Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Save-A-Lot gift card winner!

Six little names went in one little bowl...

We stirred & we mixed 'em right down to our soul...

One little boy pulled out one little name...

And smiled so big 'cause the winner's Bobbi Janay!

(You are just so welcome for the cheesy poem. ;o)

Congrats! Ü

Email me your address & I'll stick these in the mail tomorrow!

Thanks for playing, everyone!

Next big giveaway - Free Gift of Bliss - next week! Woot! :)

(Follow my blog to be entered in my next giveaway!)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Save-A-Lot gift cards giveaway!

I don't have a store close to my area. But just maybe, you do? These gift cards are $15.00 each! $45 total! Woot! You are more than welcome to have all three! Whose budget couldn't utilize some free groceries? :)
For a chance to win, leave a comment on this post! I'll choose a winner Wednesday (3.31.10) evening. Oh I just love fun stuff! Ü
Reminder - my Free Gift of Bliss will be purchased this weekend & given away next week! Woot! Follow my blog (located on the lower left sidebar) to be entered in the giveaway! This giveaway is so fun, I want to keep it! ;o) Don't miss a chance to enter! Ü

Monday, March 29, 2010

Love too much.

She's 26 months young.

Much to her delight, on her way to pure independence.

She totally feeds herself. Everything.

Buckles herself into her booster at the table.

Loads herself up in the car (but I buckle).

Takes her clothes off for bath time.

Puts her own cup in the frig.

Talks in complete sentences.

Can count (perfectly) beyond 10.
Takes her medicine, daily, like it's nobody's business.
Goes up & down the ladder, & in & out of the trampoline, alone.

Screams "I do it!!" every single chance she gets.

She was playing with my bedroom doors the other day. While closing them, I told her I would like to go out. She very nicely took her hands, placed them on my backside, & physically shoved me out. "Go way, mommy", she said. And slammed the doors.


Today she shouted "it's beau-ful outside!" Yes, it was.

She picked up a dress @ Target - "it's beau-ful!" she exclaimed.

Such a big, big girl.

She knows her likes. Her dislikes.

Time is passing too quickly.

I'm not ready for her to need me less.

Is it really possible to love your children too much? Because if it is, I'm already there. ♥

Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Cassie is gone.

I'm having a difficult time wrapping my mind around all of this. Why does this continue to happen to us? We love animals. We just want a dog to add to our family, to keep until her time here, with us, is finished. Why is that too much to ask for?

I think I mentioned that about 7 1/2 years ago, we had to put down my dog that I/we had had for 14 or so years. She was with me before my husband & stayed with us until her journey was over. We didn't get another dog for quite some time. Approximately 4 years. We did our research on the breed we wanted. For many reasons, we chose the Shih-Tzu breed, & purchased our OshKosh. Who was an awesome dog. So adorable. We loved him. But unexpectedly, as he was approaching 4 years old, he turned on the kids. For no reason. I know what many think. Many assume our children picked on Kosh, & that is the reason he began snapping. That is so far from the truth. Our children are taught from day one to respect animals. They are taught how to appropriately treat them, how to give them space while they eat & drink, where we pet & where we don't pet, & how to play gently. To be honest with you, the kids didn't pay that much attention to Kosh. So why he suddenly snapped & attempted to viciously attack their faces/heads, we don't know. Our vet wanted us to put him down, but we couldn't. Fortunately my husband's mother took him, & Kosh is much happier in his new environment - he enjoys the quiet. He's treated like a king. Just as he should be.

Then we adopted Ky. Awesome Labrador. Amazing dog. Probably the best, well trained dog ever. Obviously, the SPCA sucked at their screening. Ky was sick. We tried to help him. Took him to an ER vet the day after we got him. Gave him medication(s). Had everything taken care of that the SPCA said they did, but did not. Then we discovered he more than likely had some sort of obstruction & the vomiting was so severe & so often, we had to return him. So unfortunate.

And Cassie (Imperial Shih-Tzu). I found her on Craig's List. And well, you know the journey with Cassie. We did all we could to save her & help her. But she's 'special needs'. And due to no fault of her own, her health issues couldn't be controlled. Yes, there are further steps we could have taken. But that takes money. Thousands, to be exact. And time. It takes time. With her recent accidents, I was overwhelmed. It just came to a point I couldn't do it anymore, no matter how strong my love is for her. I don't blame her & I/we never got angry with her. She is precious. We will miss her. I will pray so hard for her that the vet tech that 'adopted' her gets her the help she needs. I can't bear to think that she won't. Cassie is just to tiny & delicate - I hope she is loved as we loved her.

Maybe someday all of this will make sense. For now, it most certainly does not. I just don't understand.

All I know is that once again, it will be a very quiet evening tonight. And as I start to cry, I will now sign off.

Here's to a new week.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The most beautiful day.

Want a sweet read while I'm away?

The most beautiful day.

So sweet. These two are adorable! Check out the bling - woot!

I'm off to meet Celebrity Chef Tim Love! Happy Friday! Ü


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Underprotective mother.

I grew up with an extremely overprotective mother. Honestly? I can't tell you how horrible it was. I don't have the greatest memory, but I seldom remember playing outside. I used to have to go to bed while it was still daylight. I remember laying in bed, listening to neighborhood children play outside (hence, my issue with putting my own children to bed while it's still light outside). We moved around a lot when I was young (lived in 5 different states by age 9), & for safety reasons, the new (to us) houses could not be equipped with a gas stove. For safety reasons, if the house(s) had a garbage disposal, it was promptly removed.
For the record, I adore gas stoves (my preference, actually!) & I cannot live without a garbage disposal! Baha! Ü

My mother has lightened up none over the years, & it still drives me absolutely crazy (not to mention, her extreme stress is taking a toll on her). When my children & I are with her, it's almost as if she doesn't want them to breathe. Screaming, gasping & grabbing them at every little move (like, if they take a step in a parking lot). Of course, I correct her because they are my children, but it's still insane. Yesterday, she phoned me in the morning. I had things to do, so I didn't answer. Then she phoned my cell phone. Then she called again, because she was "very concerned" I needed to phone her right away & let her know everything was ok. Have I phoned her? No. I'm grown now, & don't feel the need (nor will I) to answer to mom. As far as the now call me the minute you get home so I know you made it - I stopped that years ago. Oh. Good. Gravy.
Long ago, I made the choice & a promise to my unborns, to not be an overprotective mother. I am not! Woot! :)

Somewhat, I feel as if I missed the experience of living, beginning around age 5 (my earliest recollection). Sure, when I was a teen, I went to the skating rink every Friday night. But I'm talking about exploring, in length & detail, the great outdoors. Taking chances. I don't want to smother my children. I want them to breathe.

I want them to experience. I want them to learn. If they fall, they get up. Isn't that what life is all about, falling? But you get up. And no matter when they fall, either now or later, I'll be right there beside them to help them up. Forever.

I don't know if being "underprotective" is right or wrong. But it's what I know. And being the way I was raised, it's the only way I prefer to know. My hope is that when my children look back, they will appreciate having the freedom to actually live.

And if they look back & smile, then I'll take underprotective anyday. Ü

Cute, flowery ice cube trays. *Update.

Saturday, I sent hubby to get groceries. Huh? Yep, I do send him to the store. Every now & then he offers, as well. Why should I always be the one to buy groceries? I don't eat all the groceries myself, & I work too, right? :o)


At the top of the list, yes I make him a list 'cause I'm all sweet & helpful like that, I wrote:

Cute, flowery spirals.

Below that:

Rubbermaid ice cube trays.

He returned home with neither.

Then proceeded to inform me that he & the boys absolutely could not locate any cute, flowery, spiral Rubbermaid ice cube trays.

For the life of me, I can't figure out why. Ü

*I didn't realize this might be confusing until I read Melissa's comment. Baha! I giggled. :) So I'll elaborate a tad - I am a writer - I write, write, write. Everything. So, the "cute, flowery spirals" are actually spiral notebooks I was desiring. The ice cube trays just happened to be written underneath. Ü

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Infertility is my greatest blessing.

I mean really, that's a given. ♥
But that's not to say that sometimes infertility doesn't smack me right upside the head, either.
Because this shirt? I can't do it. And to some degree, I will always wonder.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Deceit - noun - 1. deception 2. dishonesty

But does exaggeration fall under deceit? Does misleading? Does fabrication?

By now you all know how I feel about deceit. Frankly? I strongly dislike it. It's a cop out. In my opinion, someone who can't own up to the truth, and/or enjoys fabricating & misleading others, is a wimp. One of the greatest characteristics one can possess is honesty. The truth is powerful. To possess & live it is honorary.

Most recently we've discussed Jennifer McKinney. Nothing really further to say about her - she is full of fabrications & it'll be interesting to see what lie ahead for her. Her deceit has now involved a very well known Christian Organization, Compassion, who I believe is working hard to save their reputation. Jennifer is a grown woman & must own up to her mistakes. Unfortunately, you reap what you sow.

Part of our adoption journey involves signing with a "Christian" (I use that word loosely) Facilitator in hopes of locating our 2nd or 3rd baby. (I say "2nd or 3rd" because I don't have the dates handy - I can't remember if we were actually searching for our 3rd, a girl, or if we doubled up when we were already signed with Lifetime Adoptions, waiting to be matched with our 2nd.) Anyway, one day I was viewing some other waiting couples' adoption profiles & stumbled across a couple who lived relatively close to us, & coincidentally, her husband happened to be in the same field of work mine is. We struck up a friendship, only then to discover she was good friends with the sister-in-law of my good friend! What are the chances? We developed a friendship that lasted quite some time.

Her husband ended up getting laid off & they fell under financial difficulties, right at the same time they matched with a birthmother (I do believe this match was not with the organization we were both signed with). Once you match with a birthmother, attorneys need to get involved, paperwork needs to begin = funds need to be available. They asked for donations & held community fundraisers in order to meet the financial responsibility that comes with an adoption. Once their baby girl arrived, my friend really began to 'pour it on thick', so to speak. They needed clothing for the baby. They needed diapers. They needed necessary necessities (I ♥ forming double whammies). They needed formula. Etc. They happened to be members of a very large church congregation & I know they were blessed with help from other members.

At that particular time, our Jaguar was about 9 months old or so. I remember gathering everything I could find to give to them. I had a huge gift bag (like 3' x 3'), I pulled out all of Jaguar's too small items & began filling the bag. I filled that huge bag to the rim. Literally, I gave them hundreds & hundreds of dollars worth of baby girl clothing & necessities. Including brand new formula. We no longer needed the items & they did. I love to help others, so it was no big deal & I never gave it a second thought. I was just so happy they finally had received the baby girl they had longed & prayed for for so long. I was so happy I could help them.


Until weeks went by & I never received a thank you. Finally I did, via an email, & it was the most unappreciative, insincere thank you I've probably ever received. That was disappointing. Then she began sending photos of their family & the new baby. I looked a little closer at the first photo & noticed "S" had on sculpt nails. Hmm. My first thought was 'if they are tight on money, why is she paying to have her nails done?' In more photos, I noticed "S" was always dressed to the hilt. As was her husband, son, & new baby daughter. And those sculpt nails showed up in every stinkin' photo. It was at that time I realized I had been taken for a ride & had given away all of my baby girl's clothing to someone who probably didn't need them. That alone made me sad (& a little pissed). (Remember when Mercedes arrived unannounced & for a few months she didn't have any clothes? This is why! :) Pretty much, she never heard from me again & vice versa.

Recently I've discovered another similar situation. Only, I'm not 'friends' with this girl, I just found & fell in love with her blog & adopted children. I've invested nothing but time reading her site. No biggie.

In recent postings, she often blogged about how strapped they are for money. Her husband is in the Military, they have 3-4 biological children & 5 adopted from China. Granted, they are special needs children, so their fees were probably less expensive than traditional China adoptions, but there's been 5, nonetheless. Medical visits & procedures for the children I'm sure add up quickly. So they are strapped for money - completely understandable.

Then there was a post about not affording to do anything for Spring Break (I think it was Spring Break - I'm a relatively new reader of hers, so it could have been another holiday) - again - completely understandable. One day, they supposedly "dug through all the couch cushions" & scraped up enough money to treat the kids to McDonald's. But after that post, came the monogrammed pillow(s). And then the new baby dolls she had ordered the girls from Etsy. Precious dolls! After seeing them, I'm sure they were quite pricey. Ok, sweet treat for the girls. Then came a post about new crocs for the children. Adorable! But not your 'common' crocs. I'm sure she paid a tiny bundle for a few pair. And the whopper today? Her new shoes, her husband bought her, for her birthday! A whopping $130.

Now wait just one cotton pickin' minute. This is the kind of crap that just gets my goat. Typically, when I make the statement "we're a little strapped right now", it's because we are. You won't find me scouring the internet for new purchases (btw, I think this girl purchases most everything via the internet, which means there's a strong possibility of additional shipping charges) for myself or my children. Oh how I'd love to! But being tight on money is being tight on money & some things must, will & can wait until finances improve.

I don't understand why people do this. Is it for attention? Sympathy? Gift cards? Baha! I don't get it. What I do get is the fact that I refer to this type of behavior as deceit. It's dishonesty. How can someone be hurting for money, yet get their nails done every 2 weeks? Or turn around & purchase $130 shoes? They can't (or, they shouldn't?). If they can, then chances are, they ain't that broke. Her link has now been removed from my blog because that's just how I roll.

I don't comprehend how people live like that. I don't know why they choose to live like that. I don't claim to be the most perfect person ever, but I could never live like that. I don't lie. I don't steal. I don't cheat. I don't fabricate. I don't exaggerate. I don't mislead. However, I am very dramatic though, so that part you'll just have to live with. Baha! Ü

I guess some things (and/or people) we'll just never understand.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What do I do with this odd space?

Four years ago, we transformed our hideous, yellow glazed family room & repainted with luscious (teehee), soothing green. Two or three (I can't remember - it was a daunting experience, so I think I've subconsciously discarded it from my memory) grueling days of two coats of primer & two coats of paint. At the time we had 3 young children, who totally ran amock for those days. Fun stuff. I lie. It was horrendous. (See my little Bentley climbing what he shouldn't be climbing? ;o)
As you can see below, I never completed the detailing. Uh huh. This is it's current state, four years later:

Around the fireplace, but also in two corners, where the accent color meets the room color. I freehanded the corners because I was just too darn tired to do it at the time & I really couldn't have cared less. The corners current state (that is actually a light green/sage on the right side):

Trust me when I say, it looks much worse in person. :) All that said, I'm finally considering finishing these areas. Maybe I'll get around to it in a year or two. I don't like to rush things. :)


Here it is.

The most awkward, odd space(s) in our family room. Heck, in the entire house! What in the world? What were the builders thinking? Were they drunk? Why would they do this? Sheetrock would be better than this! But alas, it is what it is. And to be honest with you, that whole corner is strange. (You get a better view in the very first photo.) The tv armoire is caddy cornered because it won't fit flat in the space behind it. And having it situated like that, blocks one of my tiny family room windows which certainly does not tickle my fancy.

What to do? I'd like to pull the shelving off, but don't know if I can accomplish that without destroying the sheetrock. And where would I put the kids' books? I don't like traditional choices. (Like the brick I use as a bookend? I thought it was brilliant. :) As far as the triangle & box niche, I have absolutely no clue. This is all some sort of wood paneling stuff, so I can't really fill it in with sheetrock. Or can I? Plus the trim edging isn't flush with the paneling. Did I mention I despise paneling? But, that's another post. For someone (me) who is no longer 'country', we ended up with a totally 'country' home, right down (or up) to the wallpapered ceilings. :)

So, now tell me. If this was your goofy space in your home, how would you utilize it? How would you fill it? How would you camouflage it? 'Cause I got nothin'. Ü

Monday, March 15, 2010

Homemade guacamole, meatballs & sour cream biscuits!

Don't get excited. It was horrible!
I am so disappointed. I spent a total of 3 1/2 hours in the kitchen today. And I was abruptly reminded why I typically don't.
Guacamole. I even seeded & minced the peppers. And chopped the cilantro. The guacamole was not bad. But it wasn't good. It was too bland for our liking.

Meatballs. "30 minute prep time". Liars. I think not. It took me over an hour prep time. I made my own bread crumbs. Minced garlic cloves. And rolled & rolled & rolled meatballs. It was a very lengthy recipe.

I guess for the record, they weren't that bad. But they weren't good, either. They were so spicey. Do your sinuses need cleaning out? If so, then these are for you.

I topped off dinner with Paula Deen's Sour Cream Biscuits. They were simple to make. And horrible to eat. Blah! On the positive note, they sure were pretty.

Dinner was a disaster. The kids hated all of it. I made them eat most of it anyway. 'Cause I'm cruel like that.

The guacamole recipe & meatball recipe came from Good Housekeeping's 'Home for the Holidays' cookbook. I now completely understand why the book was only $2.50. They should have paid me to take the damn cookbook.

And I know what you're thinking. Pink plates. Ü

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring Break has sprung!

Woot! Now, what to do, what to do. Ü

Our budget for Spring Break is pretty much non-existent. Which means, mom here is going to have to get creative. And if you've known me long, you certainly know I am anything but. Oh the pressure. Yikes! :)

I reckon being my most favorite word is simple, Spring Break will be just that. I see lots of outdoor play - thankfully the weather is supposed to be beautiful! I see lots of tiny toes being painted vibrant colors. And if the boys aren't careful, they might possibly receive some pretty toes themselves. :) I see a trip to our new library. A picnic at the park. A balloon & bubble afternoon. A trip to Grapevine Mills Mall & eating at Rainforest Cafe. We have 2 coupons for free kids' meals, so we'll put those to good use! Fingerpainting. Lots of loud music. And of course, photos! Ü

Did you happen to catch Kelle's post today? Did you notice this?

"whenever it gets to be too much, no matter what we're doing or what needs to be done, we just stop. Get your shoes, we're going outside."

Who knew one tiny sentence could pack so much punch?

What my children desire most from me this Spring Break takes no money. It just takes time. Ü

Happy weekend! Live in the simple. ♥

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Kelle Hampton.

You know how I love to be inspired by others. As a matter of fact, I adore being inspired by others. We get so completely lost in every day life, sometimes it takes something so simple - words, thoughts, photos, ideas - to help nudge us to stop & reach for calm. Recall this post? I've discovered that I have been so consumed building my life, that I haven't been living my life. I thank God for my recent discovery. Because things are a changin'. And this mama sure is smilin'. :)

Seldom do I find a blog that stops me in my tracks. I never knew about Kelle Hampton. Never heard of her blog. It was being discussed, briefly, on MWOP. So I wanted to take a peek. Am I ever so glad I did. Her blog did just that - it stopped me in my tracks. It absorbed my heart.

I was mesmerized. I was drawn into her writing as if it were a warm, fluffy, cozy bed. Kelle's story is heartwarming. Full of hope. Love. Grace. Mercy. Inspiration. Kelle had a vision for her future. She still does. But her plan & God's plan were two totally different things. Only, Kelle didn't know it.
Don't you love when someone has a beautiful heart on the inside, and can display it so beautifully on the outside, as well? The way she lives, the way she mothers, the love she embraces, the perspective she has for life.
You too be inspired. Appreciate altered plans. Make changes. Live in the simple.

You can find Kelle's blog here. ♥

It's a beautiful day. How are you going to choose to live it? It's your choice.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Is too the same pan.

I amaze myself. I'm amazed at the fact I can demolish a frying pan in 5 minutes, & I'm amazed I can restore it in 10 minutes. Baha! :)
I have a set of these pots/pans & they are my most favorite ever. I have had them for years. You can see the surface scratches on the bottom. Maybe I should check into purchasing a new set. Or maybe the scratches don't matter. Heck, if I can't fry an egg, I sure couldn't tell you if I need new pans! Teehee. Ü

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I think I killed the pan.

In case you had any doubt, I recommend frying eggs before scrambling eggs. 'Cause if you do it the other way around... Ü

Monday, March 8, 2010

A biological baby? Update.

OMGosh. I just told hubby "I think we should try, again, to have our own biological baby."

He said "OKAY!" without hesitation.


I thought this deserved it's own post. Ü

"I said no to adopting more children. I never said no to having a biological child."

Gee, I guess I should have asked! ;o)

Seriously. Aren't I too old? How old is too old to (yet again) attempt to get pregnant? High Risk? Oh yeah. I'd be the real deal right there. ;o)

God will really have to have a sense of humor to pull this off. I'm pretty confident my chances are slim to none. :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Precious at 25 1/2 months.

Her first haircut. By mom. :) I cut quite a bit because it had become unmanageable. I know it probably didn't feel too good for her. And I always want my children to feel comfortable. The good news is not only is it much simpler to style, I can put a clip in it again! Ü
She is so.stinkin'.adorable.
I wish you could witness her personality thru the screen.
You would die.
I can confirm she is two years old. Because she does this (below) a lot. Especially when not getting her way. Or maybe it's just a woman thing. ;o) And my girl is all about shoes. We are in trouble. Ü

In the photo below, I had my camera's white balance on the wrong setting. Gasp! More photos that aren't snapshots? I'm so good like that. :)
Even though blue, I thought it was pretty cute. Snuggling her book. Ü

God is so good. He knew she belonged here. We know she belongs here. As stated two years ago - she needed us & we needed her. My heart was lacking, but now it's not.

I love her, I adore her & I'll cherish her forever.

And just so you know, I could have swore that clip was pink. ;o)