Sunday, November 30, 2008
Follow up to coupon tips post- winner chosen!
On November 19th I showed you this:

I posed the question, How much do you think I spent on the groceries listed in the picture above? Go ahead, click on the image to enlarge.

I even itemized what I purchased:

* Dial liquid hand soap- quantity 5
* Betty Crocker specialty potatoes- quantity 9
* Colgate adult toothbrush- quantity 2
* Hunts tomatoes (28-29 oz cans)- quantity 2
* Quaker oatmeal (18 oz)- quantity 6
* Zatarain's rice mix- quantity 2
* Land O Lakes buter(15-16 oz)- quantity 4
* SuperPretzel snack- quantity 1
* Viva paper towels- quantity 3
* Quaker chewy granola bars (8 pack)- quantity 2
* International Delight creamer (32 oz)- quantity 2
* Hershey's extra dark chocolate bar (4.5 oz)- quantity 1
* Blistex chap stick- quantity 3
* French's French fried onions (6 oz)- quantity 3
* Kellogg's pop tarts (8 pack)- quantity 3
* Mrs. Smith pre-made pie crust (2 pack)- quantity 1
* Suave deodorant (2.6 oz)- quantity 2

Well, here's a copy of my receipt, showing what I spent on that particular batch of groceries!

Click to enlarge the image.

So, for that large batch of groceries, I spent a whopping $8.82 for 50 items!  I saved $130.11 for a 94% total savings!

So, how did that happen you might wonder?  Well, there are a few ways the savings added up:

1) My Fry's Food & Drug store is offering quadruple coupons (up to $1.00 off) through 12/30/08.  They're also accepting competitor's coupons and for those I was able to take a store coupon and stack it with a manufactures coupons.  For example, there was a Walgreen's coupon for Blistex reduced to $0.99 each, limit 3.  I had 3 manufacturers coupon for $0.25 off each, which quadrupled raised it to $1.00 savings.  That meant Blistex was free!

2) That particular week, they were doing amazing sales on many of the products I purchase!

3) I had coupons for every item that I purchased.  Those coupons made many of the either FREE or under $0.50 per item.

It's not often that you can get these kind of deals (free or nearly free) but great deals can be had when you have the patience to watch the sales and match up coupons.

So, the closest guess for my total grocery bill was $12 from The Happy Housewife so she's won the 12 free holiday recipe cards.

Thank you all for your participation!

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5:18 PM
11 comments


Friday, November 28, 2008
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Pumpkin Pie with flaky butter crust)

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!

Check out my upcoming themed schedule below:

Upcoming 2008 & 2009 "Themed" Schedule
December 19- Cookie Edition II
January 2- Casserole Edition II
January 16- Pies Edition II
January 30- Super Bowl Edition III

Several years ago, I attended a cooking class at a William's Senoma store. Now, we didn't actually get to cook but they brought in the head chef of a Hilton hotel to demonstrate and share some of her favorite recipes and tips!

I'm sharing this chef's pumpkin pie recipe, as well as the flaky butter pie recipe with tips on how to make the perfect pie crust! I'm uploading the scanned recipes so they'll be easy for you to print out and use at home.



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
5 comments


Thursday, November 27, 2008
Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there!

I have some catching up to do on my blog, but I'm traveling to Nebraska today (we'll be there 8 days visiting my family) so it'll have to wait until tomorrow.

I will be hosting a free-style Favorite Ingredients Friday tomorrow and I hope you'll join me!

Enjoy your turkey!

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8:10 AM
4 comments


Friday, November 21, 2008
Favorite Ingredients Friday- Soup Edition II

Last year I hosted a special Favorite Ingredients Friday Soup Edition and got some wonderful recipes!  I'm hosting round 2 and I hope you'll join me to share more of your favorite soup recipes.  I'll be hosting a soup exchange at my house in a couple of weeks and I'd love to get some soup recipes to introduce to my friends that will be attending! 

My contribition comes from the website of one of my favorite restaurants, Mimi's Cafe. I used to go to this restaurant frequently just to eat their delicious corn chowder soup!  

When Oronzo and I made the commitment to eat at home more often, to save money, I knew that I had to find a way to still be able to eat my Mimi's Cafe corn chowder soup.  Thank goodness for the internet because I discovered their recipe online!   It's so yummy!

Mimi's Cafe Corn Chowder Soup

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 cups frozen corn, thawed
6 tablespoons onion, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup celery, large dice
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups hot water
1 pinch white pepper
2 cups raw potato, peeled and cut in 1/2" cubes
3 tablespoons flour
1 quart Half & Half

Directions:

On medium heat, melt butter, then simmer onion and celery for 5 minutes until soft, but not brown.

Add water, potatoes, corn and seasonings. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are barely tender.

Whisk the flour into 1 cup of the Half & Half, and stir into the soup. Add the remaining 3 cups of Half & Half. Simmer for about 15 minutes until the soup has thickened to a creamy consistency.

Correct the seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed. In order to correct the consistency or the soup you may add a little milk to make it thinner. To make the soup thicker, simmer another 5-10 minutes.

Bon Appetite!

Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday Soup 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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5:30 AM
10 comments


Wednesday, November 19, 2008
WFMW (best coupon tips ever!)
Happy Wednesday to you! It's time once again to post another WFMW tip!

I scored some really great deals this week and I thought it might be nice if I shared some of my best coupon tips to help you save money to.  Here's what I do:

1) I collect as many Sunday papers as I can and save them for about 10 weeks in a large 3 ring binder using page protector sleeves.  I only purchase 1 Sunday paper for the coupons.  I get about 3-5 more coupon sets free from co-workers and neighbors that don't use coupons.  Your real savings come when you have multiple coupons for one product!

2) I sit down every Wednesday to look through the grocery store weekly ads and I try to match up items that I'd normally buy with coupons that I have.  I don't get the Wednesday paper, but I always seem to get those Wednesday grocery store weekly ads in my mailbox.  I've even gone online to the grocery store's website and found their weekly ads in a digital form.

3) I use Coupon Mom Grocery Database to look up which coupons are available for the products I want.

4) I do free coupon swapping for any coupons that I don't have but might want.

5) I print out online coupons at Grocery Games and various other online locations.   Some online coupons have print out limits, others do not.

6) If I can't find a coupon for a product that I use and like, I'll call or email the company that makes the product and ask them to mail me coupons.  90% of the time, they do!

7) I make a list before I go to the store and stick to it!  I clip out only the coupons I want to use in advance and bring those to the store with the list.  I try not to do impulse shopping.  

8) I try to pay attention when the cashier is ringing up my purchases and scanning my coupons to catch mistakes.  And I always review my receipt before leaving the store to look for mistakes.  If I find one, and I have before, I go to customer service and make them correct the problem.

9) I stock pile.  When items that I'll use are one sale, I find as many coupons as I can get my hands on and I purchase a lot of those products.  That way I don't have to buy those products when they're not on sale!  If I can get really good deals, I'll buy extra so that I can donate some food to my local food bank!

10) I ask for reinchecks.  Yesterday I wanted to buy five 5 lb bags of C&H sugar because I was going to get them for .50/each with the store sale and my coupons combined.  Unfortunately, too many people beat me to them and there was no sugar left in that grocery store!  At the checkout aisle, I asked the cashier for a reincheck on the sugar so that I could still get the sale price when they restocked, even though the store sale would be over by that time.  The great thing about this particular store is that their reinchecks have no expiration date so I could wait a month or longer to buy that sugar and still get the sale price, as long as I don't wait so long that my coupons expire!

Believe me when I tell you that if you're disciplined about using coupons, you will see a drastic reduction in your grocery bill!

Okay, now that you know all my couponing secrets,  just for fun I'd like to pose a question to you all.  How much do you think I spent on the groceries listed in the picture above?  Go ahead, click on the image to enlarge.

Let me make it easier by itemizing what I purchased yesterday:

* Dial liquid hand soap- quantity 5
* Betty Crocker specialty potatoes- quantity 9
* Colgate adult toothbrush- quantity 2
* Hunts tomatoes (28-29 oz cans)- quantity 2
* Quaker oatmeal (18 oz)- quantity 6
* Zatarain's rice mix- quantity 2
* Land O Lakes buter(15-16 oz)- quantity 4
* SuperPretzel snack- quantity 1
* Viva paper towels- quantity 3
* Quaker chewy granola bars (8 pack)- quantity 2
* International Delight creamer (32 oz)- quantity 2
* Hershey's extra dark chocolate bar (4.5 oz)- quantity 1
* Blistex chap stick- quantity 3
* French's French fried onions (6 oz)- quantity 3
* Kellogg's pop tarts (8 pack)- quantity 3
* Mrs. Smith pre-made pie crust (2 pack)- quantity 1
* Suave deodorant (2.6 oz)- quantity 2

Here's a hint, I used coupons so I got a pretty good deal.

So, take a guess and leave me your price amount in my comments section and I'll enter you in a drawing for 12 free holiday recipe cards (the winner will be chosen on Saturday).

I'll come back on Saturday and post my grocery amount (I'll include a copy of my receipt) so that you can see how much using coupons saved me.  Trust me, you'll be impressed!

Using coupons to drastically reduce my grocery bill works for me. To find out what works for others, be sure to check out the other links at Shannon's, the creator of Works-For-Me Wednesday!

Some of my past WFMW entries are found here.

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5:00 AM
24 comments


Tuesday, November 18, 2008
2008 Christmas Giveaway at 5 Minutes for Mom
The ladies over at 5 Minutes for Mom are hosting a 2008 Christmas Giveaway!  Hooray!

There are lots of fabulous prizes that you can enter to win, including a $100 gift card to Sears, just in time for your holiday shopping!

Hurry over for your chance to win!

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5:06 AM


Sunday, November 16, 2008
A special birthday celebration
We got to be a part of a very special birthday celebration this evening!  Baby Bug's parents sent us an invitation to attend her first birthday party.  It was held at one of those pizza places so it was noisy, chaotic, and fun!

Baby Bug looked so adorable in her party dress with her hair done up in two little pigtails and a birthday crown perched atop her head.

It's confirmed, Baby Bug still remembers us.  She came willingly to both Oronzo and I at her party tonight and she smiled every time she saw us.  She gave Snuggle Bug and Boo hugs and kisses whenever either of them were near enough for her to reach out and grab them!  

Baby Bug had a wonderful turnout for her party.  We got to meet some of her extended family and lots of family friends!  It was a bit weird when Baby Bug's parents introduced us as "the foster parents" and we had people from the group coming up and thanking us and telling us they were so happy to meet us but everyone was really nice.

The photo book that we gave Baby Bug and her parents as a birthday gift was a big hit!  Baby Bug's mom teared up a bit as she looked at it and said, "Finally, she has a baby book!"  The book was passed amongst the crowd and admired.

We also gave them a DVD copy of nearly every digital picture that we took of Baby Bug during the time she was with us (I believe there were about 200 pictures) so that they could have as many reprints made as they wanted.  Baby Bug's dad thought that was really neat and said his parents were going to be thrilled to be able to sit down and look through the pictures of her as a tiny baby.

I'm so glad I decided on the photo book and picture DVD.  Baby Bug's parents were happy to get a bit of Baby Bug's history given to them and we were happy to share.

So, it really happened, even when I doubted it would.  We got to attend Baby Bug's 1st birthday party!  It was wonderful!  I was so happy we were able to be a part of that!

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9:05 PM
12 comments


Saturday, November 15, 2008
FREE Snapfish photo book
I just had to share this with you.  For a limited time, Snapfish is offering a FREE 8 x 11 photo book!  Just sign up (or sign in if you already have an account), upload your pictures, and then create a photo book!

The only thing you have to pay for is the shipping and handling ($7 is not so bad) to get the book to you!

Hurry, this offer ends 22 November!

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7:30 AM
2 comments


Friday, November 14, 2008
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Southern grits)

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!

Check out my upcoming themed schedule below:

Upcoming 2008 & 2009 "Themed" Schedule
November 21- Soup Edition II
December 5- Cookie Edition II
December 19- Muffin Edition II
January 2- Casserole Edition II
January 16- Pies Edition II
January 30- Super Bowl Edition III

I am not a Southern girl, but I really do love southern cooking. Many years ago, I lived in Atlanta for a year and that's when I fell in love with grits! Up until moving to Atlanta, I thought grits were horrible! Little did I know, I was eating them the wrong way! 

A little hole-in-the-wall restaurant called, The Flying Biscuit Café (side note: I bought their cookbook, while I was there and it's fantastic!), was were I learned that you don't eat grits like warm cereal (with milk and sugar added- yuk!), you eat them with things like melted butter, pepper, and maybe even cheese (yum)!

So, without any further ado, I offer you a very simple, yet delicious grits recipe!

Southern Grits

2 cups water
1/2 to 1 tsp salt
1/2 cup grits
1 Tbl butter

Use small heavy pot with thick bottom and tight fitting lid. Pour water into pot followed by remaining ingredients. Bring to full boil and immediately reduce to simmer. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. The longer it simmers, the better it is.  Serve warm and with butter, pepper, and/or cheese!

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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5:00 AM
9 comments


Monday, November 10, 2008
WFMW (gently removing temporary tattoos)
Happy Wednesday to you! It's time once again to post another WFMW tip! 

I don't know about your kids but mine love, love, love to wear temporary tattoos.  There are so many cool styles out there now.  The trick is getting the tattoos off when you're wanting to be done with them!

The tip I'm about to share is something I though most people knew about, until a phone conversation with my younger sister proved otherwise.

We were talking on the phone after Halloween and I shared with her that I was getting ready to remove Snuggle Bug's tattoo mustache.  She wished me luck and told me she had nearly scrubbed her son's skin raw on his arm trying to get off a temporary tattoo with soap and water.  I assured her there was a better way!

Allow me to illustrate my tip!


Here is Snuggle Bug with his tattoo mustache.  He was a pirate for Halloween and his mustache was a major source of pride for him.  He was reluctant to allow me to remove it.

Here's the secret to gently removing temporary tattoos, use baby oil and a cotton ball.  That's it!  You'll have to rub gently several times, re-applying baby oil as you go, but it works.

Here's half of Snuggle Bug's mustache gone.  Look, no tears of pain because I wasn't rubbing his skin raw to get the mustache off!

Voila!  The tattoo mustache is completely gone!  No fuss or mess, just shiny skin from the remnants of baby oil!

Gently removing temporary tattoos with baby oil works for me. To find out what works for others, be sure to check out the other links at Shannon's, the creator of Works-For-Me Wednesday!

Some of my past WFMW entries are found here.

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6:00 AM
5 comments


Sunday, November 09, 2008
A prayer answered today!
I can't resist sharing with you what happened today.

As you know, Baby Bug was returned home to her parents in August and we fully expected never to see her again, despite the fact that her parents told us they'd be inviting us to her first birthday party (she turned 1 yesterday).

It's been a long, hard 3 months without her and I've prayed that we would get to see Baby Bug in person again and know that she was doing well.

Well, today that prayer was answered! Her parents called yesterday to explain that they'd moved to a bigger place last week and they had been sick, so Baby Bug's 1st birthday party was being postponed. But they asked if we'd like to come over to see Baby Bug, rather than waiting until her first birthday party plans could be figured out. Of course, I told them we'd love to!  After hanging up, I had myself a good cry...tears of joy this time!

So, today after church and brunch, we drove over to their new town home and saw Baby Bug and her new baby brother, who is 1 month old (he slept through the whole visit as babies that small tend to do)!

We weren't sure if Baby Bug would remember us or not and for a minute or so she just looked at us and was really quite, but then her mom handed Baby Bug to me to hold and she came willingly and snuggled right up in my arms. Her mom said that was proof that she remember me because Baby Bug is at the age where she's experiencing separation anxiety and usually doesn't let anyone other than her parents hold her.

In no time at all Baby Bug was crawling all over Oronzo and I on the floor, giving us hugs, laughing at Snuggle Bug and Boo playing, and showing us how quickly she can crawl and how she's cruising along furniture with ease. She's going to be walking in no time!

Snuggle Bug and Boo remembered Baby Bug as well and seemed just as happy to see her as we were. She was all smiles at the sight of them.

It was so good to see how much Baby Bug has grown (she's still a tiny peanut, but she's grown) and to see her beautiful bright smile and hear her infectious laugh again! And it was comforting to see how well she and her family are doing now.

Today was a wonderful reminder of why we're fostering. We may not have been able to adopt Baby Bug as we would've liked, but we loved her dearly and helped her (and in some ways her parents) when it was needed most. And now they're all doing really well and we got to witness that first hand. What a blessing!

Baby Bug's mom told us to call anytime that we wanted to see her because they certainly don't mind visits. I expect we'll see her again for sure at her first birthday party!

Thank you, God, for answering my prayer!  What a joyous day today is!

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2:39 PM
38 comments


Friday, November 07, 2008
Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style- 3rd Edition

For the past couple of years I've hosted a big Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style recipe exchange and I've been delighted with the impressive participation from my fellow bloggers!

The day has arrived to kick off my 3rd Annual Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style recipe exchange!  Hooray!

Before we get started, I'd like to announce the winner of my personalized recipe cards, for those of you who helped spread the word these past couple of weeks.  Thanks everyone!

The winner was randomly selected using Random.org.

And the winner is...

...
# 18,  Cris over at From Our Home To Yours.   Cris, please send me your full name and mailing address so that I can send you your personalized holiday recipe cards. If I don't hear from you within a week, I will choose another winner.


Now then, if you intend to participate in my holiday recipe exchange, and I hope you do, I'd like to lay out just a few guidelines.

1) Recipes can be as long or as short as you'd like. They can be quick and simple or they can be a bit more complex. You can post more than one recipe if you'd like. Don't worry if you think there might be duplicates of the recipe you have in mind (more than one stuffing recipe, for example) because I'll bet each recipe is unique.

2) I'd appreciate holiday recipes that are tried and true. They don't have to be your own creations, I don't care where you originally got the recipe from, I just ask that you post a recipe that's worked for you in the past. Feel free to give credit where credit is due. If you post a recipe from your aunt Martha Stewart, by all means, mention that! I'll be sharing some family recipes.

3) When you post your recipe on your blog, within your post be sure to link back my post so that others know where to come and view more recipes. Feel free to use the graphic above in your post or on your sidebar.

4) Once you've posted your recipe on your blog, don't forget to stop back and link on my Mr. Linky so that everyone can stop by and take a look at your recipe. I'd really appreciate it if you'd put your recipe title in parenthesis in Mr. Linky. And please link directly to your recipe post, not just your blog, so that it's easy for people to find your recipe no matter what day they're looking for it! 

5) There's no deadline on when you have to post your recipe. This post isn't going anywhere, so take your time! I'll have this post linked up on my sidebar until next year's Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style recipe exchange!

Okay, enough with the guidelines let the fun begin! I can't wait to see your holiday recipes! I promise, I will visit your blog to see your recipe if you link here. It may take me a little while to get there, but I will get there!

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5:30 AM
29 comments


Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style- My Recipes

I have two family favorite recipes to share for my 3rd annual Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style recipe exchange! I hope you enjoy them!

Note: I'm also linking this post up in Linda's Fall Into Flavor recipe exchange!

The first one is a pie recipe. I love, love, love pie! I know pumpkin pie is a more traditional holiday treat, but I'm a sucker for apple pie. This recipe has been passed down in my family for many years and it's delicious!


Sour Cream Apple Pie

Ingredients

Sift:

2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cups sugar

Add: 

1 egg
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients and beat until smooth.   Line a 9" pie plate with pie crust (Pillsbury makes a good pre-made pie crust).  Fill with freshly sliced apples (8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored, and sliced).  Pour wet batter over the apples.  Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minute.

Remove from oven and add this topping.

Topping ingredients mixed together:

1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes.  Serve with ice cream or whipped cream on top!  Yum!

My next recipe is actually a great gift idea.  You mix all the dry ingredients in decorative containers, attach a gift card with instructions on how to serve and give it as a holiday gift.  I've done this in the past and have gotten lots of excitement over it!


Fireside Coffee

Ingredients

2 cups non-dairy coffee creamer
1 1/2 cups hot cocoa mix
1 1/2 cups instant coffee granules
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions

Combine all ingredients, mixing well. Store mixture in an airtight container. Yield: 6 1/2 cups mix.

Note for gift card that you'd attach to the container:

To make 1 cup, spoon 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of coffee mix in a cup. Add 1 cup boiling water; stir until well blended.  Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and your favorite holiday cookies!

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5:00 AM
13 comments


Thursday, November 06, 2008
Upcoming Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style & a giveaway!

For the past couple of years I've hosted a big Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style recipe exchange and I've been delighted with the impressive participation from my fellow bloggers! 

I'm hosting this recipe exchange again this year on 7 November and I hope you'll join me!

And to help encourage you to spread the word, I'm going to give away a set of 20 personalized, blank recipe cards to one lucky winner.  I've designed these  recipe cards using photoshop and I'll print them out on card stock. They'll have your first and last name on each one.  I've gone with a Christmas theme, so that you can use them to share recipes with family and friends this year.  

All you have to do to have a chance to win a set of these recipe cards is to publish a post about my upcoming Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style recipe exchange on your blog and then stop back here and leave me a comment with a link directing me to that post.  If you do that, I'll throw your name in the drawing for the free personalized  recipe cards.

Hope to see you back here on 7 November!  Spread the word!

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5:26 AM
27 comments


Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Day 2 of Boo's permanency hearing
Quick update.  

Day 2 of Boo's permanency hearing was today.  I learned in court that her mom got out on parole today and is moving into a half-way house later today but she hasn't yet met her parole officer and doesn't know the conditions of her parole.

The judge extended the case once again (big surprise- he's been doing that for 17 1/2 months now).  I was surprised that we got a court date before Christmas, but this date is just to see if Boo's mom will show up in court or if the conditions of her parole will even allow her to.  

The re-starting of the case plan hasn't even begun yet, despite the fact that by the time the next court hearing happens in December, six more months will have passed since that initial June permanency hearing date.  

Six months will have gone by with absolutely no decision being made.  Six months will have gone by with no clue as to how much more time will pass (we know it'll be at least 6-9 months from the day they decide to actually re-start the case plan).

By the time December rolls around, Boo will have been in the system for 19 months, with absolutely no decision being made...all this judge seems to be able to do is to continue to extend the case.

And somehow this is in the child's best interest. 

Lovely.

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3:51 PM
9 comments


Monday, November 03, 2008
Baby Bug is turning 1 year old soon.
Baby Bug will be turning 1 year old this Saturday and, although her mom has called a few times since she was returned home, we haven't seen an invitation to her first birthday party in our mailbox as we were told we would.

I know, I shouldn't have expected it and I guess I really didn't, but that doesn't stop me from feeling sad about the reality that we won't get to be a part of her first birthday or anything else for that matter.  

During one of these phone conversations with Baby Bug's mom, I mentioned that we'd like to give Baby Bug a photo album as a gift from us...you know, the hard bound kind that you can make on Snapfish.  She seemed truly excited by the idea and told me that it'd be a perfect gift because they don't have many decent pictures of Baby Bug, especially during the time she was with us.   We took a ton of pictures of Baby Bug to capture her beautiful smile!

Despite the fact that it appears we won't be seeing Baby Bug on her first birthday, I've still designed  and ordered the photo book.  I'll just mail it to them.  I was careful to include only pictures of Baby Bug on her own or with her parents (we took some pictures of the 3 of them together), so it would be a book all about her and not at all about us.

I just don't want Baby Bug to have this glaring gap in her life history from 3 weeks to 9 months old, especially when we have cute pictures to commemorate those months for her.

Yes, I know it's obvious that after 3 months of her being gone, I still miss her. Most days I'm fine and keep busy with our other two little ones, but every now and then, I'm reminded of Baby Bug in some small way.  Her upcoming 1st birthday is actually a rather large reminder.

((sigh))  I pray for her happiness often.

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9:00 PM
6 comments


Saturday, November 01, 2008
Bloggy Giveaway Carnival- winner of SIX free hair clips!
I'm a little late on choosing the winner for my Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival prize but I really needed to sleep in a bit this morning.  It's been a busy week with pumpkin picking, Halloween parties, baking cookies, carving pumpkins, and trick-or-treating with my two little ones! :) 

Fear not, all of you who entered last night and this morning were included in this drawing.

I've just randomly chosen my winner of the six Uptown Collection hair clips using Random.org.

The winner is #78, Jesica!

Jesica, you have 1 week to claim your prize or I'll choose another winner.  I'll make a point to leave you a comment on your blog to let you know that you've won.

For those of you who, unfortunately, didn't win, please visit my online boutique at Sparkle and Charm Boutique and consider placing an order for the little charmer in your life!  Christmas is right around the corner! :)

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9:05 AM




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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