Monday, November 30, 2009


Sunday started off spending some time with my aunt and uncle. The kids LOVE helping to feed the barn cats...
and the horses...

Then after lunch we headed out to a community center for our family Christmas.
A different family "hosts" it each year and I'm hoping we can have it sometime once we move. The ones who hosted this year had some very cute things for the kids to do. First on the list was decorating gingerbread men ornaments out of foam. So cute!
Then it was on to decorating their own little gingerbread houses and two larger houses that were "community" projects. :)

Besides my three, the only other "kid" is my cousin's little girl who's going to be 2 in spring.

After that, they decorated gingerbread men and listened to the story of the Gingerbread Man. (Miss detail-oriented Olivia was still decorating!) :)

Then they ate their cookies. I LOVE this picture of Liam! Can you tell how very careful he was being to NOT get the cookie itself! He just wanted that hat! :)

Next was time for the adults to get in on the action. We usually do a game with dice and gifts, but this year played bingo. It was $10 to play two cards, kids played free, and a bingo netted you $5! :) Olivia was able to call bingo half the game and loved it!

Braeden and I each won one game for $5, but Olivia, even with calling half the games, won two and got $10!

They each got some wonderful gifts and had such a great time with family! They were VERY sad to leave! Olivia asked why our family was "split up." Meaning why did everyone live so far away. She was very upset about this. I explained that as people become adults they have to make choices on where to live based on their job, their spouse possibly, what they want to do in their spare time, where they want to live, etc. I also explained that just because we live in different places doesn't mean our family is split up and that we're still family. I think it just brings up all the stuff with her past and missing her brother! Just breaks my heart! But, one more reason to be sure to move back to the area! She said this morning she wishes we were moving today. :) Soon my dear, soon.
We really did have a wonderful weekend!

DRAMA - The Rest of Saturday

The rest of the day turned out a little more eventful than the end of yesterday's post may have you believe! I thought I'd share a little more about it, especially now that I have some distance. :) It went down something like this... (narrated by this adorable almost 2 year old :) )

You see, my cute little self...

was about to flip back off of this chair AGAIN! So while my mommy, Lisa's friend, was busy watching me (and all within seconds of the rest of this),

Olivia's mommy, was to the left of where Olivia is in this picture throwing away some garbage in the workout room...

The second they were both distracted, my 3 1/2 year old brother and Braeden, no floaties on their little arms and unable to swim, wandered farther into the pool than they were supposed to!

My brother was holding onto Braeden's head because he knew he was in too deep and couldn't swim or touch! Braeden couldn't touch either though, and his little head kept going under water, panic on his face because he was about drowning!

My mommy yelled to my brother two or three times to "Let go of Braeden!" But he didn't because he was just so scared!

So... Lisa jumped in the water, with her clothes on, with her leather shoes on, with her watch on, with her electronic key ring in her pocket. Luckily she had taken out her cell phone and camera and laid them on the table just before this happened! She was able to quickly get both boys out of the water! Whew! And then Olivia snapped a picture of HER! :)

And THAT, my friends, was the drama in the hotel pool! :)

Of course I packed an extra set of clothes for each of the kids, but did I pack a set for me!? NO! :) I had Sunday's outfit for our family Christmas get together, that was it. So my friend went to get that from the car, and then she took home and washed my outfit I was wearing, so that I was able to at least wear it the next day. :)

A little later, we then went to another friend's mom's house to see all the amazing work and updating they've done over the past ten years since I've been there. So great! My three friends (sisters), their parents, and extended family were a second family to me when I was living in my hometown 12+ years ago. I did a lot with them, spent time on holidays with them, it was great.

Two of the three are married now, and one of them has an adopted daughter who is 2 1/2. So cute! She had my kiddos wrapped around her finger! Especially Olivia, who was roped into dance after dance! :)

One of my friends was talked into cracking nut after nut for my lovelys. Her sister had told her daughter enough after a few, and Braeden says, "I'm glad I'm not in THAT family!" Oh my! Hilarious!

Afterward, we met back up with Braeden's godmother and her two boys for dinner and hit the road yet again to drive 45 minutes to where my dad's side of the family lives. We stayed up with my aunt and uncle and cousins and then hit the hay looking forward to Sunday!
Sunday, November 29, 2009


Had another great day on Saturday.

First we drove past some of the houses I've noticed online to check out neighborhoods, etc.  Only one that I'm still interested so that's good to know.

Then we went to see the house I grew up in.  The kids thought that was pretty cool! :)  Olivia got a picture in front of it...

We took a few pictures, one of which I'm going to be using for our Christmas cards this year, and here is a close up during the "photo session"...

Spent some more time with friends and then headed to family! :)
Saturday, November 28, 2009


We had a great day yesterday getting into town and seeing some of my friends.

We began at McDonalds for a little lunch and play time to burn off a little energy.  Then we headed toward a pottery painting coffee house which some friends of mine own, and whom I hadn't seen in years!  In fact, I've never met their now nine year old, but used to babysit their, gulp, 22 year old! :)  The kids painted a little, met my friends and their daughter, and Braeden acted a little crazy, but it was great to see them and to meet their daughter. 

 We then went across the street for ice cream at my favorite and best ice cream place ever!  (Owned by some other friends of mine.) :)

After, we headed to the hotel to check in and have a little down time.  Another friend, Braeden's godmother, and her son who is Liam's age, came over bringing Little Caesars for dinner.  We ate then went down to the pool for the kids to swim.   Another friend I haven't seen in years, but whom I've reconnected with through facebook came to the pool and we had a lot of fun catching up while the kids swam.

It was a late night for the kids, but they did great and watched some of Aladdin in their pjs before we hit the sack.  Today we are looking at a house I've been eyeing online for a few months, and hopefully seeing Braeden's godmother again along with a couple other friends we didn't get to see yesterday.  
Friday, November 27, 2009

The Son

I hate forwards through email. I admit it, I do. And I often delete them, sorry! My dad knows I don't like them, but still he sends them! :) Wednesday I read one that he sent and though I "figured it out" halfway through, it still really touched me, I hope it does you also.

Take my Son

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.

When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.

About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.

He said, 'Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly... He often talked about you, and your love for art.' The young man held out this package. 'I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this.'

The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture... 'Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift.'

The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.

The man died a few months later.. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection.

On the platform sat the painting of the son.. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. 'We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?'

There was silence..

Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, 'We want to see the famous paintings. Skip thisone.'

But the auctioneer persisted. 'Will somebody bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?'

Another voice angrily. 'We didn't come to see this painting... We came to see the Van Gogh's, the Rembrandts.. Get on with the real bids!'

But still the auctioneer continued. 'The son! The son! Who'll take the son?'

Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. 'I'll give $10 for the painting..' Being a poor man, it was all he could afford..

'We have $10, who will bid $20?'

'Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters.'

The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son.

They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.

The auctioneer pounded the gavel. 'Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!'

A man sitting on the second row shouted, 'Now let's get on with the collection!'

The auctioneer laid down his gavel. 'I'm sorry, the auction is over.'

'What about the paintings?'

'I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings.

The man who took the son gets everything!'

God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on the cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is: 'The son, the son, who'll take the son?'

Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.


God Bless
Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Day

... And I actually ate turkey today! Amazing! It was so special!

Here is our Thanksgiving day in pictures... starring those I'm most thankful for...

It was RAINY! :( Boo!!! We've been to the parade on the "coldest Thanksgiving in Chicago in 30 years", and some where it's freezing, even a little snow falling (gorgeous), but never rain! And I don't like it! :)

This was the first year Liam really "got it" and LOVED it!!! I love his eyes in this photo!

We were given some freebies during the parade, and one was aluminum bottles of new Sprite Green. It's sweetened naturally, has some fruit juice, is only 50 calories a bottle, was very tasty (even for me who doesn't like Sprite normally), plus it's just cool looking! :) So, though I'm not getting paid for this plug...

Needless to say, the kids loved it! They drank it in the train station with our Subway sandwiches for lunch as we waited for our outbound train.
And then they slept.. all three... even this one who NEVER naps! :)
We had lots of fun at my friends for Thanksgiving! "Cheers!"
A little dress up!
Making apple turkeys, though I think more marshmellows went in the mouth than on the turkey, especially for Liam! :)
This picture was taken of Olivia's reaction as I mentioned that her turkey was starting to look more like a porcupine! :)
The finished products...

And then it was home to bed... even though I had a youngest and oldest who were not ready to go and not ready to sleep.... but they went to sleep quickly and mom is finishing the packing for the rest of our weekend... A great start! :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Crazy, Fun, Thankful, Weekend

We're off... I'm a bit stressed I must admit. It hit me the other day how down to the wire I am on the house. Since it's being listed when we return from our Christmas vacation, and since we leave December 18 for Florida, we don't have much time left. We're gone all this weekend, next week is nuts, and the following weekend is planned. And I have to paint my kitchen! And the tile guy for the bathroom still has not scheduled to start redoing the tile! And, and, and! :) It'll be fine, but a little stressful!

I'm very excited about our upcoming weekend! Tomorrow we leave at 4:30 in the morning, yes, 4:30 AM, to drive to the train station and take the train into Chicago for the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Last year we went to the lighting of the Magnificent Mile Parade instead, but this year back to our tradition! We'll go the parade, then eat turkey sandwiches from Subway in the train station before coming back. :) We were also invited by friends, where Liam also happens to go for day care, to join them once we're back for Thanksgiving dinner! Except once when Braeden and Olivia were tiny, the year before we started going to the parade, they have never had the big dinner with turkey and all the fixins! I'm so excited for them and to spend the day with special friends! We have so much to be Thankful for!

Then on Friday morning we hit the road to drive to my hometown and visit with friends, show the kids the area again to get them more used to it, and even see a house I've been watching online. We'll stay overnight at a hotel and are planning a get together there Friday night for friends.

Saturday around dinnertime we'll drive about 45 minutes away to where my dad's side of the family live. One reason we're trying to move to my hometown come the end of this school year. We'll stay the night with my aunt and uncle, and then on Sunday we're having "Christmas" with everyone there. We'll drive the 2 1/2 or so hours home that evening, ready for school Monday morning!

Whew! An exhausting, but fun filled weekend! Hoping for good behavior, and patience from myself! :)

Hope you and yours have a wonderful and thankful day tomorrow!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wordle Fun

Have you tried yet??? If not, go, go now!!! Copy and paste any piece of text... a blog entry, a famous speech, your book report, or type in your own words... wordle will take the words you've entered and create, literally, a piece of ART with the words it finds. It will give larger text size to those words used more often and scale down. A great way to see if your idea is coming across loud and clear. Try some presidential inaugural addresses - eyeopening!!!

I tried one using Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream Speech. It's now hanging in the hall outside my classroom! :) (You'll need the java plugin on your computer, I don't have it at home ;() It took maybe two minutes to search online, find the text, copy it, and paste it in Wordle. Then you can hit randomize at the bottom and it will change the layout, text, colors, etc each time you click. Amazing! :)
Monday, November 23, 2009

...And Now a Word From Our Sponsors...

OK, taking a break from Christmas ideas today! :)

A few things to update you on. First, my etsy shop is finally up and running! You can find me here:

The money made from this shop will be helping with the downpayment on (hopefully) a new house come spring/summer, and then building up an adoption fund! :) I've had a lot of joy becoming creative once again!

Second, Braeden has been talking to "Daddy" a lot lately. The first time I heard him say it, I thought, Oh goodness, he's made up an invisible dad because he wants one, what am I to do!? But, I quietly asked him who he was talking to, and do you know what he said? God! God is my Father, mom, he said, and I call him Daddy sometimes. Oh, break my heart! :) So cute! Tonight I called him Picasso because he was drawing these amazing animals, better than I could! :) I explained who he was, and he asked, of all things, what color skin he had. I said I wasn't sure (though I pretty much was) and he turned his face upward and said, "Daddy, what color skin was Picasso? Ok, Peach? Ok, thanks" Hilarious! :)

Third, today at school Olivia's name was announced as the pull-up "champ" of the school along with some others for other physical efforts! :) She was so proud! She has huge arm muscles! :) I don't think I could do one!

And finally, we received a wonderful surprise in our mailbox on Saturday! Olivia received a letter from her bio brother! To remind/fill you in on the situation, J lived with us when Olivia and he first moved in as foster children. A month later, bio mom showed up again after being absent for about a year. This was VERY hard for him, and he acted out behaviorally in ways that were very difficult with a 13 month old, a 3 year old, and a single full-time working mom. It got to be just too much and I had to make the very painful decision that my home was not the best placement for him. I left it up to the agency as to keep Olivia where she was, as she was doing so well, or move her as well. You know the outcome. Her decision, made with her counselor, was also to remain here, though she was so young at the time.

She really didn't know her bio mom, and the relative she was placed in prior to my home is not a pleasant memory. But her brother was her life, her constant, and as he now lived 3 hours away and his foster/adoptive parents did NOT help facilitate visits (to say the least), she was left with a huge hole in her heart. I know that when we do have issues and fits at home (not real often, and it's been quite a while) that the internal "stuff" with missing him is usually at the core. It's been over two years since we last saw him. Since then I've sent birthday and Christmas cards, but hadn't even heard back so we were unsure if he was still at the same address.

His letter arrived Sat completely out of the blue. I opened it while she napped. And then "prepped" her before I gave it to her. I really debated giving it for a minute. Not because I didn't want to, every fiber in my being screamed to give her the joy of knowing he was ok, of seeing his picture which was included, of reading his words to her. BUT, I worry so much that this is setting her up for disappointment again. I fear the repercussions. BUT, it's not in my hands and I can't do that to her.

I am praying that this is the beginning of a renewal of communication. I have a feeling he bugged his parents enough that they relented and allowed his contact. I don't know. I do know that we saw some major behaviors tonight. Over "nothing", but then spiraling out of control. I was yelled at, I was told it wasn't a life to be bossed around all the time and that the other kids at school weren't bossed around (I'd like to talk to their parents! I doubt that one! :) ) , I was asked why she had no "life" when her friends had phones and had fun all the time and she didn't. (I wanted to scream, REALLY!? Really, you mean going on vacation a couple times a year, and going to plays and shows and movies, and the zoo like so many never do, and having an IPod shuffle, and a Didj, and.... but I didn't. See mom can get worked up too in the midst! We did talk about this later after we were both calm though! :) )
But after I allowed her (and myself) to calm down - I talked to her. She's frustrated she doesn't spend time with us because she's always doing homework. I feel the same. She does homework almost all the time, how do you change that???? I don't know. I'm a teacher too so I know it's important and want her to do her best, BUT she doesn't spend much time with us because of it. It takes her a while, and she has a lot, in third grade! BUT, I also know that she is missing her brother, and it's been brought up again through his letter. She broke down finally while talking and said as much. I break for her. I don't know how to help, just to talk and be there. Is it enough??????? I wonder sometimes. I fear sometimes it's not. We shared a lot tonight and started down a good path. I hope it continues. I pray for her and her brother.

Whew! See, now you're wishing for those Christmas ideas again aren't you!? Sorry, a little honesty, a rough night, a girl in need of prayer! :) Ok, maybe two girls in need of prayer! :)
Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Dedication

Dedicating Liam to God at church today, our church's first dedication day since his adoption last May...

Waiting for the service to start... Braeden opted to stay in his class, and I was proud of him for that, he knew it would be hard to sit and stand still on the stage...

Our pastor's wife holding Liam while our pastor says a prayer of dedication...

Me holding Liam while they moved on to the next child (he was not wanting down and kept playing with my hair!) :) ...

It was a special day. Brought tears to my eyes. The verse we shared was 1 Samuel 1:27-28.

Christmas Ideas... #6

Paper Bead Necklaces from Uganda!!! These are my next idea for a GREAT Christmas gift!

My friend Brandi sells these to help those in Uganda... a HUGE piece of her heart! This is what she had to say about them ...

I brought back these gorgeous Paper Bead necklaces JUST FOR YOU! Yes, these are the same as the ones you may have seen on the Today Show recently. Ugandan women make these by rolling paper (torn magazines) and literally create treasure from trash. They are very strong as well. . .I have 3 toddlers and wear mine almost every day and they are still in good shape =)

ALL THE MONEY GOES TO UGANDA!!!!! So, make a difference, buy cute jewelry!

Paperbead Necklaces from Uganda are $10 per necklace and ALL the money goes to HopeChest Uganda (

Shipping: $2.50 (1), $3.50 (2-5), $5 (5-10), $8 (10+)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday Share

Today's recipe is a wonderful one we found not long ago for asparagus, making it a new family favorite very quickly!

Start with a bundle of asparagus, a Tablespoon of olive oil, and some shredded cheese.

Toss the asparagus with the olive oil, lightly coating it.

Lay in a shallow cookie sheet.

Sprinkle with shredded cheese - any kind, we happened to have a Mexican variety today but have tried many and they all are great.

Place in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes, and Ta Da!

One of the reasons my kids love it I think, is that I let them pick it up to eat! :) We ate over half the pan in one meal! And all of us love it!


Christmas Ideas... #5

Here is yet another GREAT idea... BUT you need to act TODAY! Unfortunately I just came across this site and the deadline for placing an order in time for Christmas is TODAY! So don't hesitate!

Every Child's Right tshirts are a WONDERFUL way to help adoptive families bring home their children. They partner with multiple families and for every tshirt sold, the family receives $5 toward the cost of their adoption! Let's help these families bring their children HOME.

I LOVE this design and message. What a great way to also publicly "advertise" and discuss adoption with the world!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Christmas Ideas... #4

I have found a GREAT site with WONDERFUL Christmas ideas! Again! :) Thanda Zulu is an amazing group who hires local bead workers to make wonderful jewelry and other items to sell and help raise money.

From their site: Thanda Zulu is committed to offering the highest quality uniquely designed jewelry, while making the world a little bit better. From paying the beadworkers a fair wage, to funding innovative programs to combat HIV/AIDS and poverty in South Africa, your purchase makes a difference. 30% of your purchase goes directly to the beader. 62% of your purchase supports the Thanda After-School Project in South Africa.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this bracelet, in all the available colors, but I think this is my favorite

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Team Edward!

I can't believe I'm actually doing this! I can't believe I'm *choke* 39 years old and doing this! But I'm actually going to be out late late late tonight! I have plans... a date some may call it... with a Vampire! :)

I'm off to see Twilight at 9pm and then New Moon at midnight. And to answer my questions myself, if you've read the Twilight books, then you KNOW why I'm doing this! :) They are too fun! And my lovely, wonderful, college-age sitter is coming with her roommate in 30 minutes so that I can go! :) The kids will sleep through it all, they don't even know I'm going! I wasn't about to tell them their beloved Miss H was coming, because then they wouldn't have gone to bed sillies!

I have a Luna bar packed, and our theater has free refills on pop and popcorn, so though I won't be getting the popcorn, the diet coke will be free flowing! :) Some friends from work were going to come with me, and me being the early bird ALWAYS, I had my tickets early, but when they went to get theirs a while back they were already sold out! :( But Liam's day care provider/my friend is going with family and so I will be sitting with them. Not that I would have minded going myself, I do that often actually, but this will be fun together! Out for a fun night! And then working tomorrow! I told my teacher assistant we may be doing a movie or two in class tomorrow! :)

Christmas Ideas... #3

And now, yet another WONDERFUL Christmas gift idea!!! A cause that's near and dear to my heart, well, which one isn't, really? :)

AHOPE for children serves children in Ethiopia, including two children's homes exclusively for children who are HIV+ and have no extended family to care for them. The kids and I sponsor one of these darlings and I HOPE HOPE HOPE to someday travel to these children's homes, maybe to adopt!!! :)

Unlike some sponsorships, you are not able to personally write or communicate with children you sponsor through AHOPE. The reason behind this is that they don't want the children thinking they have a "family" and getting their hopes up. You do receive pictures and updated information on the child and how they're doing. Unfortunately our little guy hasn't been adopted yet, but if that happens I've been told that they will let you know and then allow you to transfer your sponsorship to another child if you wish.

There is also a wonderful store with great items like this awesome awesome awesome water bottle (man, I could build MY Christmas list from these sites!) :)

Why not give the gift of sponsorship to your family? Or an item from the store? Such a great way to help overseas even if you can't make it there yourself!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Christmas Ideas... #2

Here is another GREAT idea for Christmas gifts!!! How about Water!? Water? Yes, water!

Water is something we take for granted like nothing else. We turn on our faucet and water comes out, magic! But for so many around OUR WORLD, there is NO access to fresh, clean water. WATER!

Did you know that just a $20 donation can give fresh water to one person for TWENTY YEARS!!! TWENTY YEARS!

So go, now to the Water for Christmas site!

And, if it doesn't get any better, here is an AWESOME site that sells items to benefit Water For Christmas!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the water drop ornaments! What a great gift - especially love the turqouise!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Christmas Ideas... #1

Well, how are you doing with your Christmas shopping??? Since I'm done, see, I told you I'd be done by Thanksgiving :), I thought I'd take some time to share one or two GREAT ideas for Christmas gifts. These gifts will not only give your loved ones a gorgoeus, special, wonderful, precious gift, but will also incredibly benefit others as well.

For today, why not start with an organization near and dear to my heart... Project Hopeful. Project Hopeful does many many things to try to unite HIV+ children from around the world with forever families. One day, hopefully they'll be helping me as well! :) You never know! And as I've had the opportunity to meet many of the people behind Project Hopeful in real life, on facebook, and through our blogs, I know this is an extremely worthy cause and a great way to spend money this holiday season! check out some of the wonderful items at their store which will help this strong organization do even more than they are already doing!

Wouldn't you or your loved ones on your Christmas list look stunning in this tshirt!? I think so! (Hint hint - I'd LOVE one!)
Monday, November 16, 2009


I'm so glad to hear that the $8,000 home buying incentive has been extended into spring! Closing with this has been extended until the end of June, so it's perfect for putting my house on the market after the holidays! Mine would be a great home for that first-time buyer and I'm praying it goes quickly, enabling us to rent through the end of the school year, save a little extra, and then buy close to June. We'll be going "home" for Thanksgiving and I'm going to be looking at a house while we're there. No offers yet or anything, but it's a house I've had my eye on, it's been listed since at least last winter, relisted with a new agency and lower price this past summer, and already has had the price lowered once more since then. I thought since we'll be there it'd be good to see it in person and either decide to keep watching it and make an offer when we're able to, or nix it altogether from the "list." Here's hoping! :)
Sunday, November 15, 2009

And The Winner Is...

The winner of the contest from November 3 is... Julie who guessed that my coat cost $9 - that was exactly the price! :) Not too bad I thought.

Julie, I will get you that ever important gift certificate for my soon to be launched etsy store!!! :) I'll get in touch with you soon! :) Congrats!
Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday Share

Since the kids and I have developed some great recipes, very kid friendly (for us anyway), I thought I'd take some time on Saturdays to make one of these, take pictures, and then share it. Today we start with Barbeque Cups, an incredibly easy, and cheap, meal. This can easily be made into larger portions for larger families.

You will need: 1 package of biscuits (cost about .69 at Aldi's), 1 pound ground meat (we used ground turkey from Aldi's, about .89), and 1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce. I have also done this with shredded cheese on top, which is wonderful, but we didn't have any on hand today and it's just as good without. :)

You'll start by browning your ground meat...

While that's cooking away, start your oven preheating to 400 degrees, undo your biscuits, stretch and push them in your hands to a large circle, and form them into the bottoms of a muffin pan...

You'll then add 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce to the ground meat and mix well.
After, spoon the meat mix into each biscuit. Our package had 10 biscuits, and there was meat mix leftover to make a couple sloppy joe's for the kids tomorrow.
Place into the oven for 10-12 minutes until slightly golden on the edges...
Remove, allow to cool about five minutes, then remove carefully with a fork and enjoy!

Liam's was done before he even started on the rest of his meal...

Olivia ate three of these today and Braeden had FOUR! :) I had one with a cup of soup. With the ingredients I used today they were about 130 calories each. We ended up with one left over and some extra meat mix. Hope you find this as big a hit as we do! :)

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About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!

Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

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What you should know about HIV

-HIV can NOT be spread through casual/household contact. HIV is not spread through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, sharing toys, sneezing, coughing, sharing food, sharing drinks, bathing, swimming or any other casual way. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles). - HIV is now considered a chronic but manageable disease. With treatment, people who are HIV+ can live indefinitely without developing AIDS and can live long and full lives. - People who are HIV+ deserve to be treated with love, respect, support and acceptance as all people do. Additional information on transmission of HIV can be found on the Center for Disease Control website:

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Orphan Crisis

• 147 million orphans in the world
• 50 million orphans in Africa 
• Every 14 seconds a child is orphaned by AIDS
• 16,000,000 have been orphaned by AIDS
• Every week, AIDS claims as many lives as American fatalities in the Vietnam War
• 854 million people do not have enough to eat
• Malnutrition is associated with the deaths of 5 million children under the age of five
• Every 2 seconds an orphan dies from malnutrition

Hence the title of my blog

Little Did I Know

Little did I know that the road would be so rocky
Little did I know that the trip would take so long
Little did I know that my heart could hurt so much
Little did I know that God is never wrong

Little did I know that love could be so powerful
Little did I know that a dream so far could go
Little did I know that God would place the right ones
Little did I know that my heart, so large, could grow

Little did I know that a dream has it’s own timing
Little did I know that this day would finally come
Little did I know that four souls would be sent to guide me
Little did I know that they would choose to call me mom

But God knew all along and He had a plan to follow
God knew all along that my dream would soon come true
God knew all along that we five should be together
God knew all along that I’d share it all with you