Thursday, May 31, 2007
I'm so busy it's making my head spin!
Do you ever wonder when life is going to slow down a bit so you can catch your breath?

This month of May I've traveled three weekends out of four. I foolishly thought that once that traveling was done I'd get to relax a bit and feel less frazzled and discombobulated. Boy was I wrong!

I worked from 2:30-10:30 p.m. last night and today I'm turning around and working 6:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. again.

Here's what's on my plate the rest of this week:

1) Today- rush home after work, check out a daycare that we might be sending Snuggle Bug to for 4 months (if Oronzo gets an offer for a long term contract position that he interviewed for yesterday- more on that later).

2) This evening- straighten up the house, make dinner, and at 5:45 p.m. Oronzo and I will head off to our third MAPPs class while Snuggle Bug stays home with his new sitter. I did this week's homework at work just last night.

3) Tomorrow- I'll work from 6:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. again, go home and spend some time with Snuggle Bug and Oronzo before the three of us leave to attend a work-related function at 7 p.m.

4) Saturday- I'll get up at the crack of dawn to sort through items around our house and label them to be sold at the garage sale that I'm helping my neighbor Jack have. He's almost blind, you see, and can't do his own garage sale so I'm taking my items to his house and spending from 8 a.m.- 3 p.m. at his place helping him sell his stuff and hopefully some of mine. At 3 p.m. I leave to join some friends for a clay creative time (thank goodness for that) and then dinner at their house.

5) Sunday- We'll go to 9 a.m. mass, then out for breakfast, then home to put Snuggle Bug down for a nap, clean our house, and pack a picnic dinner. At 5 p.m. we'll head out to attend another outdoor pops concert with friends.

Whew! I'm exhausted just looking at that list. So, what's keeping you busy these days?

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5:24 AM
6 comments


Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Join me this Friday for FIF Freezer edition!

This Friday's Favorite Ingredients Friday theme will be a Freezer edition. Please share recipes of bulk meals that freeze and reheat easily. I know people who prepare such recipes once a month to stock up their freezer. I'd like to try this but I need more tried and true recipes!

I'd appreciate it if you'd help spread the word.

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6:30 AM
4 comments


WFMW (free steak seasonings/marinades)

It's time to post yet another WFMW tip. Before I do so, please check out the details on my upcoming Favorite Ingredients Friday- Freezer Edition. I need some tried and true freezer recipes so I hope you'll join me this Friday!

Now, not long ago, I went shopping at the local Safeway that's just a few blocks from my house. I was in search of a good steak and I stopped at the meat department and asked for assistance picking something out. The butcher working that day helped me pick out a steak and then offered me some free steak seasonings (wrapped the spices in a plastic bag) with instructions on how to rub them into my steaks before grilling. He told me that I could get free seasonings and marinades from the meat department anytime I requested it.

I'm not sure if all meat departments offer this, but I at least know that Safeway does.

Free steak seasonings and marinades work for me, maybe they'll work for you. To see what works for others, be sure to check out the other links at Shannon's, the creator of Works-For-Me Wednesday!

My past WFMW entries:

bargain shopping tips
My-Calorie-Counter
free customized ring tones
party favor basket
10 ways to make brushing fun!
Crayola Twistables Slick Stix
kids car organizer
stop urban legend emails
send credit scores soaring
foolproof extra creamy cottage cheese
stainless steel ball whisk
Uses for your child's wagon
10 Reasons Why Parents Should Not Spank
Love Sweet Love
travel tip
free children's printables
calendar labels
Strawberry Spinach Salad
mesh laundry bag uses
12 lbs 'til Christmas
toddler healthy eating techniques
reindeer puppet
Grocery Game website
No Fear Shakespeare
list of age appropriate children's chores
linking within comments
baptism gift
creating blogger categories
alternate use for pot rack
cake decorating tips
unique way to stay connected
cake baking tip
comforts of home while traveling
quenching the thirst of your little one
pie crust made in bulk
hot chocolate kicked up a notch

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6:00 AM
6 comments


Friday, May 25, 2007
On the road again- to Mexico!

If you're looking for my Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe exchange, it's in the post below this one.

So, the picture that you see above is where I'm hanging out this weekend. Lovely, eh? We're spending the long Memorial Day weekend with 2 other couples, close friends of ours. We're renting a 3 BR house on the beach.

When I return, I'll do my best to play catch up with the comments and emails that many of you have left these past few days. Sorry I've gotten so far behind!

I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! If you're going out of town, where are you headed?

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6:30 AM
12 comments


Favorite Ingredients Friday (Carmalized Pork)

Good Friday to you all! Happy Memorial Day a bit early! It's time for another Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe exchange!

Upcoming Themed Schedule

June 1- Freezer cooking meals (bulk meals that freeze easily)

June 15- Refreshing drinks

June 29- 4th of July edition

My recipe this week was pulled off of Eat Better America, a great site for healthy recipes. The one I'm sharing is delicious and easy to fix!




Carmalized Pork Slices



Ingredients


  1. 1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2-inch slices

  2. 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  3. 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar

  4. 1 Tbsp orange juice

  5. 1 Tbsp molasses

  6. 1/2 tsp salt

  7. 1/4 tsp pepper

Preparation



  1. Spray 10-inch skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Cook pork and garlic in skillet 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally until pork is no longer pink in the center. Drain if necessary.

  2. Stir in remaining ingredients; cook until mixture thickens and coats pork.

Nutritional Facts
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Serves 4
Facts per Serving
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Calories: 190 (Calories from Fat 40)
Fat: 4.5g (Saturated Fat 1.5g, Trans Fat 0)
Carbohydrates: 12g
Cholesterol: 70mg
Sodium: 350mg
Protein: 26g
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe! I won't be able to visit your recipes until early next week but fear not, I will stop by to visit your recipe as soon as I can!

Don't forget to link your specific recipe post link on Mr. Linky so I can see what's cooking at your house!

Oh, and be sure to put the title of your recipe in parenthesis! It makes it so much quicker for me to go back and search for recipes as I build my weekly menu.

My previous Favorite Ingredients Friday recipes

Memorial Day edition
Poached Sea Bass
Breakfast Edition
garlic shrimp
Vegetarian Edition
Easter Edition- crispy marshmallow eggs
boneless pork ribs
Grandma's deviled eggs
tropical fruit salad
Killarney Cream Scones
Chocolate Fudge Cookies
Broiled Tilapia Parmesan
Scalloped Corn
Molten Chocolate Cake
Super Skins
7 Layer Mexican Dip
Garlic Linguine
Pizza Bake
Grilled Honey Corn
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake
Strawberry & Cream Cheese Fudge Brownies
Roly-Poly Santa cookies
Cole's chili
Grandma's Sponge Cake
Parmesan Bow-Tie Skillet
Scalloped Potatoes
Chocolate Crepes
Chocolate Cream Pie
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Caramel Brownies
Peach Banana Daiquiri

Thanks so much for your participation. I do appreciate it!


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6:00 AM
6 comments


Thursday, May 24, 2007
I now find myself dancing around in my pjs!
For a while now, I've been trying to win an iPod nano from all the different bloggers out there who are giving them away. I've never owned an iPod before and I thought it'd be neat. My husband's had an iPod for a while now, he bought one of the original 5 GB iPods when they first came out, and he has always enjoyed it.

Since I've had no luck winning one, my beloved husband (who spoils me rotten) presented me with a new, hot pink iPod nano when I walked in the door from work yesterday afternoon! I absolutely love it!! He also got me a clear protective case for it because he knows I have a tendency to drop things far too often.

Before he gave it to me, Oronzo installed the software on his Apple computer and showed me how to pull .mp3 files from that computer and transfer them over to my iPod and then how to delete them off of my iPod when I wanted to change my music list.

This 4 GB iPod will hold about 1,000 songs. I was amazed at the volume of music Oronzo has in his collection. I skimmed through the songs, albums, and artists and it didn't take me long to find about 1 GB worth of songs and transfer them over.

So, here's specifically what I love about this iPod nano:

1) Sleek style- it's thin and light. I can stick it in my pocket or in my purse and not take up much space.

2) Excellent sound quality- the headset that came with it is wonderful. I've got Crazy by Gnarls Barkley blasted right now and I'm jamming as I type this. I'm not disturbing anyone else in my household, including my sleeping toddler.

3) Capacity- this 4 GB iPod holds far more music than I'll ever need at one time!

4) Accessibility- the menu makes it easy to maneuver around and I can quickly find music by artist, song, or album.

5) Color- I love the hot pink color that Oronzo got me. I would've liked the neon green color as well.

One drawback, I do wish there was some type of belt clip that I could purchase so that I could keep it more secure while I'm riding my bike or just taking a walk. I've noticed on the ipod nano accessories portion of the Apple website that I could purchase an armband or even a necklace of sorts but I'd rather have the option to buy a belt clip, like I have for my cell phone. Oh well, I guess I'll live.

Okay, now I'm curious. What music do you have playing on your iPod? Any recommendations for me?

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6:00 AM
13 comments


Wednesday, May 23, 2007
WFMW (bargain shopping tips)

It's time to post yet another WFMW tip.

I can’t remember which parenting magazine I saw this article in (I cut it out some time ago), but these bargain tips come from Kimberly Danger, author of 1000 Best Baby Bargains.

 Shop at Gap and Old Navy midweek, when items usually go on sale. Their final markdowns end in “.97,” so if the price tag reads “.99,” you know the item will go lower.

 Some Targets mark down kids’ clothes on Mondays and start with 30% off. (Wait two weeks and those clothes will be half price).

 For the best prices at The Children’s Place, visit its online outlet (go to childrensplace.com and click on Shop Outlet), where clearance prices go as low as $3.99.

 Sign up at Gymboree mailing list online and have a chance to earn and redeem Gymbucks for deeper discounts.

Here’s a tip that I learned from a warehouse worker at Toys R Us.:

 Start watching the sales at Toys R Us as they should have massive clearances in August/September. Don’t just rely on the flyer that comes in the paper, go in and look for great bargains!

These bargain shopping tips for me, maybe they'll work for you. To see what works for others, be sure to check out the other links at Shannon's, the creator of Works-For-Me Wednesday!

My past WFMW entries:

My-Calorie-Counter
free customized ring tones
party favor basket
10 ways to make brushing fun!
Crayola Twistables Slick Stix
kids car organizer
stop urban legend emails
send credit scores soaring
foolproof extra creamy cottage cheese
stainless steel ball whisk
Uses for your child's wagon
10 Reasons Why Parents Should Not Spank
Love Sweet Love
travel tip
free children's printables
calendar labels
Strawberry Spinach Salad
mesh laundry bag uses
12 lbs 'til Christmas
toddler healthy eating techniques
reindeer puppet
Grocery Game website
No Fear Shakespeare
list of age appropriate children's chores
linking within comments
baptism gift
creating blogger categories
alternate use for pot rack
cake decorating tips
unique way to stay connected
cake baking tip
comforts of home while traveling
quenching the thirst of your little one
pie crust made in bulk
hot chocolate kicked up a notch

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6:01 AM
10 comments


Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Palmolive Scrub Buster
Last week Amanda and Molly with VML (Account Manager for Colgate Advertising) sent me a sample of the new Palmolive Scrub Buster so that I could give it a try.

I must admit, when I looked through the clear bottle, I thought it looked like a hand soap that I would buy at Bath & Body Works! This dish soap has blue micro beads and the Crisp Blast scent smelled heavenly as I added it with running water in my kitchen sink.

I loved the feel of this soap on my hands. The thick lather felt silky smooth, not harsh like some other brands I've used. This is a good thing, considering our dish washer is so horrible that we have to wash our dishes before washing our dishes.

This product touts the ability to cut through grease and "bust away" stuck on food. I think it did a pretty good job on our dishes this week, but honestly I don't feel like it's performance far exceeds other brands. In that respect, I think this dish soap could be considered comparable.

Honestly, I think I'd buy this product for its scent and silkiness. The fact that it got my dishes sparkling clean is an added bonus! :)

Thanks for the sample, Amanda & Molly!

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6:45 AM
5 comments


Monday, May 21, 2007
Trials & Tribulations of Hiring a Sitter
The time had come for us to finally break down and hire a sitter. Snuggle Bug is 2 years and 4 months old and, up until now, he'd never been watched by anyone other than family or very close friends who have children of their own (not to mention that he's a stay-at-home kid). We've been spoiled in that respect, absolutely trusting those who have watched Snuggle Bug and not having to pay any money.

The Motivating Factor
When we signed up for the 10 weeks of PS-MAPP classes that we have to attend each Thursday night from 6-9 p.m., we realized that it would be a tough sell to get a family member or close friend to make that huge of a time commitment for us. So we started asking around to find Snuggle Bug's first babysitter.

The Choice
I didn't realize it'd be so hard to find someone that comes highly recommended and that is available on a consistent basis. We were striking out right and left, until some dear friends of ours mentioned that they had a cousin who was really good with kids and would probably be available. The catch? He's only 15 years old and because he can't drive we'd have to pick him up and take him home.

Looking back, I was only 12 years old when I first started babysitting, but that was in a very small town and girls are more mature at that age than boys, right?

The Interview
I was a bit apprehensive exploring this avenue but we were running out of options and we trusted our friend, so Oronzo and I requested that we meet this young man in a public place where Snuggle Bug could play with him and get to know him while we observed their interactions.

We met Cody in the nearby mall play area. Our friend, his older cousin, also met us and so did Cody's mom.

Cody is 6' and handsome with an engaging smile and a gentle demeanor. In no time, he had Snuggle Bug playing "catch me" with him while Oronozo and I sat and chatted with Cody's mom and our friend. We really got a good feel from Cody's mom. It was clear that she was raising her son to be a responsible young man.

The Payment
When we discussed the price of Cody's baby sitting service with Cody's mom, we had no idea what hourly rate to pay him, so we asked Cody's mom what she would recommend. She told us $5/hour was plenty for Cody. I thought that was a bit low, I'd heard other parents being charged $7+/hour, but Cody's mom felt that was a fair wage for her son. We agreed to it but I decided to supplement his cash payment with food. What growing teenage boy doesn't like eating, right? We told Cody we'd feed him dinner every time he babysat and when I discovered he has a sweet tooth, I told him I'd bake him goodies from time to time.

The First Night
Last week was the first time we tried Cody. Oronzo went and picked him up while I got pizza ordered for dinner and Snuggle Bug bathed for bed.

Cody was ready and waiting for Oronzo when he arrived. They had a nice chat on the way over. Since we had requested to get him about 45 minutes earlier than we really needed him, I had plenty of time to walk him through the house and share instructions and then we were all able to sit down and eat dinner before we left.

Cody brought a set of small red foam balls and he did magic tricks for us at dinner. Snuggle Bug was enthralled! When it came time for us to leave, Snuggle Bug barely gave me a hug because he was too interested in playing with Cody.

The Conflict
It was hard paying attention in class last Thursday. I couldn't help but wonder how things were going at home. When we had our first break, I reached for my cell phone to call and check on Snuggle Bug (Cody had brought his own cell phone and we had programmed each other's phone numbers into our phones) but Oronzo stopped me. He reminded me that I'd be calling during the time that Cody was probably putting Snuggle Bug down for bed and that'd be disruptive. I didn't care and told Oronzo I wanted to call anyway. Oronzo thought I was being paranoid and he snatched my phone away and put it in his pocket.

The minute class was over, I wasted no time chatting. I made a beeline for our car and forced Oronzo to hurry home.

The Results
We came home to find Snuggle Bug tucked safely in bed, fast asleep. Cody reported that after dinner they took a walk around the block (Snuggle Bug loves being outside) and then came back in and played. Snuggle Bug requested to watch "Nemo" and he fell asleep curled up against Cody on the couch at 7:45 p.m. Cody woke him up to change his diaper, put his jammies on, and brush his teeth. He said Snuggle Bug willing went to bed and fell right to sleep.

We found out from Cody that his parents had called and checked on him and when he made mention that his cell phone battery was almost dead, his mom drove over and brought his charger. She didn't want to risk us calling and not being able to reach him and becoming frantic with worry. How nice is that?!

So, all was well. Our baby survived his first paid babysitter and so did we. Cody had a good time too. He said Snuggle Bug was easy and he'd baby-sit any time we needed him. He pocketed the $25 Oronzo paid him, smiling sheepishly as he did so.

The Questions
I'm curious, when did you hire your child's first paid babysitter? How old was the sitter? How much do you pay your sitter?

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5:29 AM
14 comments


Saturday, May 19, 2007
Winning is fun!
I'm so excited, I won a pair of Shoo Shoos! Thanks so much Kim!

So, I went to Baby Market Place to pick a style. There were so many fun choices but I finally selected the firefly shoes.

I requested the 12-18 month size because, in theory, we're requesting from the state that we want to be matched with a little girl aged newborn to 12 months. Granted, we have a long time before we get licensed and matched, but it'll be nice to have these shoes waiting.

By the way, Kim is hosting a giveaway every day this month, so if you haven't signed up already, hop on over to mommyknows.com so that you have a chance to be a winner too!

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2:10 PM
8 comments


Friday, May 18, 2007
Favorite Ingredients Friday- Memorial Day Edition

Good Friday! It's time for a special Favorite Ingredients Friday: Memorial Day Edition recipe exchange! Please share your favorite foods/beverages that you'd take to the beach or lake, or some snack foods that you could take in your car as you travel to your vacation spot.

Now, since I failed to post a reminder earlier this week, if you have a different kind of recipe and didn't use my Memorial Day image, that's okay. Go ahead and post what you've got! Sorry, it's been a busy week.

My recipe is something I found on allrecipes.com. It was originally submitted by Patty H. and it's delicious! I make it the day before a picnic.

Patty’s Pasta Salad


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds seashell pasta
  • 1 (6 ounce) can pitted black olives, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 ounces sliced pepperoni sausage, each slice cut in half
  • 1/2 cup chopped green olives
  • 3 bunches green onions, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped ham
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 (16 ounce) bottle zesty Italian dressing


  • Preparation

  • In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until al dente, rinse under cold water and drain.
  • In a large bowl, combine the pasta, black olives, tomatoes, pepperoni, green olives, green onions, and ham or turkey.
  • Before serving, add shredded mozzarella
    and dressing.
  • Toss well and serve.


  • Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday Memorial Day recipes! Remember, I may not be able to visit all of your recipes today until but fear not, I will stop by to visit your recipe as soon as I can!

    Don't forget to link your specific recipe post link on Mr. Linky so I can see what's cooking at your house!

    Oh, and be sure to put the title of your recipe in parenthesis! It makes it so much quicker for me to go back and search for recipes as I build my weekly menu.

    My previous Favorite Ingredients Friday recipes

    poached sea bass
    baked French toast
    garlic shrimp
    grilled veggie sandwich
    Cupid Cups
    Easter Edition- crispy marshmallow eggs
    boneless pork ribs
    Grandma's deviled eggs
    tropical fruit salad
    Killarney Cream Scones
    Chocolate Fudge Cookies
    Broiled Tilapia Parmesan
    Scalloped Corn
    Molten Chocolate Cake
    Super Skins
    7 Layer Mexican Dip
    Garlic Linguine
    Pizza Bake
    Grilled Honey Corn
    Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake
    Strawberry & Cream Cheese Fudge Brownies
    Roly-Poly Santa cookies
    Cole's chili
    Grandma's Sponge Cake
    Parmesan Bow-Tie Skillet
    Scalloped Potatoes
    Chocolate Crepes
    Chocolate Cream Pie
    Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
    Caramel Brownies
    Peach Banana Daiquiri

    Thanks so much for your participation. I do appreciate it!

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    6:02 AM
    12 comments


    Thursday, May 17, 2007
    Family Foster Home Licensing Prep Checklist
    Well, we attended our first PS-MAPP class (PS-MAPP stands for: Partnering for Safety and Permanence – Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting) last Thursday night and we go again tonight. Our first class went really well. There were 20 of us in attendance, from all walks of life. I think we're going to have a good group. Everyone seemed willing to participate in the discussions and group activities. We're going to be getting to know each other over the course of these 10 weeks of classes. I hope that at the end, when we graduate, Oronzo and I will have made some new friends and that we can support each other as we go through this foster-to-adopt process! I'm getting a good feeling from the 2 instructors we have, one in particular seems incredibly passionate about her work.

    I thought some of you might appreciate if it I shared a checklist we were given. Remember, we've already filled out a mound of Family Profile paperwork. Now we're being asked to fill out an online application (some duplication of information is definitely happening). While working on our online application, I printed out this checklist.

    Family Foster Home Licensing Preparation Checklist

    In consideration of your application for licensure, your contracted licensing agency, and/or the Office of Licensing, Certification, and Regulation (OLCR), will need you to provide various types of documentation to support your qualifications.

    The following checklist will provide you, the applicant, a helpful resource in gathering the information your licensing agency and/or the OLCR minimally require(s) to review and process your application for licensure. If you should have any specific questions regarding any of the documents listed on the checklist, or require clarification of any kind, feel free to discuss these with your licensing agency.

    Proof of Income
    You will need to provide current documentation in support of the income reported on the budget statement. Some examples of proof of income you may provide your licensing agency, include:

  • Pay Stubs W-2
  • Tax Returns State/Federal Entitlement
  • Child Support Rent
  • Contributions By Household Members
  • Assets
  • Adoption Subsidy
  • Other/ State Federal Assistance


  • Criminal History Declaration
    You, as well each adult household member (18 years and older), will need to be fingerprinted and be required to complete a declaration of criminal history form. The documentation you will need to provide consists of a:

  • Fingerprint Card (complete with expiration date and Department of Public Safety Card #)
  • Criminal History Declaration


  • Transportation
    If you and/or any adult household member (18 years and older) will be transporting children or vulnerable adults, documentation of valid driver’s license, liability insurance, vehicle registration will need to be shown for each driver.

    When transporting a child or vulnerable adult you, and/or any adult household member drivers, will be expected to provide and use safety restraints appropriate to the age and weight of each child or adult transported; prohibit the number of persons in any vehicle from exceeding the number of available seats and seat belts in the vehicle; and ensure that any vehicle used to transport children or adults in wheelchairs be equipped with floor mounted seat belts and wheelchair lock-downs for each wheelchair being transported.

    Be prepared to provide the current documentation consisting of:

  • Valid Driver’s License (State, License Number, Expiration Date, Restrictions)
  • Liability Insurance (Company Name, Coverage Expiration Date)
  • Vehicle Registration (Car Year, Make, Model, Vehicle Identification Number, Expiration Date)
  • References
    If you are applying for a Family Foster Home License, be prepared to
    provide documentation consisting of the names, addresses, telephone
    numbers (and e-mail addresses if available) for:

  • 5 Character References, with no more than 2 references from people to
    whom you are related. If you are married, 2 references must be from
    people who know you as a couple.
  • School References may be required if you have school aged children.

    If you are applying for a Child or Adult Developmental Foster Home License, compile a list of references including names, addresses, telephone numbers (and e-mail addresses if available) for:

  • 3 Character References from people who are familiar with you and your
    family, but who are not related.
  • 1 Employment Reference if you are currently working, or have worked,with children or adults with developmental disabilities.
  • School References may be required if you have school aged children.


  • Children’s Immunizations
    Provide documentation that each child living in your home has received the immunizations appropriate to the child’s age and state of health, unless you have submitted a signed statement that the child has not been immunized because of either: a) religious affiliation which is opposed to such immunizations or b) because you are opposed to such immunizations. Documentation you will be asked to provide consists of:

  • Immunization Records OR
  • Statement of affiliation with a religion which is opposed to immunizations OR
  • Statement of applicant opposition to such immunizations


  • Training
    You will be required to complete training. For each training requirement, be prepared to provide the completion date, credit hours and course title. Dependent on the type of license for which you are applying, you will be asked to provide documentation verifying completion of one of the following types of training:

  • Adult Development Home pre-service training
  • Adult Development Home ongoing training
  • Child Development Home pre-service training
  • Child Development Home ongoing training
  • Family Foster Home pre-service training
  • Family Foster Home ongoing training
  • Professional Foster Home pre-service training
  • Professional Foster Home ongoing training
  • Other training


  • Certifications
    If you are applying for a Family Foster Home License:

  • You will be required to have current CPR Certification (showing the expiration date of the certification) if any bodies of water on your premises are greater than 18 inches in depth and, a foster child 13 or younger is placed in your home; OR if you are applying for a professional foster home license.
  • First Aid certification (showing the expiration date of the certification) is only required if you are seeking a Professional Family Foster Home License.

    If you are applying for a Child or Adult Developmental Foster Home License, provide documentation of:
  • Current CPR Certification (showing the expiration date of the certification)
  • First Aid certification (showing the expiration date of the certification)

    Dog Rabies Vacinations
    If you own a dog and the dog is routinely present on your premises, you will need to provide documentation for that dog demonstrating current vaccination against rabies.

  • Rabies Vaccination Verification (Name of dog and vaccination expiration date


  • Physician’s Statement
    If this is the first time you are applying for a Family Foster Home License, you will be required to provide a physician’s statement, current within 6 months of your application for licensure.This same requirement also exists for any other adult household member or person living on your premises (18 years or older) who will be regularly providing care and/or supervision for a foster child. At least every 3 years after initial licensure, you, your adult household members and persons living in your premises (who regularly provide care for foster children) will be required to obtain new/updated physician’s statements.

    If this is the first time you are applying for a Child or Adult Developmental Home License, you and each adult household member (18 years or older), will be required to provide a physician’s statement, current within 6 months of your application for licensure. A physician’s statement may also be required of any adults, not living in your home, but who reside on your premises. Atleast every 3 years after initial licensure, you and your adult household members will be required to obtain new/updated physician’s statements.

    Emergency Evacuation Plan
    Prepare a drawing of an Emergency Evacuation Plan minimally showing:
    1) 2 exits which are remote from each other on each floor used by a child or
    vulnerable adult

    2) at least one exit, on each floor, with a direct and safe means of travel to the outdoors and a safe method to reach the ground
    level; and

    3) a window serving as a second exit only if the child or
    vulnerable adult can access and open the window and can pass through it.

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    6:45 AM
    5 comments


    Wednesday, May 16, 2007
    WFMW (My-Calorie-Counter)

    It's time to post yet another WFMW tip.

    In light of the May Challenge, that I'd decided to join, I thought I'd share a neat calorie counting website. It's FREE, unless you decide to upgrade to their premium service, which I have not yet done. I'm still debating on whether or not to upgrade.

    At My-Calorie-Counter, once you've registered, you can start a daily journal.

    Within this journal, you can keep track of what you're eating for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. If you had a packet of hot chocolate, add an entry for that hot chocolate (you can get brand specific) and the site will automatically enter all the nutritional information (80 calories, 3 grams fat). By keeping this journal, you can see how close you are to the recommended 2000 per day calorie intake or the recommended 65 grams of fat (not to mention other nutritional targets). You can also track your daily exercise, water intake, and weight loss or gain.

    By doing this daily food journaling, you can receive daily and monthly summary reports. There are even cool daily charts that offer pie chart views of your ratio of fat, carbs, & protein intake.

    This site also has a "tools" link that offers things like a meal plan wizard, a BMI calculator, a conversion calculator, an activity exercise list, and much more!

    There's also a "411" section that offers great links providing info for a healthier you! One of my favorite articles found there is titled, "The Simple Way To Control Portions".

    All of this is FREE, but they offer some added features when you upgrade to their Premium service. 12 months is $35. I'm still exploring the benefits of the premium service before I decide whether or not to upgrade. So far, the free service does what I want.

    So, go check out My Calorie-Counter. It works for me, maybe it'll work for you. To see what works for others, be sure to check out the other links at Shannon's, the creator of Works-For-Me Wednesday!

    Note: This was not a solicited endorsement. The review of this website was given of my own free will, no kickbacks involved.

    My past WFMW entries:

    free customized ring tones
    party favor basket
    10 ways to make brushing fun!
    Crayola Twistables Slick Stix
    kids car organizer
    stop urban legend emails
    send credit scores soaring
    foolproof extra creamy cottage cheese
    stainless steel ball whisk
    Uses for your child's wagon
    10 Reasons Why Parents Should Not Spank
    Love Sweet Love
    travel tip
    free children's printables
    calendar labels
    Strawberry Spinach Salad
    mesh laundry bag uses
    12 lbs 'til Christmas
    toddler healthy eating techniques
    reindeer puppet
    Grocery Game website
    No Fear Shakespeare
    list of age appropriate children's chores
    linking within comments
    baptism gift
    creating blogger categories
    alternate use for pot rack
    cake decorating tips
    unique way to stay connected
    cake baking tip
    comforts of home while traveling
    quenching the thirst of your little one
    pie crust made in bulk
    hot chocolate kicked up a notch

    Labels: , , ,

    6:00 AM
    15 comments


    Tuesday, May 15, 2007
    Back from Mexico, pictures to follow.
    Well, we're back from our long weekend trip to Mexico with Oronzo's parents. We had a wonderful time! Unfortunately, the 2nd day we were there, Oronzo's dad got in a car accident! Luckily no one was hurt, just their truck. Thankfully, they had Mexican insurance so the cost won't be as much as it could be. It was a bit of a hassle for them and they were upset, but the accident didn't entirely ruin our weekend. It just made things interesting. I'm sure we'll all laugh about it later. Oronzo has warned his father that he'll be harassing him for some time about having to go get him out of the Mexican police station.

    I have taken lots of pictures but I haven't pulled them off my camera yet. I'll post them soon, so stop back!

    Hope you all you mothers had a wonderful Mother's Day! I certainly did! I had my little Snuggle Bug with me and couldn't have been happier!

    Labels: , ,

    6:00 AM
    10 comments


    Friday, May 11, 2007
    Favorite Ingredients Friday (Poached Sea Bass)

    Good Friday to you all! Happy Mother's Day a bit early! It's time for another Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe exchange!

    Upcoming Themed Schedule

    May 18- Memorial Day edition (foods to take to the beach or lake, snacks for car rides)

    June 1- Freezer cooking meals (bulk meals that freeze easily)

    June 15- Refreshing drinks

    June 29- 4th of July edition

    My recipe this week is inspired by a trip we're taking to Mexico (we leave today and are gone through Monday)! While in Mexico, we'll probably do a bit of deep sea fishing and hopefully catch some sea bass. I'm taking this recipe with us to Mexico. I hope we catch some fish!


    Poached Sea Bass with Lemon Butter
    Source: Food & Wine


    Ingredients

    1. 1 quart water
    2. 2 cups dry white wine
    3. 1 large leek, split lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
    4. 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
    5. 1 bay leaf
    6. Eight 4 ounce sea bass or cod fillets with skin
    7. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    8. 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    9. 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
    10. 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
    11. 2 tablespoons chopped chives

    Preparation

    1. In a stainless steel roasting pan set over 2 burners, combine the water, wine, leek, carrot and bay leaf and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Season the liquid with salt and pepper and add the fish fillets, skin side up. Simmer gently until the fish is just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and keep warm. Drain the fish fillets on paper towels, then transfer them to warmed dinner plates. Drizzle the lemon butter over the fish, sprinkle with the chopped eggs, parsley and chives and serve at once.

    Nutritional Facts
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Serves 8
    Facts per Serving
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Calories: 208 Fat: 9g Carbohydrates: 2g
    Cholesterol: 115mg Sodium: 102mg Protein: 23g
    Fiber: 0g % Cal. from Fat: 39% % Cal. from Carbs: 4%
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe! I won't be able to visit your recipes until early next week but fear not, I will stop by to visit your recipe as soon as I can!

    Don't forget to link your specific recipe post link on Mr. Linky so I can see what's cooking at your house!

    Oh, and be sure to put the title of your recipe in parenthesis! It makes it so much quicker for me to go back and search for recipes as I build my weekly menu.

    My previous Favorite Ingredients Friday recipes

    Breakfast Edition
    garlic shrimp
    Vegetarian Edition
    Easter Edition- crispy marshmallow eggs
    boneless pork ribs
    Grandma's deviled eggs
    tropical fruit salad
    Killarney Cream Scones
    Chocolate Fudge Cookies
    Broiled Tilapia Parmesan
    Scalloped Corn
    Molten Chocolate Cake
    Super Skins
    7 Layer Mexican Dip
    Garlic Linguine
    Pizza Bake
    Grilled Honey Corn
    Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake
    Strawberry & Cream Cheese Fudge Brownies
    Roly-Poly Santa cookies
    Cole's chili
    Grandma's Sponge Cake
    Parmesan Bow-Tie Skillet
    Scalloped Potatoes
    Chocolate Crepes
    Chocolate Cream Pie
    Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
    Caramel Brownies
    Peach Banana Daiquiri

    Thanks so much for your participation. I do appreciate it!

    Labels: , ,

    6:40 AM
    13 comments


    Thursday, May 10, 2007
    Pictures from our Nebraska trip!
    I realize that we've been back home since late Monday night, but I'm just now getting some of my pictures from the Nebraska trip uploaded and I thought I'd share. We had such a wonderful time there, hanging out with my side of the family. Of course, the week flew by all too quickly!


    Photo #1: Here's a picture of Snuggle Bug walking hand-in-hand with his cousin, Aiden. I was so pleased that he didn't need any "warm-up" time with this side of the family. Despite the fact that we live out of state and haven't seen them since last Thanksgiving, Snuggle Bug seemed to feel comfortable with everyone right away!


    Photo #2: In this picture, Snuggle Bug is riding on a 3-wheeler driven by his Uncle Cole. Aiden is riding with him. Only on the farm is this kind of ride ever allowed and it was a short ride. On this day we were out at my Godparent's farm.


    Photo #3: Still on the farm, Snuggle Bug is being pushed in the swing by my Godmother. He loves swinging! He also had fun seeing the calves, cows, sheep, lambs, and kitties, and riding in a big tractor with my Godfather.


    Photo #4: Here Snuggle Bug is playing with his older cousin, Luke. Luke is 3 years older and Snuggle Bug loves to do whatever Luke does. They played nicely together the entire week.


    Photo #5: Snuggle Bug and Aiden were thrilled with the tour that my brother, Adam, gave them of the fire station that Adam works at. After 3 long years of trying, Adam finally got hired on as a paid firefighter and we couldn't be happier or more proud. The little boys were thrilled with the chance to explore an entire fire station at their leisure!


    Photo #6: I couldn't resist sharing this photo of Snuggle Bug getting his fingernails (and toenails) painted by his cousin, Regan. Snuggle Bug watched as I painted Regan's nails and then insisted that he get his done too. Thankfully he didn't seem to mind that it was clear nail polish that Regan used. Regan is, by far, Snuggle Bug's favorite cousin. He followed her around the entire week! We called him her little shadow. She loved it!


    Photo #7: Last but not least, I'm showing a small sized picture of our family. This was taken the day of my nephew, Rowan's, confirmation. This was the reason we flew back home to Nebraska. I'm Rowan's Godmother, you see, and I couldn't miss this very important milestone in his journey of faith. I am so proud of the intelligent, faithful young man he has become!

    I hope you've enjoyed my little picture show. :)

    Labels: , ,

    6:00 AM
    8 comments


    Healthy Choices

    So Beth over at I Should Be Folding Laundry started the May Day Challenge. It is a four month weight loss "program" where many bloggers will set goals, share their weight struggles and successes, and offer each other support.

    At first, I wasn't going to join in. Then, while in Nebraska, I stepped on a scale and realized that I could stand to loose 10 lbs. It's amazing how quickly the weight can creep up on you when you hit your 30's. I've never had to worry about my weight in the past so, as a result, I have very poor eating habits and a poor track record with exercise.

    Seeing my increased weight on that scale got me thinking about what bothers me the most, my poor eating habits. I'm setting a very poor example for my son and if I continue, those 10 lbs. could turn into more!

    So, I'm joining the May Challenge. I want the support, encouragement, and motivating influence of other bloggers to help me make healthy choices when it comes to what I put into my body.

    If you haven't already, head over to Tales from the Scales and join in the challenge! If you're not quite ready for that, at least check out Beth's new site to read through the wonderful healthy eating tips she's sharing! I've already started using her suggestions on portion control.

    Labels: , , ,

    5:30 AM
    4 comments


    Tuesday, May 08, 2007
    WFMW (free customized ring tones)

    It's time to post yet another WFMW tip.

    The other day I was searching online for a solution to a problem I'm having with my cell phone and I stumbled over instructions on how to download free ring tone tunes! This works for anyone with a cell phone that has internet coverage as part of your plan.

    So, I'm going to offer you the abbreviated version of instructions first. If you're the kind of person who likes screen prints with your instructions, leave me your email in the comments and I'll send you a word document with those types of instructions!

    1. Get the song you want to be the ringer of your computer (in the form of an .mp3 file).

    2. Go to Smash the Tones and register (I used my Sprint email to register with. You’ll have to specify the type of phone you have during the registration process, so know your phone’s exact model number).

    3. Once your account is set up and you’ve logged in, under the “Ready to Create?” heading, click Mega/Super/Real tones in the upper right.

    4. Choose the “Free, standard” level of uploading service. Be prepared for a bit of a wait.

    5. Follow the directions to all the free ring tone goodness you can handle.

    Note: This site will splice the song where you want it, name it what you want on your phone, then upload it to your phone(where your phone will ask you if you want the mp3 to be a ring tone or whatever you want), ALL FOR FREE. It’s best to keep the mp3 to 35-40 seconds, tops.

    Using Smash the Tones for free customized ring tones works for me! To see what works for others, be sure to check out the other links at Shannon's, the creator of Works-For-Me Wednesday!

    My past WFMW entries:

    party favor basket
    10 ways to make brushing fun!
    Crayola Twistables Slick Stix
    kids car organizer
    stop urban legend emails
    send credit scores soaring
    foolproof extra creamy cottage cheese
    stainless steel ball whisk
    Uses for your child's wagon
    10 Reasons Why Parents Should Not Spank
    Love Sweet Love
    travel tip
    free children's printables
    calendar labels
    Strawberry Spinach Salad
    mesh laundry bag uses
    12 lbs 'til Christmas
    toddler healthy eating techniques
    reindeer puppet
    Grocery Game website
    No Fear Shakespeare
    list of age appropriate children's chores
    linking within comments
    baptism gift
    creating blogger categories
    alternate use for pot rack
    cake decorating tips
    unique way to stay connected
    cake baking tip
    comforts of home while traveling
    quenching the thirst of your little one
    pie crust made in bulk
    hot chocolate kicked up a notch

    Labels: ,

    8:52 PM
    6 comments


    Sunday, May 06, 2007
    Winners of "Unbroken" by Tracey Elliott
    Good afternoon!

    Sorry it's taken me so long to get this message posted. I've been a bit busy attending my nephew's confirmation.

    My lovely 9 year old niece drew two names out of the hat just now.

    The two winners of my book giveaway for Unbroken by Tracey Elliott, are Tanyetta at Days like these and Jessica at Raising Joey.

    A special thank you to Anne, with Author's On the Web, for donating these copies for this drawing.

    And thank you all who participated! I'm sure I'll be doing other giveaways in the near future, so please check back!

    Labels:

    12:26 PM
    3 comments


    Friday, May 04, 2007
    Favorite Ingredients Friday (Breakfast Edition)

    Good Friday to you all! Before I get started with our recipe exchange, I wanted to offer a quick reminder that you only have 2 days left to enter my latest FREE book giveaway so act now! :)

    Now then, it's time for a special Favorite Ingredients Friday: Breakfast Edition recipe exchange! Please share your favorite breakfast/brunch recipes today!

    My recipe this week isn't actually my recipe. It was sent to me via email by Kim Davis. Kim doesn't have a blog of her own at this point, but she wanted to join in this particular recipe exchange. I took one look at this recipe and decided that I would not only post it for her, but that I would also print it out and try to make it for my nieces and nephews while I'm here in Nebraska for a visit! I'll let you know how it turns out after I make it, Kim! I think I'm going to top mine with cranberries when I serve it.



    Baked French Toast


    Ingredients
    1. 1.5 cups brown sugar
    2. 3/4 cups margarine or butter
    3. 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
    4. Loaf of French bread
    5. 4 large eggs
    6. 2.5 cups Milk or Half and Half
    7. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
    9. 3 tablespoons white sugar
    10. 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
    11. 1/4 cup butter or margarine


    Preparation
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Regular pancake syrup can be substituted for the firstthree ingredients, if needed.
    3. Cook the first three ingredients for 5 minutes. Then in a lightlygreased 9 x 13 pan pour in syrup. Place thickly sliced pieces of Frenchbread on top.
    4. Beat together eggs, milk or half and half, vanilla extract, and salt and pour over bread.
    5. Chill for 8 hours.
    6. Before baking mix the sugar, cinnamon and butter or margarine and sprinkle over the top.
    7. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.

    Now that Kim has shared her recipe, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday Breakfast recipes! Remember, I may not be able to visit all of your recipes today until but fear not, I will stop by to visit your recipe as soon as I can!

    Don't forget to link your specific recipe post link on Mr. Linky so I can see what's cooking at your house!

    Oh, and be sure to put the title of your recipe in parenthesis! It makes it so much quicker for me to go back and search for recipes as I build my weekly menu.

    My previous Favorite Ingredients Friday recipes

    garlic shrimp
    grilled veggie sandwich
    Cupid Cups
    Easter Edition- crispy marshmallow eggs
    boneless pork ribs
    Grandma's deviled eggs
    tropical fruit salad
    Killarney Cream Scones
    Chocolate Fudge Cookies
    Broiled Tilapia Parmesan
    Scalloped Corn
    Molten Chocolate Cake
    Super Skins
    7 Layer Mexican Dip
    Garlic Linguine
    Pizza Bake
    Grilled Honey Corn
    Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake
    Strawberry & Cream Cheese Fudge Brownies
    Roly-Poly Santa cookies
    Cole's chili
    Grandma's Sponge Cake
    Parmesan Bow-Tie Skillet
    Scalloped Potatoes
    Chocolate Crepes
    Chocolate Cream Pie
    Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
    Caramel Brownies
    Peach Banana Daiquiri

    Thanks so much for your participation. I do appreciate it!

    Labels: , , ,

    6:00 AM
    14 comments




    Name: Overwhelmed

    My complete profile

    It wasn't supposed to work this way...Parts 1 through 10

    (the story of the private, domestic adoption of our son)


    (Part 1)
    (Part 2)
    (Part 3)
    (Part 4)
    (Part 5)
    (Part 6)
    (Part 7)
    (Part 8)
    (Part 9)
    (Part 10- Adoption Finalization)

    Fostering isn't for the faint of heart!

    (our journey to adopt again through foster-to-adopt, the good, the bad, & everything in between)


    Adoption #2- considering the State
    More Adoption #2 thoughts
    Adoption #2- Back to considering the State
    Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 1)
    Adoption #2- The Paperwork (Round 2)
    Family Foster Home Licensing Prep Checklist
    Adoption #2- Long overdue update
    PS-MAPP class homework assignment
    Our preliminary home inspection went well!
    Adoption #2: Licensing update
    Adoption #2- Foster Facts
    Adoption #2: I love it when things go my way!
    Adoption #2- The home inspection
    Adoption #2- We failed our home inspection!
    Adoption #2- We passed the follow-up home inspection!
    Adoption #2- Still waiting
    Adoption #2- We're getting closer
    Adoption #2- An update & a lead
    Adoption #2- The lead that didn't pan out.
    Adoption #2- We're licensed!
    Adoption #2- We have a tiny baby here!
    Adoption #2- Update on this precious little girl.
    Adoption #2- Quick update on Baby Bug
    Adoption #2- Baby Bug is staying longer!
    Adoption #2- Baby Bug is growing!
    Adoption #2- Overdue update on Baby Bug
    Adoption #2- The latest on Baby Bug
    Adoption #2- Shopping spree for Baby Bug
    Being a Foster Parent Does Not Make Me A Saint
    Adoption #2- Another Placement Call!
    Adoption #2- Placement Meeting- UPDATED!
    Adoption #2- We have Boo at our home!
    Adoption #2- Meeting Boo
    Adoption #2- I'm angry on Boo's behalf!
    Adoption #2- A Birthday Party for Boo
    Adjusting to three 3 and under!
    Stressful moments in fostering.
    Adoption #2- Update on our foster daughters
    CPS Workers Jerking Our Chain!
    It's getting much worse!
    Fostering: Update on Baby Bug
    Fostering: Update on Boo
    The effects of fostering on Snuggle Bug
    The time is drawing near to let go of Baby Bug.
    Good conversation with Baby Bug's dad.
    Boo has a Permanency hearing coming soon!
    My heart is breaking!
    Bittersweet news about Baby Bug.
    Next Friday is going to be tough.
    Packing up Baby Bug's belongings
    It's done- Baby Bug is gone.
    Working on finding peace, one day at a time.
    Referral to the Early Intervention Program
    Baby Bug update
    Home Inspection for re-licensing
    Parole granted for Boo's bio mom
    Baby Bug is turning 1 year old soon.
    Day 2 of Boo's permanency hearing
    A prayer answered today!
    Attending Baby Bug's 1st birthday party
    Foster news
    Good news for Boo's case
    Boo's bio family visits
    Termination Trial date set!
    A new caseworker for Boo
    I've been asked to testify in court.
    Court hearing for "John Doe"
    Contested termination trial begins tomorrow afternoon
    Boo's adoption has been finalized!

    Beautiful adoption video
    Date Night Bliss
    Family Rules and Values
    In the swing of school
    It's time for the kiddos to head back to school a...
    Flying home for a nice, long visit!
    Baby fix!
    Easing back into blogging
    A shocking phone call
    1 year anniversary for Boo
























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