussed on the future and what I hope and dream of, that I forget to enjoy the process and end up frustrated. I don't want to hold back on what will happen in the future. As Rich and I wait for a match in our domestic adoption, I want to live today for today, not today with the thoughts of what if we get matched. Am I making sense?

This may not be a revelation to many, but I've realized that living in the "if only's" and "what ifs" have been holding me back. I've built a little "protective" bubble around myself, because I feared being hurt, but have realized that its lonely in this bubble. I feel isolated and out of touch way too often. I want to break the anonymity and live in relationship with the people in close proximity to me. I want to enjoy today, not grasp at what I hope may come tomorrow.

So...I am hosting a weekly ladies biblestudy at my house this summer. I am so looking forward to this. I want to have people over, go for picnics, take a coffee night and just overall build and develop friendships. I have immersed myself in gardening...there is something so wonderful and calming about working with God's creation. I'm enjoying some sewing, and the scary process of learning how to bake artisan breads with sourdough starters.

With all of these awesome new things, have also come some sad moments. I've said goodbye to things/places that are near and dear to my heart...but as I held onto them, I realized that I was looking back, or forward, not in the immediate.

So today, I embrace where I'm at. Praise God for today, it is a good and perfect gift from HIM!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Healthy Family

Growing up, I was always overweight. I wasn't too active. I was intimidated in sports teams from the rec. department. There weren't many kids my age in my neighborhood and I went to a regional school, so no one was close by. In elementary school I played some sports, but not consistently. By the time I got to highschool, sports did not interest me at all. I was horrid in gym class and was always one of the last kids to be picked. Needless to say, being active was not fun. I remember in particular one night when my father had me go for a bike ride with him. He was worried that I was getting fat, and wanted to prove that I was out of shape. Well, I did really well on that bike ride, and proved that I could do it. I did enjoy swimming and took lessons for a while, but when money got tight, that was one of the first things to go.

Why am I mentionning all this. Well, yesterday as I was stacking wood and today as I was running, I was thinking that I want something different for my family. My parents paid lip service to being fit. My father had a physically difficult job, my mom excercised somewhat, but it was always behind closed doors or at the gym. We never really did anything as a family. We NEVER played catch, kicked the soccer ball around, bike rides. We rarely if ever did any of that. I want our kids to have an active life because they like it, because they enjoyed it with us. I want them to be healthy and active because they see the joy it brings us.

Honnestly, since being married to Rich, I have learned so much, I enjoy kicking the ball with Simeon, walking on the beach, playing catch, or batting the ball, I've since discovered running. I want to have fun with my kids doing these things. So, Simeon has become my running partner. I'm hoping that this fall, he will have built up enough endurance that we can run a 5k as a family. wouldn't that be amazing?

Running Partner?

Well, the winter has been long and hard and I'm up 20 pounds. ICK! I've been itching to run, but haven't gone. I found all kinds of excuses...its too dark in the morning, we have commitments in the afternoon, Simeon is getting to be too big for the stroller and complains the whole time he's in it.
On Friday, Sim and I went for a walk and I talked to him about running. Well, jogging...he seemed interested, so we tried it this morning. We are taking it slow and working our way up to one half hour. I'm using a 10 week schedule that builds up running time. I probably could hop right back into running, BUT Sim is asthmatic, and I want him to build some lung endurance.

Today we walk/jogged. It was SO FUN! He wanted to run a little bit extra at times, and did really well. I think we'll stick to the schedule. He didn't get too wheezy on me, and if we keep it up, he'll be running longer periods of time. Yeah for my son as a running partner.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Friends...

I have struggled individually and Rich and I have struggled as a couple with making friends. We have lots of acquaintances, but deeper friendships just don't come as easily. It wasn't from the lack of trying...we invited people over, attempted to get to know people...it just didn't seem to work. I think that struggling through Infertility as well a few other issues, caused me in particular to isolate myself.

I have been convicted for the past few months to break out of my cocoon. I have made a point of being more transparent myself, and in trying to invest myself in others. I have extended invitations, without expecting to be invited in return. Most importantly, I have gone to God in prayer, asking him to bless us with friends. Real friends. I am now seeing God andswer, and I am so excited, I/we actually have friends. Friends with whom we can make spontaneous plans. Friends with whom we can have conversations and share our joys as well as our struggles.

Praise God for friends!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

His mercies are new every morning.

Mom's group today was good. One thing the speaker said resonated with me. God does not give measures of grace in advance...rather he gives it as we need it. Thank you Jesus!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Ramblings...

So many things going on...I've been wanting to run away, but a speaker that was visiting church on Sunday said that God calls us to break away from the situations we're in...not run away...so I guess I'm ready to breakaway...easier said than done!

Things have been stressful here to say the least. Options that were pretty set for our next adoption are now in the air...praying for God to lead and show us clearly what His will is.

The truck is dying on us. We're praising God its lasted this long, and are praying that He would again provide. I know He will...but being in the waiting room stinks...

I had a GREAT visit with my sister this weekend. It was nice to see her and spend time with her without any disagreements or altrications...she's gone home and I'm feeling a bit homesick.

I found out my father is using drugs...its so much worse than I thought, and I'm sad...only God can break through...but I know Dad has given up on himself. He said as much to me years ago, and I'm so sad that he's where he is now...looking forward to going to God once Sim is in bed and just getting it all out...

You know...I just want to be happy and joyful and at peace...and yet I feel like God's desire is to stretch and teach and grow...and while I know its for my own good, I sometimes wish that God would use anaesthesia....you know, so I don't feel it while its happening...

Which reminds me, I have to set an appointment to have all 4 of my wisdom teeth pulled. Surgeon said he'd make sure I feel REAL good and not remember the procedure! Yeah for that!

Praying that I start to see sunshine and rainbows once again, or that I remember no matter how cloudy the sky seems to me, the sun is shining nice and bright behind it...same goes for my life!

Philippians 4:13 (The Message)" Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am."....and...2 Corinthians 4:8-10 ( The Message) " We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized;we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cake for a Friend


Here's a cake I made for one or Rich's co-workers, one of our mutual friends.I like how it turned out.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Recent Ponderings

A week or so ago, I was perusing the book selections at Sam's Club and came across a women of the Bible 52 week study. It looked interesting, and wasn't too expensive, and so I bought it. I started the study 2 days ago (beginning with the story of Eve), and have been thinking of this statement ever since.

From "Women of the Bible"

" She (Eve) never knew the meaning of embarrassment, misunderstanding, hurt, estrangement, envy, bitterness, grief, or guilt until she listened to her enemy and began to doubt God."

It just made me think and wonder. How often do I feel a negative emotion because I have my eyes/heart/dreams set on something that is not inline with God or His will for my life? How often do I feel these emotions because I am listening to the values of my culture and society? People around me? Friends or family? My own thoughts and values and desires? My sinful cravings? When I'm feeling misunderstood, hurt, bitter, resentful...am I doubting God? Doubting His ability to bring good from a situation? Am I doubting that He made me in His image?

Certainly, as humans, we do process negative emotions...Of course it is normal to feel sad, angry, embarrassed. But I am being challenged...to not bask in those emotions, to not wear them like a badge, to not wallow in the self pity and self righteousness of them, but rather to return my focus to Jesus.

As I've been thinking of these things, and questioning myself, I'm also reminded of the incident of Peter walking on water. The storm was raging, and Jesus came walking on the water. The disciples were frightened. When Jesus called out, Peter jumped out of the boat, and despite the stormy sea, he was walking on water...until he started looking at the giant waves, the rain and wind whipping at his face and body, and then he started to sink. Jesus words? "You of little faith," he said, " why did you doubt?"