Thursday, August 25, 2011

We pause for this interruption...

It's called LIFE!  And it has put a temporary hold on my ability to blog.  I just don't have the time to write right now.

We have started school in earnest and that takes a lot of adjustment getting into the swing of things.
Shane and I also decided to have a booth at the Fall Festival this year so I spend much of my "free time" sewing so that there is something in it.  All that we make will go into the adoption fund. 
We also just finished up at a revival.  Shane spoke and I led the singing. 

I will be back with regularly scheduled postings as soon as possible. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Our Adoption Journey - part 2

So after making the decision to adopt, we had to decide where to adopt from.  I was initially very drawn to Ethiopia.  But the process to bring a child home from Ethiopia now involves 2 trips into the country each lasting a week or more.  The King did not like the idea of me traveling alone to Ethiopia (which I would have had to do the second trip because of his limited vacation time).  While I was trying to convince him that it would be ok, Egypt erupted politically.  then other countries followed suit. Ethiopia has a very chancy political environment anyway so this was enough to convince us both to stay within the US.

After that decision was made I started researching different agencies.  We were drawn to a small IL agency but they do very few placements each year.  I made contact with them and asked a few questions and we decided to use them as our homestudy agency.  Our social worker (who was wonderful), came to our house 4 times to inspect the house, and interview us and the kids.  Although it was intimidating the think about, Maria, the social worker, really put us at ease and made it easier to manage.  She also helped us with all the paperwork and hoops we had to jump through...including physicals, fingerprinting, financial info, etc.  The homestudy was officially finished in the end of June.  It took about 8 weeks.

While we were completing our homestudy we were also working with our placement agency.  We chose them at the same time we chose our homestudy agency.  We chose American Adoptions because they do many placements per year and their time frames were good.  I also really liked how friendly and helpful they were on the phone when I called.  While doing our homestudy, I was also writing essays and taking photos to submit to American Adoptions for our profile.  It was ready to submit within a week after finishing our homestudy.  We are now actively waiting for a birth mother to chose us.  According to American Adoptions policies birthmothers should be seeing our profile weekly or so.  We will not hear from them until a birthmother has shown interest in us being her baby's family.  In the meantime, we are receiving equipment to do a video profile which is very exciting to me.

We have also planned a fundraiser and are planning to hit a craft show.  I'll share more about both of those things next week.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Home Educating Family Publishing

Home Educating Family Publishing

There is a free giveaway today. Go check it out.


We have been up to our "ears" in corn the last week.  (get it-ha!).  I've been freezing it which makes a huge mess but will be so great when winter gets here.  We've also been eating it by the bucket full for meals.  
Thankfully, the boys like it.  

Although it looks like it, he did not actually eat the cob.

It's funny, he gets food all over when he eats (it disgusts me)...but corn on the cob, he eats very nicely.

How cute is this kid?  He is loving his supper!
I think it will now be a week or two before any of us want to eat corn for supper.  :)

Menu Monday

So, I know it is Tuesday.  I  had this done late last week but never got it online.  Then I had a headache all day yesterday.  Better late than never I guess.  And since it is already a day late (and a dollar short??) I am not going to say anything else about it.  Here it is.

banana split
english muffins
coffee cake

leftover pizza
fruity lunch
leftover enchiladas or Nachos
pseudo "egg mcmuffins"

crock pot enchiladas (new recipe)
chicken, rice a roni, cooked carrots
fried fish, corn, fries
baltimore hash (new recipe)

As it turns out, already by Tuesday, these meals won't all work.  We are going to a friend's home for dinner 2 nights this I will use those meals for next week.  A menu plan is so helpful as long as you are FLEXIBLE!  Flexible has been very important the last few weeks. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Menu Monday...

so I have a menu this week...but I have a headache that is sucking the life out of me so I am not going to post it today.  I'll try tomorrow.  And more of the adoption story.  And at least one more recipe.  But not tonight. 

Tune in tomorrow....

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Peanut Butter Surprise Muffins

So, I am apparently obsessed with sandwiches recently.  Last week, it was BLT pasta.  This week it is a sandwich inspired muffin.  Now I LOVE LOVE LOVE BLT sandwiches and I wait for and look forward to them all year long...but will only eat them when tomatoes are in season.  (But if you read my post with the recipe you knew that already).  This muffin was inspired by a sandwich that doesn't even make my top 3.  If I sat down and wrote it out, it might make my top 10...peanut butter and jelly.  And I just spoiled the surprise.  That's ok you don't have to tell your kids and you will earn an "awesome mom" badge, as long as your kids aren't allergic to peanut which case you can probably skip this and come back tomorrow.

This is a recipe I tweaked (not by much) from a recipe for peanut butter bread in a Gooseberry patch cookbook.*  The bread is great on its own and makes beeyoutiful toast.  But I often am making something like this in the morning and don't have 50 minutes for bread to bake.  My children are HUNGRY in the morning.  So I do this instead.

*Gooseberry Patch cookbooks are some of my favorite cookbooks.  I have 3 of them.  I use the Country Baking one weekly, at least.  This bread recipe can be found in that one. I got all 3 of mine as wedding gifts 10 years ago and think they were a very good choice.  :)  So thank you to whoever bought them.  I don't remember.

Ok, enough we go.

Peanut Butter Surprise Muffins

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 t vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup milk
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
your favorite jelly or jam

In a large bowl, blend together sugar, peanut butter and vanilla.  Gradually, pour in milk; mix well.*  Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; add to peanut butter mixture.

Option 1:  Bread ( recipe as written in Gooseberry Patch)
Now at this point if you want to make the bread you just spread it in a greased 9X 5 loaf pan and bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes.

Option 2:  Surprise muffins
grease your muffin tin and fill muffin cups about 1/4 full.  Put a small scoop of your favorite jam, about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon, on batter in muffin cup.  Cover with muffin batter.  Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.  When I did this I got 18 muffins.

Option 3.  Plain muffins
Scoop batter into greased muffin tins and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

All three options are excellent!!

* When you stir in the milk gradually, it gets REALLY watery.  It is not a mistake.  It will slosh around like soup.  But when you add the flour mixture (which I never sift-I just stir it together in a separate bowl) it will all come together nicely...promise!

If you eat them hot from the oven like we did, have your kids break them open and steam...that jelly gets HOT in there!  :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Menu Monday August 1

So, I really didn't feel like doing a menu for this week.  The house feels very empty of food and I am not gorcery shopping till Thursday.  I kinda felt like we would just scavenge.  We are also very busy this week...I am babysitting a couple days (not during a meal time), I think I am going to have some tomatoes to can, we are picking sweet corn Monday afternoon and I am freezing it on Tuesday, the kids are going to a VBS Wednesday-Friday.  And I will not be home the whole day on Saturday.  So making a menu just felt even more overwhelming.  Then I thought about it and this is the EXACT kind of week where having meals planned out (and thawing meat from the freezer ahead of time) my just be my link to sanity.   So in the interest of maintaining sanity, I printed off my planning form and went to work.

toast, muffins, oatmeal, banana splits, cereal, and ??

chicken strips (on sale this week), cheese & sausage crackers, leftovers, sandwiches, quesadillas, sandwiches (again!)

eggs & toast
Crock Pot pulled BBQ, corn on the cob, pea salad
Black Bean Burgers (recipe to come), corn on the cob
beef stew (crock pot)
grill out burgers & hot dogs, more deviled eggs, salad
frozen pizzas

As I look at this, the menu is kinda "burger heavy" but they will all be slightly different and we like them.  Plus, they are easy, fast and it is nice to cook outside when it is this hot outside.  That's my story and I'm stickin to it.  :) 

And Coming soon-- Look out for another sandwich inspired recipe...this one in a nice little muffin form.  The kids devoured them and I put a few away myself without much difficulty.  :)