Friday, August 28, 2009
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Grilled Sweet Pepper Poppers)

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 2009 "Themed" Schedule
September 4- Kid Friendly Meals Edition
September 18- Bread Edition
October 2- Sauce Edition

We're still happily grilling and I came across this recipe in a Safeway grocery store a while back. These are so yummy! You have to try them!


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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5:45 AM
2 comments


Friday, August 21, 2009
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Salad Edition)

Good Friday to you all! It's time for a special Favorite Ingredients Friday Salad Edition! Many of you gave me some wonderful recipes last year. I can't wait to see what you come up with this time!

The recipe I'm sharing is from a neighbor back in the small Nebraska town that I grew up in! The neighbor's name was Dolly Miller. She's no longer alive, but I remember her and I'm so glad my mom got this recipe from her years ago and shared it with me. Each time I make this recipe, I'm reminded of home, childhood, and Dolly Miller!

Dolly Miller's Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

12 oz pasta (I like the rotini the best)
2 cups mayo (Helmans is great for this)
Dorothy Lynch salad dressing to taste (this orginated in Columbus, NE and can be purchased online if it's not in your store)
1 green pepper, diced
1/3 c. sliced green onion
2 tomatoes

Preparation:

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving, but longer is better!

Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday Salad Edition recipe! I won't be able to visit your recipes right away 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.

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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5:14 AM
5 comments


Thursday, August 20, 2009
My life as a SAHM.
These past 3 days I've had the opportunity to experience what life might be like as a Stay-At-Home mom. Our nanny is on vacation, so I took some days off of work to cover.

Here's how my days as a temporary SAHM have gone thus far:

1) Get up with Snuggle Bug between 6:00 AM- 6:30 AM. Snuggle Bug is an early riser but I don't mind because I like early mornings myself.

2) Take Snuggle Bug out for a walk or to pull weeds while it's still cool outside.

3) Go back in the house at about 7:00 AM to check on Boo. She's usually getting up about that time.

4) Make breakfast for the kids and check to see if Oronzo is interested in eating or if he's more interested in sleeping until the last possible minute before heading out the door for work, since he knows I'm around to take care of the kids (usually I'm the first to leave in the mornings for work).

5) Help the kids clean up after breakfast and play with them a bit.

6) Get the kids dressed and gear packed and head out the door no later than 8:15 AM to take them in to preschool.

7) Drop the kids off, stay and chat with the preschool director and other moms for a while (very nice socialization time).

8) Meet a friend for breakfast/coffee without the kids (she drops her daughter off 30 minutes before I do). Again, the adult time alone is wonderful!

8) Go back home, clip coupons, go to the store and do shopping without having to drag 2 small children in and out of the car with me (shopping alone, what a novel concept)!

9) Go back home, straighten up the house a bit...maybe even sneak in a wee bit of a nap (that happened on one day at least) or do some sewing or baking.

10) Pick the kids up from preschool at 12:30 PM. Rush home and make lunch because they're both hungry and crabby!

11) Play with them a bit, then put them down for a nap at 2:00 PM (yes, both Snuggle Bug and Boo still nap, for an 1-2 hours and it's wonderful).

12) While the kids are napping, check some blogs, check my coupon news board, do some laundry, etc.

13) When the kids get up around 3:30 PM- 4:00 PM, feed them a light snack, and get them involved in some activity or playing together and think about what to make for dinner.

14) Start dinner and wait for Oronzo to arrive home so that we can sit down together for a meal.

I have a few of observations about my temporary SAHM status:

1) The day flies by far quicker than I imagined it would and I don't get as much accomplished as I think I will! How does that happen?
2) It's nice not to have to be in such a frantic rush all day.
3) It's nice to have some adult time alone, time that's not at a business.
4) I would struggle not to be addicted to my blogging.
5) I eat more staying at home than I do when I go in to work (not a good thing)!
6) I'd have time to run errands that I struggle to accomplish during normal business hours while I'm working.
7) Having kids that are at an age when they can be a bit independent helps.
8) Having the kids in PT preschool also really helps!

All-in-all, I've enjoyed my temporary SAHM gig. It was kind of neat to see what Oronzo's experience has been like when he used to work from home (he's working outside of the home for the time-being with a contract job). Of course, when he stays at home with the kids, he's also got work to do. Being on vacation, I did not. I know that makes things a bit tougher.

Now granted, a few days off does not a SAHM make me, but it's been fun to get a glimpse of the other side, even for a brief amount of time.

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5:07 AM
7 comments


Sunday, August 09, 2009
Potty mouth
We're in the midst of potty training Boo right now. It's actually going surprisingly well.

We made the decision NOT to use pull-ups. We felt like they were a waste of time (and money) with Snuggle Bug and actually hindered his potty training efforts. So, with Boo, we skipped straight to underpants, using diapers only at nap time and bedtime since she's still not waking up dry.

Boo is very much into princesses right now so we bought her princess underpants and she loves them! She's very proud of her princess underpants.

So, she's doing quite well going pee on her own accord. And now she's actually going poop too!

The other day, she went poop on her own, and then came rushing to me saying, "Come look! I poopy in da potty!"

As she's proudly showing me her fine work, she points and tells me, "Dat's a big crap! I did a big crap, Mama!"

Umm...perhaps I shouldn't be saying "crap" around the kids, ya think?

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5:00 AM
5 comments


Friday, August 07, 2009
Favorite Ingredients Friday (Appetizers & Snacks Edition)

Good Friday to you all! It's time for a Favorite Ingredients Friday Appetizers & Snacks edition! I enjoyed the recipes you all shared with me last year and can't wait to see what you come up with today.

Before we get started, I'd like to encourage you to enter for a chance to win the Chicken Soup for the Soul book that I'm giving away.  I'll be choosing the winner tomorrow evening!

Now then, the recipe I'm sharing is courtesy Giada De Laurentiis. I watched her make this on Food Network and decided to give it a try. It was a yummy and somewhat elegant appetizer that I served to some friends that we had over one night. It really isn't that complicated to make.


Pecorino Romano with Apples and Fig Jam

Ingredients:
6 dried figs, halved
1/2 cup simple syrup, recipe follows
2 tablespoons brandy
1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
24 baguette slices
Olive oil, for drizzling
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1 large apple (Granny Smith or Braeburn), thinly sliced into 24 slices
1/4 pound chunk Pecorino Romano, for shaving 24 pieces

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the figs, simple syrup, and brandy. Bring the mixture up to a simmer. Turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Place the fig mixture and the hazelnuts in a food processor and blend, pulsing a few times, until pureed. Set aside.

Place the baguette slices on a heavy baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Top each slice with 1 teaspoon grated Pecorino Romano. Bake until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted and golden, about 7 minutes.

Top each slice of toast with 2 teaspoons of fig jam, a slice of apple and a piece of shaved Pecorino Romano. Transfer the toasts to a serving platter and serve.

Simple syrup:
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
In a saucepan combine water and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Take pan off heat and cool the syrup. Any extra cooled syrup can be saved in an airtight container in the refrigerator

Now, I look forward to seeing your Favorite Ingredients Friday Appetizers & Snacks edition recipe! I won't be able to visit your recipes right away 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.

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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6:35 AM
2 comments


Sunday, August 02, 2009
A small step forward in Boo's case.
Boo has been with our family for 17 1/2 months now and she's been in the foster care system for 25 months.

Earlier this week, we FINALLY got the news that Boo's case has been transfered from CPS to the state-contracted adoption agency.  And we got a call from a social worker from that agency saying she's been assigned to Boo's case and she wants to meet with our family next week.  We also have an adoption application to fill out to get the ball rolling on the adoption process!

To say I'm thrilled is not doing this justice!  I am beyond excited that Boo's case has finally been transfered over to the adoption agency.  We've been waiting for this day for months and months.

When we took the training classes for our foster care license back in 2007, we were warned that it could take "up to 12 months or so" before we might be allowed to adopt a child from foster care.  I now realize they were being overly optimistic in their 12 months estimate, at least Boo's case has proven them wrong.

I must admit, there's still anger lingering in me that this precious child has been stuck in the system for 25 months (of her 29 1/2 months of existence) and we still haven't gotten a ruling from the higher court of appeals on whether or not the severance ruling will be upheld.  We still haven't been able to finalize her adoption and legally make her a part of our family.  The system is failing children pulled into the foster care system.  They're failing Boo right now.  She should've been allowed to be adopted a long time ago!

But I'm trying to let go of that anger and count my blessings that she's with us now.  She knows she's loved.  She's stable and thriving.  And, God willing, she's not going anywhere!  I suspect I won't be able to fully let go of the anger until after we've been allowed to adopt her.

I have to tell you, I'm throwing this child a HUGE celebration party on the day we get to finalize her adoption (I'm thinking positively here)!  She so deserves a day of celebration for all that she's been through!

Please keep her and our family in your prayers!

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6:00 AM
7 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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