Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Country Christmas Friends

We have had a wonderful week. There was cookies bakin, bread risin, pies bakin and things being dipped in chocolate.  The kids and I had Christmas music on and we danced and cooked all week. I truly have loved this week. The list of items made: strawberry and cherry pie, coconut cake, sourdough bread, lemon tea cookies, sugar cookies, pretzels dipped in chocolate and the normal lunch/dinner stuff.  I think it's safe to say that I am going to have a sourdough starter going at all times. What yummy bread!

Tonight we will be wrapping presents like gingerbread men without heads! We've not started that yet. Today we went to our land and walked it. Ten acres straight up and back down let's just say my thighs are going to be hurting tomorrow. Plotting our dream home and trying to be patient waiting on this market to turn around so we can begin the process. There's huge persimmon trees and walnut trees on the land. I see myself making persimmon jams very soon. Persimmons taste like an apricot, peach and orange all in one. It is soooo yummy! At the library this past month I bought a book on canning and preserving from the 1970's. Wow they used every piece of everything. It is impressive all the things they canned. Watermelon rind? Pickled okra? Yikes. Cranberry preserves...yummo~. I need a farmhouse with chickens and a garden and I'd be set. I asked my hubby if he should have married a lawyer instead of this mom who just wants to work part time and make bread. His answer was I did didn't I? Clearly he needs help (but he sure does love the bread!).

Have I mentioned I have the best neighbors here? After returning from the land we found homemade treats and a big santa on our porch. My neighbors love us and we love them.That will be the one thing I miss about my house now. My neighbors and my neighborhood. All the kids play outside, nerf wars break out weekly as well as night time games of hide and go seek. The kids have a cool life here.

On the land they will have many acres to run and play. A swimming pool to laze the summer days away. Snickers, our chocolate lab, had so much fun running along side us as we looked at the land today. It has an amazing view. I gotta put my checked apron on and better get back to cooking. Merry Christmas my friends. I love you all and pray you have a safe and happy holiday!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Benefits to working at home...

Well it's 8:30 and I'm about to start my job. So far today I've made my daughter and I breakfast, made her lunch, started a load of clothes, scrubbed the bathtub, thought about dinner, let the dog in and out a million times, got the boys off to school, had a shower and brushed my teeth. My meeting starts at 9am. I will be in my comfy track pants and tshirt drinking a diet coke while I attend this meeting. My hair will still be wet and I will have no make up on! lol LOVE IT! So excited to start my new job. Another benefit of working at home is smelling all the dog farts. What the heck? All morning long...really?? What has this dog been eating?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Career, dancing, and writing...all the major life groups. :)

I was hired by a company almost two months ago. I have yet to work for them. Big sigh. I believe that they are going to use me but it may take a few more weeks. I was hoping to use this job as Christmas money. Yeah, that's not happening. Good thing I had some money put back already. As a family of 5 with two sets of grandparents we don't spend more than $700 (for 9 people) on Christmas. That's because we don't usually have more than that. My hubby gets a bonus...a tiny one, but, hey, I guess free money is free money. My children are used to small Christmases. They are such great kids. They rarely ask for things and never throw fits in stores. They know going in that we are coming out with only what's on that list. I know that not having tons of excess money can be a challenge but it really is a blessing for your children. It's a lesson in what's important in life and what's unnecessary. We have all that we need. The love of our family, food on our table, a roof over our head, and clothes on their backs and that is all we need. Everything else is cake. Great now I want cake. :)

Speaking of cake, I make almost everything we eat from scratch. I don't make bread, crackers, and cereal. But, if I can make it from scratch I do. After watching Food, Inc one of the many things I took away from it was you can eat anything you want as long as you make it. Because when you make it you know what's in it. (Did you know margarine is one molecule away from being plastic? Your body knows what to do with butter it has no idea what to do with margarine) So, I made homemade stuffing for Thanksgiving. Then, we went with family to have another thanksgiving and there was stuffing there. It was sooooo good. It was frozen and sold at Walmart. I had actually forgotten about it. Anyway, I was speaking to my hubby about how good that stuffing was and how I had forgotten all about it. His exact words to me were, "yes, it was. But yours was better and we know what is in yours." Awww. He notices what I do for the family. Trying to be healthier can be hard!

I'm loving the dance class I take on Thurs nights. It's line dancing and it's a great 2 hour workout. It begins again this week. Let me know if anyone wants to go with me. It's a lot of fun. Today I worked out on the treadmill and the elliptical. I can tell the dancing is helping my stamina on both. It's increasing and that's great. I'm really going to try to kick up the weight loss a notch.

In addition to loving the dance class I'm loving writing again. I've been researching how to become a better writer. I love planning out new stories and seeing where they will go. Planning a story is a new thing for me. I was one of those who just did it on a whim. But I can definitely see where planning is a better way to go. It's like a map for your story. I have set a goal of writing five pages a day.

I would love to be contributing to the family income right now. But that's not happening. Maybe I need to look into volunteering for a food bank to give myself something to do. Hmm. I might need to make some calls.   This week on Thurs I have another mammogram at the Vanderbilt Breast Center. Hopefully nothing's changed and they will give my mind some rest from thinking too much.  My dad is doing great. He had another CT scan that showed he was still cancer free and they said his lungs sound great. What a nice change from this time last year! Life is good.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Facebook friends...stand up and be counted...

what is up with people and facebook? I have a certain amount of friends. That number varies daily. How can it go up 2 and back down 4? Are these so called friends unfriending me? Are they closing their accounts but then deciding they can't live without it? Facebook friends one of you is missing. Please number yourself and count it aloud. lol

PS I lost weight over thanksgiving. No reason to unfriend me or close your account over that though. haha~

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I used to be snarky and funny.

Where did that person go? I'm going to try to work on finding her again. Heavy things have happened but it's time to move on! I want my snarkiness back.

Moving on...For the first time in 11 years I'm not working. I'm supposed to be. But my job hasn't started yet. There have been setbacks for me starting. I believe caused by the new 9 week report card delaying students getting referred. Here I sit. Waiting patiently. I'm loving my daughter being in school 4, count them 4 days per week. My house is clean and I'm cooking more than I ever have. Trying out new recipes has become a new hobby. I'm so sick of cooking the same things over and over again. I'm loving being the mom that's home when the kids need me. Today, we came into the house and I immediately began to make rice crispies. Now, we're patiently waiting for them to cool. I love days like today when I can just clean in the quiet of my thoughts. Next year my baby goes to kindergarden. I'm so excited. We, as a family, will get a raise when that happens. We'll have extra money! Yay! What must that be like?

Some people were born to be powerful working women. I believe that I was born to be a teacher to my children and a mom. Will I ever work outside the home again? Yes, but probably not until they are all grown and gone. I, so love getting up and making them breakfast while seeing them off to school. Do I get bored? Absolutely! But that's what God made books for. :)

Well time to cut the crispies. My daughter just told me that these were the best rice crispies ever! Love her!!

Thursday has become my new favorite day of the week. I get to go dancing. It's a wonderful way to get a workout in and  it lasts almost 2 hours. Tonight I get to dance. I must get off the computer now and go make dinner so I'm ready to go. Fun times will be had!

Friday, September 17, 2010

John's birthday gifts, my weight loss. I don't know how I tied these two together but I did!

I've got this great contraption on my ipod. It's the sparkpeople app. It keeps up with how many calories and fat grams I've eaten for the day. This little ipod has made it really easy to lose weight. When I get to 1400 calories I'm done for the day. Hence, the other day I ate chili cheese fries for breakfast and then a hot fudge shake for lunch and then I didn't eat again for the rest of the day. I made dinner for the family and didn't eat a bite. At this point I've lost about 20 lbs and am wanting to lose more. It's taken me 5 months to lose that weight but it's coming off and I'm not working out. I used to work out all the time. I really, really need to get back to working out! But the working out thing makes me hungrier. It's a catch 22 thing. There are apps for what to eat at restaurants. Unfortunately, I can't find where we're eating tonight on the apps. So I guess I'll have to get a salad.

Tomorrow is John's birthday and we're eating out with the family tonight to celebrate. It has become quite a treat and something to look forward to. I can't believe that my hubby is turning 41 and that means we've been together for 20 years, 17 of them married. Half our lives have been spent together. Wow!

I've been trying to think outside the box for birthday/Christmas gifts. Here's what I got John for his birthday, in addition to some techie thing he wanted. With this purchase a child will be fed in Uganda or Haiti for a week. I also bought this for myself. There are women in a tribe in Uganda that get paid to put these necklaces together and then once you purchase it, not only does the tribe get money a child in Uganda gets fed for a week! Wow! The gifts that keep on giving! Try giving a gift with a purpose.

Friday, August 20, 2010

In The News

In case you've not noticed they have been closing places right and left because of bed bugs. Movie theaters, clothing stores, etc. Bed bugs are on the rise in this country and they are taking over. I'm going to allow you a glimpse into what I've been going through for the last 3 count them 3 months. First off let me explain that this past year I've been throwing away/giving to goodwill truckloads per month. So My house is cleaned out and uncluttered. I sweep, do dishes, and clean my house daily. I have one of the cleanest houses of all my friends. I tell you this to explain that a bed bug infestation is not necessarily because the person is dirty. It happens in the cleanest of homes. I've been really embarrassed that this happened to me. I want to tell others so that they know there's nothing that could have been changed for them to not come into their home! There's no reason to be embarrassed. They happen!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Finally after a year of bad news we have some good news!

Whoohoo! I got a job that I am very excited about. I will be tutoring for Educate-Online for 6 months. After that I can move into recruiting, training, curriculum writing or tech support. If I choose recruiting they will require me to travel and right now that does appeal to me. I'm sure it will get old if I end up doing that. The possibilities of this job are very cool. I've never been in a job that I could advance in. (Day care and teaching and preschool the only thing you can do is be a principal and I have never had the desire to do that!)

The second good news we got today. My hubby was at work and his boss was talking to him. In the last 4 years he's been doing some managing of the other technicians and is the lead tech. As he was talking his boss said you know you have real potential for advancement here. Ok here's my thought...there's only one space he can move to. Service Manager! I see a brand spanking new acura in my future! lol I believe if (IF) (you never know what's around the corner obviously) (IF) it happens it will be a few years out. I'm so excited for him! He will be a great leader for this company! He has the potential to make twice as much money as I ever could and all without a college degree! Who says hard work and dedication aren't rewarded today! Way to go honey! I have always seen the greatness in everything you do. You were named employee of the year when you hadn't even been with the company that long! You are amazing!

School has started and I'm relieved that all children are in school. The pre-k girl goes 4 days per week and it's heaven! I'm enjoying cleaning my house in quiet, planning dinner, getting groceries, and being able to go have lunch with my dh. All by myself! I can't imagine how amazing next year will be when she goes to K 5 days a week in a public school (magnet) but it's free compared to what we're paying now! Excited, excited, can you tell I'm excited. We've got some exciting things going on here! Thank you God for turning this back around and reminding me who's in control!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Our adoption story

Our adoption story began before our first child was born. Before he was born I had an ectopic pregnancy which resulted in emergency surgery. Then 18 mos later my son was born. They told us this pregnancy that he would probably never walk as he had spina bifida. Stupid test. He didn't and he's perfect and I never had that test again. It wouldn't have changed anything had he had it so why have the test. Anyway then we wanted another child. So we began ttc again. Shot after shot after shot was given to me by my dh. We had 4 subsequent miscarriages after that which resulted in another 3 surgeries. Finally we became pregnant with Noah. He was by far the worst pregnancy. I was on bedrest from 12 wks on because of a cervix that had decided it didn't need to close. At 16 weeks I had surgery that effectively sewed it shut so that little Noah would stay in where he was safe and cozy. At 36weeks I noticed I was bleeding heavily so back to Vandy we go. Scared to find out if Noah was ok or not. Turns out he was and all that lovely scar tissue I had had ripped in half (thus the bleeding). He was fine. A week later he was born in a flood. No, really it was raining so hard the dr had a hard time getting to us. Aptly named, no? When he was born he had a fever and had to be rushed to put on an antibiotic drip. He was fine after that.

During this time of many multiple miscarriages I began to feel that maybe we weren't supposed to be having children. There are many children that need loving homes. After much prayer we began our adoption homestudy. We had our homestudy done for a year before we finally decided what country to go with. We had originally thought Russia. But then we felt led to Korea. We chose our little A.G. after much prayer and input from family. She's perfect. By Korean standards she wasn't. She had bells palsy when she was born which did correct itself. Then she had a strawberry on the back of her neck/head which has faded and is covered by hair. Our perfect little girl came from a wonderful couple who could not afford to keep her. A young lady and man who fell pregnant way too young. She has blessed our lives beyond measure. She may not have been born out of my body but she was definitely placed in our hearts. A spoiled rotten princess diva is what we have now. She is loved! We are the lucky ones who get to parent her not the other way around.

She is learning about adoption as we go. We've never kept from her that she was adopted. We have a scrapbook with pictures of her foster mom and she loves to look at it. We talk to strangers non stop about where she's from. I've actually gotten to the point I want to say she's from Smyrna!!!!! I know they are just interested but it constantly points out that she's not ours when she is. She told her little friend that she was adopted and her friend came tattling on her. A. said she's adopted. (said in best bill cosby voice whining as a child) It was so funny. We responded yes she was. There was shock on her face. It was precious that it never occurred to her that we look different. All she knew was that this was her friend. I loved that moment. It was so precious.

I hope and pray that by the time she is 18 Korea will have a birth mother registry so that if A. wants to she can find her mom and dad. We didn't visit Korea when she was brought to us. But when she's older we'd love to take her to her birth country. We could technically also say she's from Detroit as that's where we flew to pick her up at. Regardless she is simply our daughter. We are blessed!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My feelings on adopting again

I struggle with whether our family is finished growing. I love my 3 children and sometimes they wear me out. I don't want a baby again, yet I think about the fact that we have room in the house and heart to take in another child that needs a home. We can not adopt internationally again. I can't go through the financial stress of doing that. It's expensive. But we could do foster care. Haiti broke my heart and made me want to take in two or three. But I don't see that happening. So I guess I will be still and just listen to see what God has in store for my family. We will do nothing and have our hearts and ears open. Sometimes it's hard to be still and know that he is God! We know it's all in his control and his time so we just have to see what happens next to our family.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Older homes, smaller homes rock!

someone we know just bought a million dollar house. Wow. Who has a million dollars lying around. I have to say I envied her house but do not want it. Sure if I had 10 million dollars I would probably own a 1 mil dollar house. But, alas, I do not. For me, it's more important that I have a paid for house. I do not have a paid for house but the house I'm in will be paid off as soon as I get a job (next 3 years for job then 4 years after that we'll be debt free of everything, we are debt free now except the house.)

In a little house, I'm loving that my children are always close by in my 1900 sq ft home. The boys share a room and love it. There is room for my father to move in and have his own space. It's cozy. Maybe love does grow better in little houses like the song says. :)

I know that people in big homes have just as much love. There's just nowhere to go in little houses and you have to be able to work all the issues out. It makes for a good family life. I am blessed regardless.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My last 4 months of my life have been spent in a hospital or a nursing home!

It all started last Oct of 09. My brother got sick. He was hospitalized for two weeks and then passed away. Very unexpectedly. This has had a profound change on my life. Life is short and you never know when your time will be up. A month after that my dad was hospitalized. He ended up in a coma for two weeks and then finally 3 weeks later sent to a skilled nursing home. I'm not sure that the hospital thought he would live. Well they hadn't fixed the problem so how could he. Stonecrest finally fixed the problems after two more stays of a week or more in the hospital. He had c diff colitis. Got that cleared up only to find copd, emphysema, and lung cancer. He just had surgery last monday to remove part of his lung and all the cancer. He's still in the hospital trying to recover. We went into his room on Valentines day and he sounded a) like he was drowning and b) like he was a percolator. They rushed him back to ICU and there he remains. We're still prayerful and hopeful that he'll recover.

Monday, February 15, 2010

On this snowy day I thought it'd be fun to find out what we're eating

last week we had roasted asperagus, grassfed roast, roasted potatoes, carrots, and onions.
We also made chicken fried rice (that was to die for!)
This week I'm making red lentil bean chili, homemade yogurt, fresh bread, homemade pizza, burritos/tacos, sausage,black beans, and rice. I need new ideas. What are you making for dinner?

Food, INC

anyone seen this movie. It's a really good movie about where our food comes from. Everyone should check it out! It has changed the way my family eats. I don't want to eat chlorinated burgers so we stopped going to McDonalds (luckily we had already stopped going so the kids don't notice we aren't stopping there!). BTW grocery stores sell the chlorinated burgers too. I'm so thankful we bought a cow from a small farm that grass fed him! We are instituting a meatless mondays. We have no meat on MOndays. It's not going to be all about beans either. We will have veggie pizzas, soup, fritatas, stir fry, and more. I'm pumped! Tonight it's going to be a meatless chili hmm or burritos. I can't decide. I would highly recommend everyone in this nation watch this movie. We need to be eating the way they do in other countries. You know the ones where they go to the market daily because everything they eat is fresh!!! To help us in this area we have a plan to have a good garden this year full of tomatoes, peas, lettuce, squash, etc. Using no pesticides! I'm looking into getting blueberry bushes as well. Hm maybe a raspberry bush too. Let's change the way we eat America. Maybe I'll even lose some weight. What a bonus that would be!