Monday, May 13, 2013


Today, as we were sitting on the couch watching a movie, Vlado jumped up and ran to the window.  He exclaimed, "Rainbow!"  I have loved rainbows since as far back as I can remember.  They never fail to amaze and delight me.  It was rather thrilling to see my son get just as excited as I do. :)

I ran to the side table and grabbed my camera.  It is fairly rare for me to see a rainbow.....maybe 1 or 2 a year.  And it is even more rare for me to be in a place where I have a camera in hand and am able to capture said rainbow. (In reality, I have never been able to get a picture) Typically, rainbows are seen as I am driving.  So, I was elated to have the chance to capture that moment.

What is a rainbow?  Well, scientifically, "A rainbow is an optical and meteorological phenomenon that is caused by reflection of light in water droplets in the Earth's atmosphere, resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky. It takes the form of a multicolored arc."  blah, blah, blah

What is a rainbow to a person, like me, who knows the Bible to be the Word of God?  A rainbow is a sign of God's promise to never flood the earth again.  When I was a little girl, whenever we saw a rainbow, my Mama would smile and say, "God's promise!"  So it is so embedded in my brain that a rainbow is God's promise that it almost feels like He has put it there just for me.  It's a little smile and hug from Heaven above when I see all those colors decorating the sky. 

I needed to feel that hug today.  We are just at the beginning of our adoption journey.  I found out last week that our commitment  paperwork has been approved by our little girl's country.  I was a little nervous that they would change their minds and say that we couldn't have her.  I have had some rather amazing people supporting us so far.  But even though we have good things happening, I am afraid.  I know that the financial piece will be there when we need it....just as it has been before.

But, today, God put a rainbow in the clouds to remind me.  It was His promise that He will protect us on this journey.  It won't necessarily be easy, but we won't be alone. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Fuad's one year

I feel like such a slacker Mama lately. I am so busy with paperwork for our Girlie's adoption and busy stuff with the boy's blog has been neglected. 

On Friday night, for some reason, I decided to read my blog posts from last year.  This time a year ago, we were in Serbia.  This past Friday was actually Fuad's adoption day.  He has officially been part of our family for a year, but it really feels like he's always been here.  The only way that you would know that he came from another country is that he still doesn't speak much English.  Well, scratch that.  I have been told that he speaks quite a bit at school.  At home....very little.  Of course, that could be because Vlado NEVER is quiet.  I assume that Fuad realizes this and is just quiet because he knows that he can't get a word in edge wise. :D

He is doing ok at school.  It is being discussed right now that he might be held back in 1st grade next year.  I think about the fact that if that happens, he will be 20 when he graduates.  But, in reality, I cannot think about that.  The fact is that right now, this is the right decision for him.  He is still quite developmentally behind....emotionally, socially, educationally, including fine motor skills and speech.  He is still closer to about a 2 or 3 year old  in those respects.  Vlado was still very behind at a year home and really, he was still behind at 2 years home.  He has made amazing strides in the last 6 months.  I know that Fuad may or may not catch up.  If he doesn't...well, he doesn't.  He is still our boy and we will work to help him be what he can be. 

It's really hard to explain the growth he has experienced.  I always knew that kids are different.  I mean, I have worked with kids in day cares, nurseries, and when I was in college.  (I have a degree in elementary education)  But, I guess it never really sunk in.  Our boys are about as different as chocolate and cheese.......but they compliment each other.  They are brothers through and through.  Vlado does his best to help Fuad and really is a great big brother.  Fuad is a great little brother in that he drives Vlado NUTS!  He intentionally does things that Vlado doesn't like to make Vlado grouse.  (He reminds me so much of my brother, Kevin!)  But, in all honesty, that is progress!  You see, he did not interact with the kids in the orphanage because they picked on him relentlessly.  Now, he knows that Vlado is not going to be mean to him...even if he is being a pain.  He trusts Vlado completely and it is wondrous to see!  He will now look us in the eyes....he is very serious at first and then will giggle.  He fights to hold my hand and will crawl up into my lap spontaneously.  He can make a decision with simple stuff like picking a snack or deciding which movie he wants to watch and can tell us although it is usually in whispers.  He has been potty trained since last summer and has never had an accident (at home anyway), even at night. 

He is an amazing little guy are we are so thankful that he was sent to us! 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cool giveaway!

Last year, an amazing family brought home a child....wait, make that 2 children...oh, right...they brought home 5 (yes that is FIVE) kids from Bulgaria.  All of these special kids have Down syndrome, and that is why they were chosen!

Upon coming home, they decided to heed the call to go back again - for 3 more!  These 3 also have special needs and their family cannot wait for them to get home so they can get the medical treatment they so desperately need. 

Another family decided to help.  They are hosting a HUGE tiered giveaway.  Up to 7 iPads are up for grabs.  And if you don't really care about iPads, there are different gifts you can choose if you win.  This family is following God's call to do amazing things that most people just don't understand.  Can you help?  They are hoping to raise $15,000 by June 1st!

Just click here to be taken over.  Donations made for this giveaway are NOT tax deductible.  If you don't wish to enter the giveaway but still wish to help the family, you can make a tax deductible gift here

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Slowly but surely

$10,000 is a lot of money.  True, it isn't nearly as much as the $25,000 that many families need for an international adoption - but still.  I am NOT going to get discouraged!  We will add another child to our family and it will be in God's timing.  I read something the other day that I rather liked.  "Pray like it all depends on God - work like it all depends on you!"  It's just like that old adage "God helps those who help themselves." 

So, I am on a mission to figure out a way to collect 1,000 $10 bills.  :)  It sounds like less that way.  I have managed to get about 30 so far.   I have started making puppets, e-reader covers and necklaces and they are for sale at my facebook page.  If you see something you like, you can use the donate button to the right of this page.  All of the e-reader covers and necklaces are made and ready to ship.  When someone pays for the one they want, I remove that picture.  But I am making more to replace those sold.  Puppets are currently being made to order, so if you would like one (or more) of those, just send me a message and I will give you an idea of how long it will take to make them.  I finish the order and send you a picture before you pay to make sure you like them. :)  I am not charging shipping for any of my items, but if you would like to throw in a couple dollars to cover it, I won't object. lol!  Every dollar that we make is one dollar closer to our child. 

I am also planning to do a bottle/can drive at some point.  Every 20 cans/bottles is another dollar closer to our little one. 

Of course, if you feel led, you can always just make a donation. 

Our boys are so excited at the prospect of getting a new sibling.  Vlado asks almost everyday if we are going "next week" to get his little brother.  *I think I will wait until we know who we are adopting....I really think he needs a little sister. :)


Monday, March 4, 2013

Vlado and communication

I realize that I have been terrible about neglecting this blog.  I know that life gets busy and this blog seems to be the lowest on the totem pole lately, but that just isn't fair.  When I read blogs, it drives me nuts when the writer suddenly disappears and I can't stalk, I mean, enjoy their blog anymore.

We do have a few things going on though.  We are in the process of selling our house and buying a new one.  As of now, the closing (on both houses) is April 8th.  I think that is kind of nutty to do both in one day, but what can ya do?  We are spending most days packing and trying to figure out what to do with our stuff in the mean time.  I mean, how in the world do you pack up an entire house, close on a new one and move all at once?  I really don't want to hire a moving company due to cost.  We are saving for another adoption after all.  But there is no way that we can get a moving truck that is big enough to fit all our stuff in one trip.  I guess we will figure it all out.

Now on to the title of this post.  Vlado's communication has been exploding lately.  He is using complete sentences (at least when he talks to us or other adults).  He still uses that non-nonsensical chatter with Fuad but they seem to understand each other.  Vlado has started asking questions because he is curious.  He will guess several times and then ask what something is.  It is kinda cute. :)  Here is an example of a conversation with him the other day.  I was putting soup in the crock pot and he came in the kitchen.

V:  Is that chicken soup?
Me: No
V: Is that spinach soup? (Not sure where that came from)
Me: No
V: Is that vegetable soup?
Me: No
V: (exasperated sigh), What is that?
Me: This is beef stew.
V:  Mmmmm, we are eating beef stew for dinner?
Me:  I'm not sure it will be done in time for your dinner.
V:  (another sigh) What am I eating for dinner? 
Me:  What would you like for dinner?
 V:  Let me see (and then he started tapping his finger to his was hilarious)

He then proceeded to grab stuff that he wanted for dinner....whole grain beefaroni, peas and then pickles  from the refrigerator.  It was a strange combination, but that was what he wanted and he was so excited for dinner time because he had chosen it.  So much for him never learning to talk. :)

Also, lately, he has been very adamant that he DOES NOT want a little sister.  He says he wants a little brother and as he does so, he puts his hand down by his knee (indicating a shorter child).  I think he knows that Fuad is his "little brother,"  but Fuad is taller than he is.  I think this time, he wants a little brother that is actually little.  Too bad, sweetie, Mama wants a little girl.  I know that God might have other plans, but I am REALLY hoping He lets me get my daughter!

And I couldn't post without leaving you with some cuteness.  My next post will have a recent picture of Fuad.  He is growing up so quickly!

Vlado and Bailey...the epitome of a boy and his dog.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

I've gotta do something!

As you know, I have talked about adding another child to our family for a while.  Honey is 100% on board.  He only has one stipulation.  I have to have the money saved (or at least most of it) before we can begin the process.  With our last 2 adoptions, we pretty much cleared our saving account.  We had no financial support from others for our first adoption and little for the second. I am NOT a person that is good at fundraising.  I am awful at asking people for anything....I like to take care of myself and my needs without bothering others.  When I am at craft fairs, I tend to just sit there.  If people like my stuff and want to buy it, cool.  If not, I smile at them as they walk away.  I am not good at marketing....I never want to be viewed as proud or braggadocios. 

I have seen many adoptions recently that almost were not able to be completed because of funds.  Honey has heard me talk about it and that has forced us to make the decision that we won't start the process again until we have at least $10,000 saved. 

I save bottles/cans and return them for the 5 cents they are worth here.  I have been crocheting my fingers to the bone since the beginning of the year and I even opened an etsy shop.  My prayer was that people would see my stuff and be so excited about it that they would tell their friends and I would have more sales than I could keep up with.  Sadly, that has not been the case and I haven't made a single sale yet.  But it will happen!  I keep crafting and keep trying to come up with new ideas for things.  Have a look!  Is there anything you see that strikes your fancy?  Or maybe you are thinking of something a little different?  Let me know if you would like me to try to make something for you!  Every sale is one tiny step closer to us being able to start the process to bring home our little girl.  (Or at least I hope it's a little girl...but God might have different plans for us again!)

I have put a chip-in on here too.  If you feel led to donate, we would be so thankful! 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Before you can blink

Honey built a shed in the fall to cover his tractor and wood splitter.  It is basically a wooden frame covered in a tarp and fastened to the ground with some pretty rugged stakes.  It has done really well and we have had some major wind storms.  We were both really impressed with how well it has weathered.

Today we went out for a little bit. The wind has been whipping here since about midnight last night.  Before we left,  Honey had noticed that the wind had moved the shed a bit but wasn't too worried about it.  We decided that it would last until today's wind storm died down.  When we got back, though, he noticed that one of the major supports had split so we thought it was best to get that part fixed so that it didn't collapse onto his stuff. 

It went rather well.  We managed to get it moved back to where it needed to be and Honey took 2 pieces of wood and fastened them in a way to strengthen the shed.  We had moved the tractor out of the shed to give us room to work, and Honey was getting ready to put it back in.  The wind blew pretty hard and I noticed that one side of the shed was picking up off the ground....apparently, the stakes had come out.  No problem.  I would hold it down until Honey got the tractor back inside and we would pound the stakes back in the ground.  What I wasn't expecting was another HUGE gust that literally flipped the shed up and over so that it landed about 8 feet from where it started.  There was one problem with this picture.....I was still holding on to it.  Honey said that he saw me fly through the air (like I was kite flying) holding on to the shed and I crashed into the gravel.  The wind was strong enough that it also flipped over our 500lb wood splitter.  I am pretty banged up and my knees are both pretty swollen, but I have no broken bones.  There are so many things that could have happened to me.  I don't even want to think what would have happened if that wood splitter had fallen over on me, or if one of the pieces of the shed had split.  Oh my....I am so blessed!  I don't need any more than some ibuprofen and rest and I should be as good as new.  The shed isn't so lucky. :)  I am so very thankful to God that I am not in the hospital tonight! 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Mini corn dog muffins

A few months ago, I was shopping at our local liquidation center.  They had a box of snack foods....and when I say box, I mean a huge banana box full to the top.  It was wrapped in plastic so I couldn't check out the whole box, but on the top I could see some good stuff.  And, it was only $4 so I decided to go for it.

When I got home, I was happy to find many bags of cheeze-itz, mini oreos, granola bars, goldfish, etc.  But, when I got to the bottom, I realized that about 1/3 of the box was corn nuts.  I have NEVER had a corn nut in my life so Vlado and I split a bag.  It was awful....even Vlado turned his nose up at them.  So, the bags have sat in my pantry....I HATE to throw away food because I can usually figure out something to do with it.

Today, as I was browsing Pinterest, I saw someone had posted about doing mini corn dogs using corn muffin mix and cut up hot dogs.  I decided to attempt to use a bag of corn nuts.  I'm sure you're confused at this point.  I looked up a recipe for corn muffins.  I took a bag of the corn nuts and ground them down in my Magic Bullet blender.  This is what I used in place of the corn meal in the recipe.  My boys both love mini muffins so I used my mini muffin pan.  I cut up the hot dogs  (6 pieces per hot dog) and put one piece per muffin cup.  Here's the recipe I used.


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (ground corn nuts)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 egg, beaten

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups.
  2. Mix flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add buttermilk, butter, and egg; mix well. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool in the pans 10 to 15 minutes before removing from pan.  
This is what they looked like after they came out of the oven.  

The boys LOVED them!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It's what's for dinner :)

I discovered a little while ago that you can take any boneless meat (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, etc) and put it in your food processor and grind it.  It comes out with the same consistency as ground meat you get in the store.  I've done it with chicken when I didn't have any ground chicken in the house.  It only occurred to me today that I should buy boneless chicken and pork when it is on sale so I can grind it and use it as I need it.  It is so much cheaper than buying it ground from the store!  And.....if you freeze the pieces of meat whole, you can defrost it and use it whole or grind it up - however you need it for your recipe.  How cool is that?

I am currently in a "use whatever  you can from the pantry" phase.  I don't want to have to move a bunch of food if/when our house sells.  So, I had the idea a few days ago to start on a shelf.  I started with the far left yesterday and used the first thing.  If I can use something else from the pantry, that is bonus!  Well tonight, the next thing was a box of scalloped potatoes.  I was so not in the mood for scalloped potatoes and especially not with the pork chops I  had in the fridge.  But, I saw a recipe on the box of potatoes that looked promising.  It was called hamburger stew.  I got inspired....and made the following.

Hamburger stew (with a twist)

1 lb ground beef (I used about 3/4 lb ground boneless pork chops) - $1.34 on sale for $1.79/lb
1 box scalloped potatoes - $1 on sale
1 small package frozen veggies (I used a can - drained) - $.50 on sale from dollar store
5 cups water
1 can stewed tomatoes (I used a pint jar of homemade pasta sauce from our garden tomatoes)
salt and pepper

Brown the meat in a large pot (medium large...not huge) and season with salt and pepper.  Once the meat is browned and drained, mix in all the other ingredients, including the seasoning packet from the boxed potatoes.  Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat  and simmer until the potatoes are tender...approximately 40-45 minutes.

I think next time, I will do it in the crockpot.  I LOVE my crockpot!  I will brown the meat and then mix everything in and cook for 8 hours on low. 

The total cost - $2.84 for a large pot of would have been $3.84 if I had to buy the tomatoes too. The pot fed all 4 of us and we have at least 2 servings leftover.  It is a very filling and hearty soup.  I'm glad that the boys LOVE leftovers!