Sunday, October 28, 2007

Recipe #5

Cube Steak

4-8 cube steaks
1 packet of onion gravy
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup water
1 tsp of garlic powder

Dredge the cube steaks in flour on both sides.
Brown both sides in a skillet with oil.
Put beef in crock pot on low.
Put the rest of the ingredients in the crock pot with beef.
Cook on low 8-10 hours stirring a few times.

I love cooking in the crock pot. I probably cook 75% of the meat we eat in the crock pot. It is so easy. Plus, there is not a mad rush at the end of the day trying to time the meat getting done with supper time. Bad thing is, you have to remember to plan ahead and start it in the morning.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Here are some pictures of the girls getting their hair curled and getting ready for the Church's Halloween party. Can you tell who likes to pose the most? Natalie's costume was supposed to be an angel, but the wings wouldn't stay on and we decided she looked more like and Egyptian, so she did a few poses for that.
Madelyn had to try and figure out what to do with a hoop skirt while sitting down. I think we got it down pretty well. There is a Trunk or Treat Wed. night before church, so they will have another chance to dress up.

Also, I got solved the problem of taking chairs back and forth between the classroom and the diningroom. Last Saturday, Madelyn and Natalie and I went on a search for chairs for the kitchen table. Our first stop was this huge warehouse type building in town. Instead of chairs, I found these old school chair/desk combos. They were just $10 each, so I got 3. The girls are excited to do some of their school work in them and now I don't have to carry 4 chairs back and forth every day. I still could use some dining room chairs, for when we have company, but at least it is not a daily problem.

Finally got our Vietnam dossier paperwork. I am anxious to get to work on it. Looks like it is a lot less than the Guatemala one, and hopefully some of it will transfer. Can't wait to get back on a waiting list.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Recipe #4

1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 8oz tub cool whip thawed
1 cup chopped keebler fudge shoppe grasshopper cookies
3 drops green food coloring (optional)
1 6oz chocolate graham cracker pie crust
additional grasshopper cookies for garnish
Mix cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer until well blended.
Fold in whipped topping, chopped cookies and green food coloring.
Spoon into crust.
Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
Garnish with cookie halves.
(can substitute oreos instead of grasshoppers)
This recipe is quick and easy and very good. I got it out of a book of recipes using graham cracker pie crusts. Yum!

The paperwork begins again.

We finally got our change of country paperwork on Thursday. I was very excited, seeing how our agency won't send us the Vietnam dossier package until they get those papers back. Thankfully, a lady from church is a notary and so I called her up and she and her husband graciously met us at the church building Friday night for some signing. All in all, I think there were 12 pages she had to notarize. Just wait until we start the dossier!!! Those were just the change of country papers and the Vietnam contracts. I mailed it Saturday morning and I am really hoping I get our paperwork by the end of next week.
I hate to wait. Sometimes it gets discouraging when I think of all the time I have been waiting to adopt. Hannah will probably be around 4 by the time we get the referral of the baby. I was hoping they would be closer in age. Sometimes, it is good to not know how long something is going to take to happen. It would have been discouraging to know from the beginning that it would be at least 2008 before we would get a referral. All in God's timing, I know, but still a little discouraging at times.
We took a hike tonight at "Daddy's work" which to other people, would be known by an official
name. The girls love to hike and with her short little legs, Hannah does rather well.
Then, we decided to go through the Taco Bel drive thru for supper. The older two love it. We should have known something was wrong when we pulled in and there were about 7 or 8 cars ahead of us, but hey, it's fast food, right? Not tonight. We pulled into the drive thru at 6:20 and didn't drive off with our food until 6:57, I am serious. It was soooo annoying. Bad thing was, by the time that we realized that the line was not moving, 2 cars had pulled in behind us and there was no way to get out other than drive over the curb. Since we were in our van, we decided against that. Strange thing was, we watched so many people park, go in and then come out with food. I don't know what the deal was, but Aaron and I didn't even order food for us. Luckily, what the girls eat is already prepackaged, and not made as you order, so we figured, their food would be ready quick.
Church services were great today. They started at 8am and lasted until about 12:30. Once a year they have a special day where all 4 of the elders speak. During the 1st and 3rd speakers, the kids had class, so that was nice that they didn't have to sit still 4 hrs. straight. Plus they took a break after the first hour for breakfast. The girls loved today. Especially after the last speaker, we got to eat lunch at church. We had driven separately, just in case the 4 hrs. was too much and we needed to take a break with one of the kids. We didn't. I ended up getting to stay and meet a few new people and talk to someone else considering adoption while Aaron got to take the girls home and get Hannah down for her nap. I didn't get home until 2pm. Been a good day.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I know what Aaron's getting for Christmas!!


Here is a picture of the girls pointing to Vietnam on our atlas on the wall. Hannah is pointing to where we live. The girls are excited. We watched Bizarre foods the other night on tv and the host was in Vietnam. All I have to say is that I am dedicating one suitcase for each of us that goes to prepackaged food. I have never been one to like to try new foods anyway, so this will be a great test for me. The host of the show talked on and on about how most people living there went to the markets 2-3 times a day to cook each meal and how fresh the food was. I told Aaron I am going to asked where the prepackaged - preservative- filled food market is. Now I am not cutting down what any culture eats, since I am sure there is lots of food I eat that people would turn their nose up on, but like I said, I am like a kid when it comes to being brave with new foods. I tend to order the same thing everytime I go to a restaurant. Plus, as sick as I get when I eat soy, I would hate to eat some and not know it and end up miserable the whole time, since when I get a good dose of soy protien in me, I am sick off and on for about 3 weeks at least.

I am anxiously awaiting our change of country papers so that I can start on our dossier. I was told they were sent out on Monday, so they should be here in a few days. I know that our agency is probably overwhelmed with paperwork right now with all the problems with Guatemala, so I am trying to be patient. Once we get our dossier turned in, it should take 9-12 months for a referral and then 1-7 months to go pick up the baby. I am really hoping that it will work out where we can take all 3 girls with us, I can't imagine being away from them for 2 weeks. But it will also require 3 more plane tickets. We'll see as the time draws nearer.

Also, I have enclosed a picture of a shawl I made for the girls. I am currently making #2 and I will probably make a 3rd one that will fit Hannah, although right now, other than wanting to try it on for the picture, she has not fought over wearing it. I found that real soft expensive, small skeins of yarn for sale at Hobby Lobby. Usually it is $5 for a skein and these were $1 each. I bought 19 skeins in different colors. That one shawl would have cost about $25 in yarn alone, but only $5 on sale. It took me about a week, but I didn't work on it everyday. Pretty easy pattern.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Recipe #3

Creamy Fruit Salad
20 oz canned pineapple chunks, drained
15oz canned peaches, drained
11oz mandarin oranges, drained - reserve 1/3 cup
4 med. apples, peeled and diced
1 cup milk
1/3 cup orange juice from mandarin orange can
4 serving sugar free vanilla pudding mix
8oz plain yogurt or 8 oz sour cream
Put milk and orange juice in a large bowl.
Stir in pudding mix until blended.
Stir in sour cream or yogurt.
Finally add all the fruit and mix well. It will become thicker upon refrigeration. This is also good with grapes or chopped nuts on top.

Monday, October 8, 2007


Madelyn and Natalie had their 2nd soccer game today. Natalie scored. Madelyn scored last week. They are both on the same team, which is nice for us. Next year, they will be separated. We are very proud that there is more hustling and less holding hands and playing with the other girls on the team this year.
Hopefully, I will get the information on changing countries this week and I can start on the Vietnam dossier. When I got done with the last one, I kept thinking that the next dossier, I would do things a little faster. Less staggering paperwork like they suggested and try to get all my stuff out the first week and wait for everyone to return what they need to. Who knew the next dossier would only be a month away instead of a few years away like I had imagined? I guess God did. Funny joke on me.
Not much news today, I worked 7-11 Friday, 3-11 Saturday and 7-11 Sunday, so the days I work, not much else goes on. I like the evening shift, but it is hard to go to bed early on the days I don't work when I am used to staying up to at least 12:30 am on the evenings I work. Last night I was up until 2:30am. Good thing Aaron was off for Columbus day today.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Recipe #2

Creamy Broccoli Casserole
2 pkg. frozen broccoli florets (about 20 ounces)
1 can cream of mushroom
1/4 cup milk
1/2-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup Bisquick
1/4 firm butter
Cook and drain broccoli (I usually microwave with a vented cover about 8min.)
Place broccoli in ungreased 8x12 casserole dish.
Beat soup and milk until smooth.
Pour over broccoli.
Sprinkle with cheese
Mix baking mix and butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over cheese
Bake at 400. until crumbs are light brown. About 20 min.

This is my favorite broccoli casserole. Unless you enjoy the hard broccoli pieces of stem that they fill up the broccoli bag with, spend the extra money to get broccoli FLORETS. They are so much better.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Pumpkin Patch, Doctor, and Adoption

Here are the girls waiting on the hay wagon to go and get their pumpkins. We had a good time, although it was quite a bit hotter than October should be. I had to have 20 people for a tour and barely made 19 until 3 people showed up about 45 min. late. The farm was way out in the boonies and took a lot longer than we thought. I was panicking the last minute on Tuesday, since I had 2 families cancel on me, but I called Aaron's parents and invited them, and they brought 2 of their friends. We went with a group from our homeschool church school.

We got to ride out to a field and pick pumpkins, crawl through a trough of corn, play in the hay, dig for root vegetables in a sandbox, pick cotton, feed chickens, pet goats, listen to a pumpkin story, and have a picnic. Aaron took off work and went with us. Madelyn's favorite part was picking cotton. She said she could pick cotton all day long and never get tired. Of course we picked for about 15 min. She spent all evening last night trying to separate the seeds from the cotton so she can grow some herself.

Took all three girls to the doctor this morning for their yearly checkups. Everyone is healthy and they did really well. We washed our hands numerous times with the hand sanitizer, so hopefully, we didn't come home with more than we took in. So often, when we get home after doctor's appts., the kids end up sick within the week. All three got their flu shots. I was hoping they would have the flumist nasal spray like our last pediatrician in Georgia, but no, everyone got stuck. I was very proud of Madelyn who cried silent crocodile tears while waiting for the nurse, but stood there motionless while she got the shot in her arm. Natalie was very brave and laughing, until the nurse came in and made her lay down, then she flipped out a little. Hannah of course had no idea what was going on until she got to watch both of them get it, then of course she flipped out a little too. While Madelyn was silently crying, it was cute and sweet when Hannah went over to her and wiped her tear away and said "It's ok poopy" All in all, the doctor's office wasn't the total nightmare I was expecting.

We are seriously considering changing countries to adopt from. I spoke to our agency yesterday for the first time since hearing the news last week, and they don't have a whole lot of info. A lot of stuff us up in the air right now. I am waiting to hear from the case manager from Vietnam to call me and talk about that country. I dread starting a new dossier and am hoping that some of our Guatemalan dossier will work for our Vietnam, if we decide to change. They told us that no matter what, they know there will be delays in the Guatemalan adoptions and at some point they will be closing down to completely redo the system. When that happened before, they said it was closed for 6 months. So, Aaron and I figured, whether we stay with Guatemala and wait through the delays hoping that it opens back up or change countries, it will mean redoing a lot of our dossier, since many things in the dossier we did this summer will expire in a year. Hohummm - that is me sighing. Been praying hard that God will lead us as to where to go.