Friday, September 26, 2008
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Bread Edition)

Good Friday to you all! It's time for a special Favorite Ingredients Friday Bread Edition! Considering that I love bread almost as much as I do chocolate, I don't know why I haven't done this theme sooner!  I can't wait to see what you all come up with.

Before I share my recipe, I'd like to remind you that Tamy at 3 Sides of Crazy! is hosting a Bread Round-Up on October 15.  Feel free to join in by sharing the same recipe that you're sharing here today.  Go visit her blog for details and help her spread the word!

Now then, the recipe I'm sharing is something my mom taught me how to make when we were kids.  We LOVED this sweet bread!  Snuggle Bug loves it too.


Ingredients:

3 (12 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9 or 10 inch tube pan.

2. Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut biscuits into quarters. Shake 6 to 8 biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the prepared pan. Continue until all biscuits are coated and placed in pan. If using nuts, arrange them in and among the biscuit pieces as you go along.

3. In a small saucepan, melt the margarine with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the biscuits.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Do not cut! The bread just pulls apart.

Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday Bread Edition.

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.

For guidelines and my past Favorite Ingredients Friday recipes, click here.

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

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4:00 AM
8 comments


Sunday, September 21, 2008
A weekend of shopping- what joy!
I've spent quite a bit of time shopping this weekend.  There are so many shopping outlets here in the Sandestin/Destin/Ft. Walton Beach area.  I love it!

Don't worry, I haven't gone overboard in my spending, although it'd be easy to do so.

I do have a question though.  Where do you find good deals on solid colored long-sleeved kids shirts?  I swear the selection of solid colored shirts is minimal in most of these shops I'm going into.  Everything has a picture on it.  I don't want pictures.  I want solid colors!

Where do you find great prices on solid colored shirts (short sleeve, tank, long sleeved) for kids?   

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9:57 AM
16 comments


Friday, September 19, 2008
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Kettle Corn)

Good Friday to you all! It's time for another Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe exchange! I can't wait to see what you all come up with!

Before we get started, I'd like to give a shout out for Tamy at 3 Sides of Crazy! She is hosting a Bread Round-Up on October 15. I'll be joining in. I hope you can too! Go visit her blog for details and help her spread the word!

Upcoming Themed Schedule
September 26- Breads Edition
October 10-Sauce Edition II
October 24-Italian Edition II
November 7-Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style!
November 21-Soup Edition II

The recipe I'm posting is another one that I found on the Allrecipes.com (I just love that website)! With only 3 ingredients, it's quick and simple to make and it's sure to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Kettle Corn

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Directions:

Place the popcorn and sugar in a large pot with vegetable oil. Over a medium heat, begin to pop the popcorn. Constantly shake the pot to ensure that the popcorn kernels and oil do not burn. Once the popping has slowed, remove the pot from heat.

Note: White sugar makes the Kettle Corn taste like popcorn balls. Use brown sugar and it will taste like caramel corn.

Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Fridayrecipe!

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.

For guidelines and my past Favorite Ingredients Friday recipes, click here.

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

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7:00 AM
8 comments


Thursday, September 18, 2008
Thank goodness for iChat!
Thank goodness for iChat! It's allowing me to "see" Snuggle Bug, Boo, and Oronzo each night before the kids go to bed.  The first night we linked up, Boo sat at the computer looking amazed and she kept saying, "Hi!" to me over and over again.  

Snuggle Bug and I say our night time prayers together through iChat and he tells me about his day.

Oronzo's been great these past couple of days in sending me pictures and even a video of Snuggle Bug and Boo playing nicely together.    

What did we do before all this neat technology came about?  I'm feeling spoiled by it all! :)

So, do any of you do these things when you're apart or do you just pick up the phone and call or write letters?  Does anyone write real letters anymore? 

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6:30 AM
5 comments


Sunday, September 14, 2008
Anyone live in Destin, FL or surrounding areas?
Anyone live in Destin, Ft. Walton Beach, or surrounding Florida areas?

I'm in the airport right now, waiting to board a plane to fly to Ft. Walton Beach, FL.  I'll be staying in Destin and working at Eglin AFB for the next two weeks, through 26 September.  

As always, I'll miss my family but hopefully the work will keep me busy enough that the two weeks flies by.  And there are worse places to be than FL.  Of course, I'm hoping we won't run into any hurricanes while we're there.  We have a hurricane evac plan in place, just in case.

Anyway, let me know if you live in the area! :)


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2:45 PM
5 comments


Friday, September 12, 2008
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Kid Friendly Meals Edition)

Good Friday to you all! It's time for a special Favorite Ingredients Friday Kid Friendly Meals Edition!  With trying to feed two little picky eaters with very different tastes I'm really hoping to get some new recipe ideas for the kids.

The recipe I'm sharing is a quick and simple recipe that I pulled together the other night by scrounging around in our refrigerator looking for something to make for dinner.

Ham & Cheese Croissants

Ingredients:

Pillsbury Croissants (8 large ones)
Deli ham, thinly sliced
Kraft singles slices

Preparation:

Unroll the croissant dough.  Cut cheese in half diagonally.  Layer cheese, deli ham, and cheese on top of the croissant.  Roll up the crosissants.  

Bake at 350 degree for approximately 10 minutes or so.

Serve with baked tater tots and steamed veggie sides.

Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday Kid Friendly Meals Edition recipe! 

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.

For guidelines and my past Favorite Ingredients Friday recipes, click here.

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

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6:00 AM
4 comments


Thursday, September 11, 2008
Home Inspection Time- *Updated*
Yes, I've been absent from my blog for a while again.  I have a good excuse, really!

Oronzo and I have been preparing for the home inspection that we're having done today, in order to get relicensed as foster parents.

Our license doesn't expire until 11 November so I was a bit surprised when our agency worker sent a packet of paperwork for us to fill out, same as last time, with a return deadline of 5 September!  Apparently everyone on their end and the state needs at least a couple of months to get our information processed in time to be relicensed by 11 November.

It's been a pain trying to get all this accomplished but we're nearing the end.

Wish us luck today on this home inspection!  I'll blog more later!

*UPDATE*

We passed!  This walk through was actually quicker and less picky than our first time.  The agency rep (not a state rep) walked through with the checklist, tested all our smoke detectors, made sure we still had a up-to-date fire extinguisher, checked our pool area to make sure it was still gated properly, and made a couple of minor suggestions for inside our house and then said, "Looks good to me!"  

Whew!  That hurdle is out of the way.  I've turned in most of the mound of paperwork so now he's got to start processing all of that.  We still have to complete 6 hours of training that we've put off all year (shame on us) and we have to go through the CPS class again next month, then we should be good to go.

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6:11 AM
7 comments


Saturday, September 06, 2008
Baby Bug update
I didn't expect to have the opportunity to give an update on Baby Bug but I do have one to share.

It's been three weeks and one day since we returned Baby Bug to her parents, for good.  Three weeks and one day of not seeing her, basking in her beautiful smile, holding her, cuddling her, or watching her grow.  Can you tell that I miss her?

I've been dreaming of Baby Bug since that last day.  There was one night, not long ago, that I dreamed that she was crying.  I got up out of bed and started heading for her room to sooth her and possibly feed her.  It only took me a few steps to remember that she wasn't with us anymore and that I must've been dreaming.  My heart ached all over again and I had a tough time getting back to sleep while thinking of her.

Each day the pain is diminishing but I think of Baby Bug often and wonder how she's doing.   

A week after she left, I called her parents to check on her and her dad willingly gave me an update, saying she was doing well and was sleeping through the night most nights, except when her top teeth that are coming in were bothering her.  He mentioned that she may end up being one of those kids that goes straight to walking, rather than crawling first.  He told me that she's cruising and even trying to stand independently for a few seconds.

When I relayed the update to Oronzo, he cautioned me to give them their space and not call too often.  So, I didn't call again.  I figured I'd wait to hear more about Baby Bug at the next Child & Family Team meeting that I'll be attending via conference call on 16 September.  Side note: I've learned that foster parents are encouraged to continue attending such meetings, and even court hearings for up to 6 months after their former foster child has been reunited with their families.  The courts are still mailing us the schedule for the hearings.

Imagine my surprise when my cell phone rang and the number that showed on the caller ID showed Baby's Bug's parent's number!  I answered the phone with my heart pounding.

Baby Bug's mom called to tell me that Baby Bug had just started crawling and was now into everything.  Since we were involved in trying to help her learn how to crawl while she was still living with us, her mom thought we might want to know this news.  We chatted for a bit on other things that Baby Bug has been up to.  

I told Baby Bug's mom that I really appreciated her thinking to call me.  I admitted that I was wondering how Baby Bug was doing and that it was so good to hear how well she is.  Baby Bug's mom told me, "Anytime you're wondering how she's doing, please call us.  We don't mind."

After hanging up the phone with her, I realized that although it was wonderful getting the call, it also brought up the painful feelings again.  After caring and loving for her for 8 1/1 months, we didn't get to witness her beginning to crawl.  We probably won't be there to see her walk.  We don't get to be a part of her life as I had hoped.  Ouch!

Still,  I was touched that Baby Bug's mom took the time to call me and share an update with me.  It gives me hope that maybe, just maybe we'll get that invite to Baby Bug's 1st birthday party after all.  Time will tell.

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8:50 PM
14 comments


Friday, September 05, 2008
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Crunchy Berry Parfait)

Good Friday to you all! It's time for another Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe exchange! I can't wait to see what you all come up with!

Upcoming Themed Schedule
September 12- Kid Friendly Foods
September 26- Breads Edition

The recipe I'm posting is another one that I found on the Kraftfoods website! With only 3 ingredients, it's quick and simple to make!  And if you arrange it like the picture below, it has a beautiful presentation!  Oh, and it's healthy too. :)


Crunchy Berry Parfait

Ingredients:

1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup wheat and barley cereal nuggets (I like Grape Nuts)

Directions:

LAYER half each of the strawberries, yogurt and cereal in medium glass.

REPEAT layers.

SERVE immediately.

Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday recipe!

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.

For guidelines and my past Favorite Ingredients Friday recipes, click here.

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

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6:00 AM
2 comments


Wednesday, September 03, 2008
WFMW Backwards Edition
Happy Wednesday to you! It's time once again to post another WFMW tip! This time Shannon is hosting the Backwards Edition  where we get to ask for tips or advice, rather than offering them.

I am in desperate need of advice on how to keep our son from getting up out of bed 3-5 times per night after we put him to bed, short of locking him in his room which we're not comfortable doing.  

It started about 2 weeks ago where our son would come out of his room after we put him down for the night.  Sometimes it's for a drink of water, sometimes he claims he's scared, sometimes he just goes in our room and starts playing on our bed.  We battle with getting him back in bed until 9-10 PM some nights!

Putting him back in bed and scolding him repeatedly is getting old.

Help!

For questions by others, visit Shannon, the creator of Works-for-Me Wednesday.

Labels:

6:00 AM
18 comments


Monday, September 01, 2008
September Pay It Forward Book Exchange- 6 books up for grabs!

It's time for another one of my free Pay It Forward book giveaways! The first two books on my giveaway list were the ones that I should've given away at the end of July but didn't. And I didn't get an August giveaway up either. Sorry for falling off the wagon. I hope you'll all join me this month!

For those who may have missed out, please read about the guidelines right here.

So, I have three books to give away this month.

1) Hitched by Carol Higgins Clark.

This book was sent to me by Sheryl with Taking the Challenge. Thanks, Sheryl!

From Publishers Weekly

Nervous brides may want to wait until after the wedding to read bestseller Clark's winning ninth mystery to feature PI Regan Reilly (after 2005's Burned). With her wedding to Jack "no relation" Reilly, head of the NYPD Major Case Squad, only a week away, Regan thinks she has everything under control. But when she arrives to pick up her wedding dress at Alfred and Charisse's Coutures in Little Italy, she finds the young husband-and-wife designers bound and gagged, a wedding dress shredded on the floor and four others missing, including her own. In spite of all she must do before the wedding, Regan agrees to investigate. Jack, hoping to solve a big bank robbery case before their nuptials, is more than supportive. To Regan's surprise, not all the brides-to-be who've lost their gowns are that distraught. Regan's and Jack's cases convincingly intertwine as the sleuthing trail leads them from the streets of New York to Las Vegas. With her usual cast of quirky characters, Clark's lighthearted romp will keep readers guessing who will and who won't make it to the altar.

This was a fun, quick read!

2) I Choose This Day by Sharon Fieker.

This book was sent to me by Dawn at Our Adoption Journey...to Nowhere. Thanks, Dawn!

Book description: Have you faced a difficult decision concerning an unexpected pregnancy? Sharon Fieker uses I Choose this Day: Mournings and Miracles of Adoption to convey how the circumstances of the darkest period in her life evolved into the brightest time. She includes the challenges and blessings surrounding her pregnancy. The heartache of "not knowing" what happened to her baby and the beautiful story that unfolds as she meets her birth daughter are inspirational. When going through difficult times, Sharon sometimes wondered how God could allow such troubling things to happen. Her story demonstrates how He had a plan for her--one filled with hope. He also allowed her free will to make her own choices. If you're facing or have faced an unplanned pregnancy, you will benefit from reading I Choose this Day: Mournings and Miracles of Adoption. 

This book was quite good and it was a quick read too!


3) The Divide by Nicholas Evans

Book Description: One a crystalline Montana morning, two backcountry skiers find the body of a young woman embedded in the ice of a remote mountain creek.  She's Abbie Cooper, a brilliant college student on the run from the FBI and charges of murder.  But what was the chain of events that led this golden child so tragically astray?

The stunning answers unfold on an emotional journey that stretches from the streets of New York to the daunting grandeur of the Rocky Mountains- and finally to the solitude and dark secrets in an American family fractured by lies and betrayals...and reunited by a tragedy that will change all their lives forever.

I found this book hard to put down until I reached the end!

If you'd like to win one of these books, here is what you must do:

1. On your blog, write a post about this giveaway, using my "Pay It Forward" button, and then link back to my post. I am sure your readers would appreciate learning about the chance to win a book. You must complete this step to be put in the drawing, unless of course you don't have a blog!

2. Sign the Mr. Linky (the Mr. Linky is that list of names at the end of this post - just type your name in the box) with your name and the specific URL of your PIF post. Note: If you are not a blogger, you may still enter to win. Just sign your name on the Mr. Linky without a URL and then email me your contact information. Please note on your email that it is for the PIF book giveaway.

I'll announce the winners on Saturday morning, 27 September, so be sure to check back.

Best of luck!

If you have any books you'd like to Pay It Forward yourself this month, please leave me a comment and I'll link you in this post!

Additional Pay It Forward Giveaways:

1) Jubilee at Notes of Jubilee is giving away the book The Summer the Wind Whispered My Name by Don Locke on 15 September. Stop by her blog to enter win. Thanks, Jubilee!

2) Cynthia at Springmont Cottage is giving away two books The Moon Riders by Theresa Tomlinson and Holbrook: A Lizard's Tale by Bonny Becker and Abby Carter on 23 September. Stop by her blog to enter win. Thanks, Cynthia!

3) Forgetfulone is giving away the book The History of Love by Nicole Krauss on 28 September. Stop by her blog to enter to win. Thanks, Forgetfulone!

4) Tamy at 3 Sides of Crazy is giving away the book The Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea on 30 September. Stop by her blog to enter to win. Thanks, Tamy!

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8:03 AM
5 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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