Thursday, December 31, 2009

New ambitions!

Happy New Year!!! This year has been such a blessing. Today, our last day of 2009, came a gift of beautiful white snow covering our world. We spent the day with friends sipping hot cocoa and watching the snowflakes fall while the children were sledding. I have so many new ambitions and ideas for the new year. Here are some of them:

  • New creations-these are already in the works, can't wait to reveal! M and I have been busy in the craft/sewing room, and faithfully attending the church sewing class!
  • New habits-more organization, consistent healthy eating, consistent time spent with God, and reading!
  • New blogs-the revealing of not one but two, coming soon!
  • New adventures
  • New skills-farm skills, like goat milking, soap making and more! Also working harder on newer skills acquired in the last few years-knitting and quilting.
  • New travels
  • New recipes-mostly raw and vegetarian
  • New babies to love-hopefully, foster care has been such a blessing!
  • New studies
  • New farmyard babies!
  • New friends
  • New attitudes-always a need to improve these!
  • New volunteer opportunities-looking forward to this.
  • New opportunities every day to grow in the Lord, to grow as a friend, a mother and wife!

Then He who sat on the throne said "Behold I make all things new, " And He said to me "Write , for these words are true and faithful".

Rev 21:5

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry CHRISTmas....

From our home to yours!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Nativity scenes from around the world...

There was a nativity set blog carnival going on the other day, and I wanted to participate, but have been so busy, I just now have a chance to put my pictures up. I love the idea of collecting nativity sets from around the world! In fact, I think I just might start collecting them now! I'm all about simplicity, so this one above is my nativity set that I put out each Christmas. I love it. The following are pictures I took of some of the nativity sets they had displayed at the mountain meadow Christmas we went to a few weeks ago:
This one is from Bethlehem.

This one is from Jerusalem.

Even one from Alaska!

Khyrgystan, now this is unique! Why didn't I pick up a Nativity set when I was in russia? I am sure I could have found a beautiful one there. Okay, now I have an excuse for more international travel-that I have been craving lately! It's been too long since I've traveled, and I am getting the bug! Do you think my DH will plan some out of country trips just so I can go shopping?? I can dream!
We studied Germany last month for our country studies homeschool co-op, and being german, I learned so much! M decided to do a presentation on the Christmas markets in Germany. So festive and fun!! They have outdoor markets in almost every town and village! I am dying to go to Germany next Christmas! The cool thing we learned during our studies is that my great grand father came over on a ship from Germany and landed in New York. I know the ship he was on, and what city he was from in Germany...maybe I need to go trace my ancestry, now that's a good reason for a trip, right? Oh, I would love to go back to russia, and china as well...I fell in love with both places. I would also love to see England, Thailand, Italy, and Japan.
The world is an amazing place!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas thoughts, and an update!

Christmas is our favorite time of year. This year, just like last, it snuck up on me faster than ever. I had every intention of making all my gifts, and have everything done in October. Well, fast forward to today, and I was one of those last minute shoppers out among the crowds! Not at all what I enjoy, and not at all what I envisioned! Then I had to remind myself that there is a certain little someone that we have added to our home, and she takes up just about every extra minute I thought I had. It's hard to believe we've had our foster baby for 5 months! She is 6 months old now, rolling all over the room, sitting up, eating baby food, laughing, and bringing us so much joy! She is so cute! Her cheeks are squishable and she smiles every time she makes eye contact with precious!!! We don't know what the future holds for her yet. Her biological mother is not doing well at this time. She is not following her plan, and has been told that she is on the verge of losing her parental rights. She has not even seen her baby in over a month. We were told that at the next court hearing-3 mos. from now, if she hasn't followed the plan they gave her, they will be changing her plan to adoption. If that happens they will explore any relative placements after that. We are just so happy we have been able to be the foster family for her-and we feel so very blessed!!!
We are looking forward to spending Christmas with lots of family this year. We have snow! I was home for our first snow this year, and I sat by my twinkling Christmas tree watching the snowflakes fall with my 3 little girls playing at my favorite kind of day!
One last thing! I am still working at my pediatric job one day a week. I requested a leave of absence after being told that the swine flu and seasonal flu vaccines were mandated this year (the first time ever, and I've been there almost 13 yrs!). Well, my boss got back to me and said that after she talked to the executive team, they decided that while they are still mandating the vaccines, and encouraging all employees to get them, if we choose not to, there will not be any action taken against us, as they do not want to lose good people over this. So, I am still there and happy that I didn't have to leave! I am also so glad I did exactly what I felt was right. I prayed about it a lot and was ready to leave if need be, but it all worked out!
This week we will watch M in our church Christmas program, stay warm by the wood stove at home, play in the snow, and watch Christmas movies all leading up to Christmas day.
Blessings to you all this Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Mountain Meadow Christmas

The first weekend of December, we loaded up the girls, and drove up to the mountains. We arrived at a christian camp where we were given directions to our cabin. We were sharing a cabin with 3 other families. To our surprise, 2 of the 3 families just happened to be foster/adopt families, and they had all their kids with them that they had adopted through foster care! Only God could have planned something like that! The first night, after playing the decorate your daddy tree game, we spent time singing Christmas carols in the lodge with a big group of people. Here's M singing her favorite song, "Angels we have heard on high".
The next day was filled with more activities than we could count. There were Christmas crafts for kids and adults, writing a Christmas letter to a soldier, Christmas movies, Christmas stories being read to us by the fireside, zip line, meadow games, a gingerbread house decorating contest, and cookie decorating. While we were hard at work decorating our gingerbread house, we gave L some frosting and a few cookies to work with. A few minutes later, I looked over and found this. Who knows how much frosting she had eaten. In fact, it was much worse than this when I first noticed her.
I also learned that decorating a gingerbread house is much more difficult than it looks. We were about an hour into decorating ours, it was falling apart, it barely had any frosting on it, and honestly, just looked like a big mess! At that point, I happened to glance over at a friends table. Her and her husband were just finishing not only one, but TWO of the most beautiful gingerbread houses I have ever seen. Yes, they were already done with two gingerbread houses! They were cleaning up their table, and I was amazed at every minute detail they had so intricately added to their houses, down to tiny icicles hanging from the roof. (Wish I would have remembered to take picrtures of them!) Obviously they have done this many times before, and did I mention they are two very musically, and artistically talented people anyway? I have been to some of the birthday parties they have given for their children, and I am always in awe of the cakes they come up with! So, needless to say, they won the competition hands down!

Here is M on a little nature walk checking out the frozen creek behind our cabin. We took a hike back there, and ended up on a hill next to a large cross! M also got to go on the zip line since there was no snow that day. Then, that evening after going on a hay ride, and having dinner, it began to snow!!! Perfect timing. We headed over to the lodge for a Christmas movie and hot cocoa, and the next morning....

the girls put on their snowsuits and played in the snow! There was a church service, and then on to the big sledding hill!

L loves the snow, and she has no fear! She will fly down the big hill with the best of them! It was such a fun weekend, and we made lots of memories. We hope to be able to do it again next year.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Daddy Tree

Shouldn't every Dad participate in the "decorate your daddy like a Christmas tree contest? Our girls were SO proud!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Twas the month before Christmas

Twas the month before Christmas*
*When all through our land,*
*Not a Christian was praying*
*Nor taking a stand.*
*See the PC Police had taken away,*
*The reason for Christmas - no one could say.*
*The children were told by their schools not to sing,*
*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*
*It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say*
* December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.*
*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit*
*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*
*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*
*Something was changing, something quite odd! *
*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*
*In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.*
*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*
* At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.*
*At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears*
*You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.*
*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*
*Are words that were used to intimidate me.*
*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*
*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !*
*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*
*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*
*And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*
* Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*
*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded*
*The reason for the season, stopped before it started.*
*So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'*
*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.*
*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*
not Happy Holiday !*
Please, all Christians join together and
wish everyone you meet during the
holidays a
Christ is "The Reason" for the Christ-mas Season!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Life is full!

A real blog post coming soon!!! The holiday season has hit here at our house! We are in the midst of farmhouse decorating, cookie baking, and all things Christmas.

Tonight was my work Christmas party, tomorrow night Awana, Thursday night I plan on going to my homeschooling Mom's support group where we will have a cookie exchange, and fellowship. Friday morning another cookie exchange takes place at our homeschool co-op, Saturday we attend a Christmas program, and Sunday we are having a Christmas party here for our China adoptive families group!!! So much to do!

In the midst of all this a stray cat appeared at our house. She had been here a few weeks before then disappeared. This time she was injured. We got her in to a vet this afternoon, and the poor thing was on the brink of death. She had two bites that had abscessed, and when the wounds began to drain, it all froze to her in this weather that has been in the teens here! Poor girl. The odd thing was, this vet sent her home to us still under anesthesia. We have been nursing her back to health and consciousness. My little animal rescuer, M, is loving this. She would do anything to save a hurt animal. She has lovingly named this cat Amber. Amber is finally awake now, eating, and no longer the wild cat she once was. She is still very sick, and seems to also have an upper respiratory infection. We hope she makes it.

We all went away for the weekend. It was a wonderful time! Stay tuned for our next post on "A Mountain Meadow Christmas"

Waiting for snow,

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Have you heard this song?

It's called "Merry Christmas" by Third Day

It is probably one of the most meaningful songs I have ever known. I have been trying to find this song to put on this blog since last year. I just found it, and watched it, and I am in tears, you see, it tells the story of us bringing home Lilyann from China. This song came out the Christmas before we brought her home in 2006. As I listened to it then, I knew that our baby was already born, waiting for us. (Later when we got our referral, we found out she WAS born in July of 2006)I just knew we would have her by the next Christmas, 2007...and we is such a beautiful song, and it tells our story. Amazing. Merry Christmas.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A new Christmas tradition...

This year we started a new family tradition for Christmas. We are celebrating Advent, and using an advent wreath. Each Sunday before Christmas we will light one of the candles, and the middle one will be lit on Christmas eve, along with all the others. I used the idea to decorate the wreath from The Homespun Heart blog. We cut strips from Christmas fabric and tied on the wreath, and we will be adding little tags stamped with words that remind us of Christmas such as Jesus, hope, holy, savior, etc.

This is the book we are using to guide us through each day. I love it! It is very simple, and each Sunday it gives you everything you need to lead a family devotion. It starts with an opening scripture and song. Today's was Isaiah 9:2-6, and Away in a Manger. There is then a story to be read, a family activity to carry out, a prayer, and closing song. It went so well, and the girls loved it!! There is also a scripture reading for each day of the week leading up to Christmas if you choose to do that.

This is going to be the beginning of a cherished family tradition, and it is something that I have been wanting to get started for quite few years, so I am very happy to have finally gotten it together for this year. It is something that has been missing from our Christmas and really pulls everything together for us, and teaches our children what the true meaning of Christmas really is.

We have a few other family traditions that we enjoy each Christmas season, and I will be sharing them in the days to come. What special family tradition/s do you do each Christmas?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Get ready to get happy!!!

Thanks to Kate and Dalyn for helping me figure out how to put a You Tube video on my blog!

Our new mini van came with Sirius satellite radio. Thanks to the Disney station, M now loves this song! I love this video, because, well, it just makes me happy! Love this guy! M and I were actually dancing in front of the computer when we first watched now, I bring to you the first You Tube video I have ever posted on my blog...Enjoy!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Now this is creative!

In my town, each day I see several beggars/panhandler's on the streetcorners. I am often curious about them. Are they for real? Are they really living on the street, and are some just the typical out of work American? Or, are they meth addicts, alcoholics, just looking for a way to make some quick cash to buy thier next fix? I am always wondering what is behind the lives of these people, and I have been tempted to follow them around to find out what is really going on.

Over the last year I have noticed several of the same people on different corners around town. I am amazed at the creativity of the signs they hold up. Here is a sampling of the ones I remember:

Down...but not out. (middle aged man that looked like your average dad, or grandpa. This is the one DH just had to give to, and jumped out of his car to hand him some cash) Just saw this guy again since the first time about 8 months ago, same sign, so he's still down, but not out!

Want to go fishin, need bait $$ (middle age woman in the middle of summer, missing teeth)

Stranded (middle age man. The interesting thing about this guy, is, we saw him on the same street corner, with the SAME sign about a year later! Now that's a long time to be stranded!)

NOT A BUM Single father of 3 Out of work bricklayer (clean cut young guy wearing nice clothes, just saw him again with this same sign he had last year)

Hungry $1 (young guy, see him everywhere, and see a lot of people handing him money)

Last but not least, the sign I saw today, held by a middle age man that sparked my desire to write this post:

One lean sheep begs for a few pennies (okay, this is my favorite of all. The guy even had a sort of smile on his face, and appeared very friendly.)

A few years back my MOPS group spent a day putting together zip loc bags to hand out to these people we see on the street corners every day. The bags contained things like, granola bars, tooth brushes, tooth paste, deoderant, beef jerky, gum, juice boxes, a pair of socks, small Bible, etc. The idea is to keep a few of these in your car at all times, so you are prepared to give when you see someone.

I thought it was a great idea, and a great thing to teach your kids! One of the things I learned and loved about this is that it really doesn't matter what the person does with the money or items you give them. What matters is that you are giving, and the Lord sees that we are giving and not sitting back and ignoring those that are in need. If they truly aren't in need, God will deal with that! It's also a wonderful thing to teach your children to say a little prayer for these people as you drive by.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Birthday Blessings

Last friday was my birthday, and it was such a nice day.

Here are some of the blessings:

A night out the day before with DH to a cambodian dinner to benefit orphans in that country-he knows me well!

Nature walk with friends and lots of kiddos in the morning

L walking around all day saying Happy birthday Mommy!

Seeing the smiles on their faces as they give me the gifts they so carefully picked out and wrapped.

A spa day coming up -a very much needed massage is in the near future!

Dinner out at my favorite restaurant for authentic mexican cuisine

Kisses and hugs from those I love so much

Spending the day with my 3 favorite little girls in the world!

Monday, November 9, 2009

I love this!!!

In light of my current situation, I have been thinking a lot about what I am going to do. Before I had children I worked full time, then 2 days a week, and now one day a week I am out of the home at my job. My employer is still mandating the swine flu vaccine, as well as season flu vaccine. I will not be getting the vaccines. My employer does not want me to leave, and my position will be difficult to replace. I have a few days to decide whether or not I will request a leave of absence, or wear a mask at all times. These are my only two options at this point. Thank God, He has transformed my mind over the last few years. Before, I would have been devastated to quit my job, a job I LOVE, and have loved working at every day for the last 13 years. But, what I love more is being home with my children, homeschooling, and spending every precious moment with them. If I leave, I will not be upset, as being at home is so much more ideal now, so much more appealing to me, and I cherish every day I am home. It is a career above all careers. Today, this came to my email box, and it could not have come at a more perfect time:


Matthew 9:37-38, "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest."

Do you sometimes hanker to be doing some great work for God? You feel as though you are wasting your life in your home. You would love to serve the Lord in some harvest field. Yes, it is true, the harvest is great and the laborers are few. But why are they few? Because mothers have not understood God's purpose.

Are you looking for an easy path in life in life or do you have a heart to serve God as a missionary? Dear mother, you are already a missionary. God has chosen your specific mission field for you. It is your home and family. You are employed by God to train laborers for His harvest field. You don't raise children and then send them to Bible College to prepare for service. You train them for God's service from the time they are little. They should be ready to labor in the harvest field when they come forth from your home.

Is a missionary's work easy? No, it takes sacrifice. Is motherhood easy? No, but it will be worthwhile. It takes everything you've got--all your resources of time, energy and strength--but you will influence nations. It takes sacrifice--many mothering days are exhausting and overwhelming--but you will receive the fruit of your labors and an eternal reward. It will take committed prayer and intercession, but your prayers will be answered. Remember, you are not on vacation; you are on the mission field!

Maybe God has only given you one laborer to prepare for Him--that His is plan for you. Maybe he has given you six, or even twelve! Wow, would twelve be too many? Jesus trained twelve disciples who impacted the world. How would you like to train laborers who "turn the world upside down"? (Acts 17:6)

What kind of laborers does God want us to faithfully prepare for His service? The following is my vision for our children, grandchildren and future generations. I believe He wants us to prepare children who are...

Baby lovers

Blessing imparters

Bible believers

Bible obeyers

Committed laborers in God's harvest

Courageous overcomers

Demon destroyers

Diligent workers

Evil haters

Faithful servers

Fearless soldiers

Freedom fighters

Fruit bearers

God fearers

God lovers

God pleasers

God worshippers

Gospel preachers

Holy Spirit empowered witnesses

Home lovers

Israel supporters

Jesus fanatics

Justice keepers

Life choosers

Light shiners

Liberal threateners

Obedient listeners

Parent honorers

Responsible citizens

Sharp arrows

Tomorrow's leaders

Truth bearers

Truth keepers

Truth lovers

Truth preservers

Truth seekers

Truth speakers

Persecution endurers

Prayer warriors

Righteousness lovers

Uncompromising disciples

Valiant conquerors

Wisdom getters and

Zealous servants of the Living God!

Wow!Can you imagine anything more exciting and fulfilling that raising laborers such as these? You couldn't have a greater mission field or a greater vision.



"Thank you, Lord, for showing me my mission field. Help me to serve you faithfully and to raise prepared laborers for your great harvest field. Lord, I am open for you to give me all the laborers you have planned for me to train. Amen."


I am a full-time missionary, recruiting and training laborers for God's harvest field.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Today is...

Orphan Sunday!!! Go check it
Please join me in praying for the millions of orphans in our world today.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy 2 year adoption day, baby girl!!!

One of our referral photos, our baby girl from Guangdong, China!

One of the updated photos we received while waiting the 3-4 months before we could travel.

Gotcha day! November 5, 2007. Sweet sleeping baby girl, she didn't wake up even through all the excitement!

And here she is today! After 2 years, she has changed so much! She is sweet, spicy, and everything in between! She loves to be the center of attention, and told me today, "I want you to call me honey." She says what she feels, and isn't afraid to speak her mind! I can describe her as happy, outgoing, expressive, enthusiastic, and most of all, very, very bouncy (literally!!!).

We love ya, L! You have brought a lot of energy, excitement, and spice to our lives! Thanks for a wonderful 2 are a blessing, and we are honored to have you as our daughter!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Birthday to me!

Meet Sebastian, my new kitten. I got him last weekend, about 3 weeks before my birthday! Isn't he sweet? He's not the one I originally wanted, but the other kitty was much older, and this one was local.

He has made himself at home, and besides your lap, he likes the couch, and...

You never know where you'll find him in the girls room.

The other day we couldn't find him, and M had been sitting at this chair at her small table, working on crafts. She had no idea he was right below in this little cubby hole.

He has definatly made himself right at home. I don't normally get myself early birthday gifts, or for that matter, gifts at all, but this year, I just had to bring home my hearts desire...a fluffy little kitten. The girls are all loving him. The baby even loves to watch him play. She has been known to burst out giggling when watching him. Welcome home Sebastian!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A recent conversation...

Here's my little sweetie the way she goes to bed every night, hugging her Ellie! She still loves her elephants!
Well, I was at work the other day, and daddy was up that morning getting breakfast for the girls. L loves cereal, and she is very disappointed if there is something else being prepared for breakfast. Lucky for her, it was a cereal morning. Now, some of you may remember the food issues we had with L since the beginning. She still has some lingering effects, but she is doing much better. But, as you will see in this conversation, there are still some deep seated issues that revolve around food for her. Here is the conversation between her and daddy:

L: Daddy, I want more cereal!
Daddy: Ok, one more bowl, but that's all. (she eats big servings, and eats them very fast-still).
L: Thank you, da da
Daddy: You're welcome
L: (Finished with her second bowl within moments) Daddy, I want piece of toast like M.
Daddy: No, you are all done with breakfast now, M is having one piece of toast because she just had one bowl of cereal. Go play now.
L: That not fair! I mad! Where the phone???!!
Daddy: Why do you need the phone?
L: I call Mama!
Daddy: Why do you want to call Mama?
L: You not feed me!

So, as you see, she still feels deprived, even after two large, adult size bowls of cereal. We sure did get a kick out of this one, though. To think just a few months back she was barely even putting 3 words together, and now she expresses herself like this. I am a little worried looking ahead though, M is 8 and has never expressed herself in this way! What are we in for???!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Your Storm, and other random thoughts...

"Stop telling God how big your storm is, instead tell your storm how BIG your God is!"

We all go through storms in life, and this quote is one that has stuck with me. It is so true, and something we need to remind ourselves of every so often. This life is not easy. Even looking in at those whose lives may look like a piece of cake, there is a storm brewing right around the corner, if not already in full force. As christians, we aren't even promised a smooth ride, no, but we are promised that HE will be right there with us during our storms. If we ask God to help us, He will, He is always faithful!

As a homeschooling mom one of my most important duties is to teach my children the word of God. My oldest often questions how we are to truly believe. This is not always easy to answer. It's called faith. Faith is believing in something that is unseen. I have not always been a christian, but for the many years that I have now been one, I can tell you that faith is something that is also felt. It is a knowing that you know that you know that it is true. The best way I can describe it is that if we first step out in faith, God knows, he sees our hearts, and takes action. We begin to see and feel what God is doing in our lives. It is an incredible thing, and it's something to hold onto during those storms of life, as a reminder that He is there, and always will be.

Years ago a good friend and I used to walk together almost every day after work. This was way before we each had kids. Thinking back on our numerous discussions, there is one thing I remember us always saying and repeating to each other on an almost weekly basis. We would express how we know we could not make it without God. We talked about how we would have no clue how to handle the storms without knowing the Lord was with us. It was almost an unbearable thing to think about. Being without God in the good times, and without him in the hard times would not be an option for us. We just couldn't make it, we wondered how other people could. I remember reading a book a long time ago that discussed excuses people use for not going to church, or becoming a christian, etc. One of the reasons was, people would say that they didn't want to have a crutch. I remember the response, and it was, "Well, who doesn't need a crutch?" If it's not God, it's going to be something else, and I would much rather have the Lord as my crutch, than anything else. What do I have to lose? My heart is grieved when I think of several people in my life who don't understand the price of not believing, and following God. When asked what do they have to lose, they don't really have an answer. I think they feel they will have to give up their way of doing things, the things in their life that have become their "God", so to speak. When really, all God wants is for us to believe in him as our savior, and confess that we have been doing things our own way, and He will take care of the rest. The truth is, living for the Lord and following His calling, and his will for our life, is SO much more exciting than anything we could ever do on our own. If only they knew. They are so missing out on the blessings!

Oh, Lord, help me to be the kind of person you want me to be. Help me to boldly proclaim who you are not only here on this blog, but everywhere. I have failed. I have messed up. I haven't even trusted you fully during the storms I have been through, and continue to be caught up in. Help me God, to have a faith that cannot be moved. I ask this in Jesus name, Amen!

I came here tonight to write something. I had no idea what it would be. I just knew there was something that needed to be written, and the first thing that came out was the quote, and I went with that, not even having that quote in my mind a few seconds prior to writing it. I don't even know why I wrote any of the above, other than, I did. There must be a reason, but only God knows.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Bithday Party for a Dog

The other day was a big day for M, and her Doggy, Mitten! It was Mitten's 1st birthday! Being the animal lover she is, M had a little party all planned out for Mitten. She had even found a recipe for a doggy birthday cake. Here is the cake after completion! They were very proud of this!
Happy Birthday Mitten! We sang Happy Birthday, and Mitten had lots of help blowing out her candle! Then, Mitten got to dig in! No, this is not a cake meant to be shared with their humans, it is strictly a dog cake.

Mitten liked her cake so much, M wanted me to share the recipe with others, so their doggies can enjoy a birthday cake too! Here is the recipe!
Doggy Birthday Cake
1. Gather these ingredients: white or wheat flour, baking soda, peanut butter, cooking oil, carrots, vanilla, a jar of beef baby food, honey, and eggs.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Take a small bowl and shred 1 cup of carrots, and set bowl aside.
4. Place 1 cup white or wheat flour in med. bowl followed by 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup cooking oil, 1 cup shredded carrots, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/3 cup honey, and 1 egg. Mix all together thoroughly.
5. Lightly grease your pie pan and add mixed ingredients to it.
6. Bake for 40 min.
7. Let cool 5 min.
8. Frost your doggy cake with beef baby food and sprinkle with some more shredded carrots.
Let your dog eat, and enjoy!

Friday, October 23, 2009


I love, love, love pumpkins, and it appears that this has rubbed off a bit on L! The day she picked out her own pumpkin was probably one of the proudest moments of her life!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A great fabric giveaway!

Pumpkin Patch Primitives is having a giveaway for some amazing fabric!!! I have been so into sewing lately, and drooling over all the quilts I want to make someday, and this bundle of fabric would definately get me started on my quilting dreams! Go check it out, and enter!

By the way, my first quilt is still not done. I am hoping to have it done next month, as I have found a nice lady at my church who is willing to help me finish it! Stay tuned for the final results!!! I better hurry and get good, because M said she is ready to start her first quilt!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Birthday Wishes...

Is this the cutest kitten you have ever seen?? I think so. He has big blue eyes, an orange nose, and orange (flame point) markings. This is my birthday wish. I want him. I am having trouble convincing DH that we need to add another animal to the pack, though. We'll see. In the meantime, I will just stare into that adorable face, and hope I can make him mine.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Check out my girls!

There is an updated photo of M & L in the header!! This was taken just a few weeks ago when it was still 95 degrees! Now, it is 50 degrees, and very wet and soggy. Well, I am off to the storage room to pull out hats, gloves and winter scarves!!

More soon!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Baby Update!

Our little foster baby is doing so well! She is growing, and developing at a nice rate, and it is so much fun to be her foster mama! She is 4 months old and sweet as can be. She still smiles all the time, and even laughs now. It is too cute and brightens our day! She is even sleeping through the night! (Except for last night when she decided to wake up at 2am! and stay awake for an hour). But, it is all worth it!! As far as her case is has gotten nowhere. The court hearings have been delayed one after there really is no plan in place for her mom to start working on yet, and this is the frustrating thing about foster care...waiting, when everything should have been started months ago! We are just living day by day, feeling so grateful to be able to care for her for as long as she needs us!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Delicious Raw Pie!

Here is a recipe for the first raw pie I have ever made, it is delicious, and healthy, and best of all you know you are eating something that is a high nutrient food, feeding each cell of your body in ways that no other pie can do!

I brought this to a gathering with friends the other day, and it went over very well. I am going to make a strawberry one next, but here is the blueberry recipe we all loved:
Crust: 2 Cups raw nuts, (I used one cup pecans, and one cut walnuts)
1 cut dates, pitted
Put the raw nuts in a food processor until nuts are reduced to small crumbs. Add the dates, plus 1/4 tsp. salt and blend again until everything is fully blended. I also added about a tsp. of cinnamon to my crust mix.
Pour the mixture into a 9 inch pie plate, and use your hands to press them into the form of a pie crust. Put the pie crust in the freezer for about 15 min. This helps it become more firm and solid. This is just enough time to prepare the filling. There are countless variations on the ingredients you can use to make the crust, but the best place to start is with some kind of chewy dried fruit like dates, raisins, or figs.
Filling: This is quite simple, and requires 3 ingredients. 6 cups fresh fruit (such as blueberries, strawberries, cherries, peaches, apples, etc.)
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 cup dates, soaked about 10 min.
Blueberry pie is the easiest to make because blueberries don't require any prep work. I use the organic blueberries from a farm we pick from nearby. I thawed and drained them first. For strawberries, and apples, you will need to cut them up, and cherries should be halved.
Put 2 cups of the fruit, the lemon juice, and the soaked dates (minus the water) into a blender, and blend until you have a smooth liquid. Put the remaining 4 cups of fruit into a large bowl, and pour the blended mixture over it. Mix it together.
Take your pie crust out of the freezer, and pour your fruit mixture into it. Spread around, and your pie is done!
You will love this, and never want to go back to lard crusted, sugar filled pies again!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

An unlikely place...

Last weekend we spent saturday car shopping in Seattle. Car shopping all day with 3 little girls in the car was quite an adventure...and thankfully, after striking out all day, the last place we went to had the exact vehicle we were looking for! On Sunday Jeff decided to clean the garage so that we could fit our new mini van inside. As he lifted up this bike helmet that was hanging from a nail, this is what he found inside:

Looks fake doesn't it? In fact, M was helping him clean the garage and she came in to tell me about the nest and how daddy thought I put it there, because he knows I love bird nests and this one looked too perfect to be real. I came out and was very surprised as well! I assured him did not put a bird nest in a helmet...what would be the reason for that?? I like to display my birdnests! He still didn't believe me because the eggs looked fake! They were sort of light blue speckled on one side with a line across the middle and grey on the other half. prove to him that I did not "plant" this bird nest, I cracked one of the eggs open, and to his surprise, it was a real egg, yoke and all!

M is sure this is an hummingbird nest, as she read somewhere that hummingbird eggs are the size of jelly beans, as these eggs were! But, I am not sure if that is the case. Either way, this was a fun discovery!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Being forced to get Swine flu vaccine

In addition to being a stay at home, homeschooling mom, I also work out of the home one day per week. I work in pediatrics as an Occupational therapy practitioer and I have been at this job for almost 13 years. I get to work with wonderful children who have special health care needs. I am at an offsite clinic from the hospital I work for, and just found out that my employer is requiring all employees to get the swine flu and regular flu vaccine this year. It is mandatory. It has never been mandatory in the past. I have never been one to get a flu vaccine, and those around me that do, always seem to be the ones I see get the flu. I am looking for information from people that may know of someone this has happened to. I don't like the idea of an employer mandating what I put into my body. I don't feel this is something that should be forced. The other hospital in my community is not mandating the vaccine, they are allowing all employees to make their own decision like it has always been. I have done some research and found that this is happening across the country, and healthcare employees are being forced to get the vaccine, or be fired. If I choose not to take the vaccine, I will be required to wear a mask at all times, for no less than 6 months. This will not be appropriate in the job I do.

I am hoping to find others who are in this position, so please email me if you know of anyone, or know anything about this topic. I also heard about a large group of nurses who's union filed a lawsuit for this exact reason. Any input or ideas will be greatly appreciated!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fall is here!!!

It's hard to believe it's October already! My favorite season is here! The weather has cooled off which makes me smile, and the leaves are beginning to change to all the beautiful colors I love.

Fall makes me so happy! I look forward to pumpkins all around the house, the kids jumping in leaf piles in the yard, and the smell of home baked pumpkin bread coming from my kitchen.

I love to curl up with a warm blanket at home with my favorite book, drinking hot apple cider. In my garden I found a wonderful surprise of miniature white pumpkins growing abundantly, and I can't wait to bring them in to decorate with.

The pleasures of fall are so many...I hope you enjoy the blessings of this season as much as I do!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

An adorable giveaway!

Finding our sweet cheeks baby cake is having a 100th post giveaway for a dress made by Cora at Waiting for little miss what's her name. I love Cora's dresses, and I love supporting people that are adopting! Go enter, you will want to win this dress!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

8 Years ago today!!!

I was in labor!!! I gave birth to a tiny, sweet little baby girl! She came 6 weeks early, and here is the first time I met her in the NICU! She weighed exactly 4 lbs! It was the most magical moment of my life.
She came home 2 1/2 weeks later, healthy and happy, and she was so precious. I felt such a peace each time I looked at her, I knew God had sent me the most amazing gift!

She grew and grew, full of smiles and joy! What fun to have a baby in our lives, we grew to love her more and more each day!

She has always been a joy to be around, a child who wants to help, and thinks of others. Her laughter is contagious, and her sweet and gentle spirit is so calming even during the stress life brings. I have learned so much from her over these past 8 years and I hope I have become a better person because of her. As the Bible states, children really are a gift from the Lord!

And here we are after 8 years! We decided to throw a big birthday party for her this year, where she could invite all of her special friends. Family came over first to celebrate, and later friends arrived for her fairy tea party! She's wearing her silvermist dress-one of the pixie hollow fairies from Tinkerbelle. The celebration was so much fun! They had cucumber and cream cheese tea sandwiches, cupcakes and strawberry lemonade. We hung out on the porch and made flower fairies and necklaces. I loved watching all the kids run and play in the yard and garden, as they laughed and seemed to be having a great time. Thanks for all the memories, M! Happy Birthday!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Go See!!!

Go see my featured blog post at Preserving a Generation !! I have learned so much from reading many of the articles on this blog, it is so good, and the information shared there are things we should all be aware of in the world. So interesting, and eye opening, if you haven't been there yet, go check it out!

Have a great day!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Her first dress!

One of my goals for the summer was to give M every opportunity to learn to sew. Since I don't have much experience, I looked to others. First she spent a couple days at my step mom's house-her grandma, and they spent an entire day making some doll clothes for her raggedy ann doll. I also sat beside and did some sewing that day, I had to make the most of having someone there with 65 years of sewing experience! (She's been sewing since she was 5). M loved it, and was so proud of the creations she came out with!
Next, I enrolled her in a local sewing class at a sewing machine shop. The teacher and her daugher were wonderful, and in two short classes, she came out with numerous creations! A pillowcase, drawstring bag, pin cushion, and more. She really enjoyed the class!
Lastly, a sweet friend of mine offered to help her make a dress. She borrowed a dress from a friend that she liked, and they traced it, and sewed it up! Such a cute, simple dress. See above!! M has a love for animals, reading, and sewing. Sewing seems to come more naturally to her than it does for me. I hope to find more ways to help her to become the little seamstress she is meant to be!

Do you eat steak??

M's birthday is coming up in a few days. On her birthday she gets to choose what meals she wants to eat. For breakfast she wants cinnamon rolls, for lunch Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, and for dinner she wants steak with a baked potato!
Here's my dilemma-I don't eat steak, and I've never cooked a steak in my entire life!! My DH doesn't care for steak either, so we have never had steak. We are more of a fruits and vegetables, chicken and fish family. I went to the grocery store yesterday, and looked at the steak section and I was clueless. I have no idea what kind of steak to purchase, and I don't know how I should prepare it!
If anyone has suggestions, or knows of a great, simple, delicious way to prepare some sort of steak, I would appreciate any suggestions!!! Thank you!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I have to share this NOW!!

I was recently asked if one of my blog posts could be featured on a blog I had not heard of. I went to it, and WOW!!! I was reading more of it, tonight, and it is so great...I can't believe I had not heard of it before. The issues it covers are so important, and many are incredibly eye opening! You can't miss this blog! It's called Preserving a Generation and you can find it here . Oh! And look for my blog post there next week!

Enjoy, I am going back to read more now!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Amazing Race!

I don't watch much tv, and I don't watch the Emmy's, however I just heard that The Amazing Race just won another emmy for the 7th year in a row as the best reality competition tv. show. I must say, I completely agree and I am so happy they won!

This is the show DH and I wait for, and we don't miss an episode once it starts! The combination of traveling around the world, and watching teams complete the crazy tasks that are placed in front of them is a perfect recipe for a great show in my opinion! We are literally on the edge of our seats watching this show! We laugh, and even jump up and down at times! It is so entertaining! We also sit there and relate to some of the couples and their struggles, and look at each other and know we would kill each other if we were on the show together!!! :) Then we talk about who we would choose to go on the show with, and laugh about how hilarious that would be! We would each love to watch each other on the show, but we would never race together as a team, there is NO way!!!

I love to see the culture of all of the different countries they go to. That in itself is enough to hook me in on this show, but watching your favorite team win in the end is one of the best moments! If you were in our living room, you would probably see us high fiving each other...that is how much we get into it! If you haven't watched this show...tune in next week, Sunday on CBS as the newest one will start then, it will be a great way to spend a sunday night, I promise!

This girl

has stolen my heart!!! I don't deserve to be her mommy. I don't deserve all the kisses, hugs, and sweet things she tells me, like, "I love you mommy", and "I missed you". She loves to help me, and cuddle on my lap, and go anywhere with me.

The other night I spent 4 hrs. in the ER with her. It was a time of great reflection. I remembered back to that first time she opened her eyes, and looked into mine as I held her. (Wasn't that just yesterday?) This journey is not always easy, as parenting never is. Recently she went through a phase of shouting "That not fair!" anytime something didn't go her way. It was actually quite comical to watch, but also concerning as I realized she is barely 3, and this can't be starting yet!! I remember the long nights in the hotel of screaming, in the days following our gotcha day in China. I remember many of nights of crying and screaming here at home as she appeared to be going through night terrors. I remember being worried for her. I now know to just pray...and I did...and she is okay.

This sweet one has been through a lot in her little lifetime. When I would find her screaming in the night I often wondered if the trauma of being abandoned and left alone was the source of the continued fear. I prayed over her and believed that God would heal it all-every little part of her that still hurts. I know she is fine, and I continue to pray that as her mother I will be able to give her all that she she has given me so much more than I could have ever imagined. Thank you Jesus!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Home Sweet Happenings...

School is in full swing! We started Sept. 1st! Here is M at the dining room table working on her copy work.

L is so excited that she is officially a preschooler now. Here she is working on tracing. She is also working on ABC's, cutting, and lacing right now! She loves everything, and is so enthusiastic about school. I have to have lots of activities available for her at all times. We are also working on a quiet time during the day, which is challenging for her. She is not easily entertained by books as M always has been. She chooses to use her "my first leap pad" during quiet time. This used to be M's. I like it because it is not a small computer screen like they have now. You can't buy these in the store anymore. The "my first leap pad" are small books you attach to a base, and you use a pen attachment to make the book talk to you. There are many books you can purchase for it (on ebay now), and they are all educational. This does keep L entertained during quiet time, and she is learning quite a bit from it.

Watch out!!! Here comes Molly! When Molly gets out of the pasture, this is what happens! She runs up the yard to the house, and if you don't close the door, she will push her way in. She also yells a lot louder than the goats. She is fun to have around, but honestly, you better look out when she's out in the yard, this girl is buff, and she will knock you down!!!

M and L spending some of their last summer days outside. The swing hanging in Maple tree has been one of their favorite spots all summer! It is so fun to watch them in the yard. They are both girly girls and love to wear their summer dresses every day.

This photo was taken this morning right before we left for L's "storybook ballet" class. L is enjoying it, but at the moment she is marching to her own beat. I just love the teacher, she is the same one M had, and she teaches ballet in her own home studio. She is very dramatic. She plays great music while they warm up, and then reads a story to them. Next she brings out props which usually relate to the story, and the music/dance/and props all tie in as the class continues. It is adorable. There are many times that the teacher is showing them little moves to copy, and I am really surprised since L loves to copy people, she will not do it in her class! She just stands there and watches all the other little girls, and when they are all kicking their right leg up or something, L decides to spin around like a little ballerina. The only problem is, this is not what she should be doing at that time. So today Miss N, the teacher, decides to say "look, now it's time to spin" and follow L's lead. Then she turned L into the class helper from then on, and things went well from there...she loves the class, and we will just have to wait and see how things progress.
Hope you enjoyed our update!