Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day 9 Niagara Falls

Our final morning at the house today and then we hit the road for home.  We are stopping in Cleveland for the day however.  A new city to explore!  On our list for today...

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Awesome, BUT I would wait until the kids were older had I thought through more.  Outside was fun though!  (NO pics allowed inside) :(

Then we headed over to West Side Market to get some eats.  

It was a true sight to behold and the kids loved walking through and seeing all of the different items for sale.

The pig... yeah that'll be talked about for a LONG time!

Our little cheese lover was in heaven!

We ate dinner at the West Side Cafe in a corner of the market.  They had an amazing and very different menu and I wasn't sure the kids would eat much.  We ended up getting appetizers to share: Korean BBQ wings (Olivia and I loved them), lamb sliders (Liam, Olivia, and I loved them... tasted very much like a Gyro as a burger!), and fries (All approved!)

Afterward we walked the market and I let them each choose something for dessert... YES, Liam chose cheese! LOL

Braeden got a black and white cookie!

And Olivia picked a chocolate chip muffin!

Following the market, we drove over to Big Fun Toy Store.  SUCH A COOL PLACE!

Think back to all those vintage toys you played with as a kid... you'd see it here.  It's PACKED, and I mean PACKED with vintage toys and new alike.  There is something for ANY budget.  From loose action heroes in bins for $3 or 4 for $10, to collectibles like the Hulk Liam wanted that was $65! 

I absolutely LOVED the card catalogs that were FILLED with little gadgets to buy!

Each of the kids still had some money and they spent here!  Olivia bought a green rabbit foot key chain and a book titled Boys, Boys, Boys about all the tweenish boys like Zac Efron and such.  She's been reading up!  (Hilarious because as we walked out of the store she said loudly, "I'm really going to like my Boys, Boys, Boys!" and I said, "Thanks for announcing that to everyone, everyone, everyone." :)  Just then a woman came around to cross the street next to us and said, "Don't worry, I didn't hear a thing!"  Olivia was so embarrassed and I was LAUGHING so hard!)

Liam did NOT get the $65 Hulk (only figure of him we saw and he really likes the Hulk for some reason right now) but we found a little bopper type blow up Hulk.  He also got a giant paratrooper (the kind you throw in the air and his parachute opens as he comes down), a can of silly string, and a candy.

Braeden got 3 loose figures... 3 different Power Ranger Zords (is that how you spell it?  No clue!)

From there it was on to the hotel and some swimming before hitting the hay.  Well... actually truth be told... it was swimming, then candy from the vending machine and some Dis*ney Channel... and then some major break downs (mom included) and now one 8 year old is sleeping on the floor next to my bed, a 6 year old is sleeping in bed next to me, and a 10 year old is sleeping in the other bed.  Praying for naps on the final ride home tomorrow!

Day 27: 31 Days of Pinterest: Mini Apple Pies

What a great item to make for our breakfast on our last day in Niagara Falls.  OK, maybe these are meant to be dessert, but come on, biscuits, apples, it works! :)

And they were so tasty!  And easy!  And... well... yum!

Mini Apple Pies

biscuit grands
apple pie filling (I had two cans because I wasn't sure how much I needed, but one was plenty!)

Roll out each biscuit, place some filling on top (careful, you think you can place more than you can really fit comfortably), add a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, fold over and pinch the edges with a fork, sprinkle with a bit more cinnamon, and bake according to pkg directions for the biscuits.

And voila'!  YUMMY mini apple pies!  A hit with all!

Original post found HERE.
Friday, June 29, 2012

Day 8 Niagara Falls

Um... an amusement/water park that has free parking and is only $55 for all four of us with a coupon???  Yes, PLEASE!  What a great way to spend our last day here!  Tomorrow we head out.  We are going to take two days going back and are stopping in Cleveland, OH for a little sightseeing along the way. :)

This was one of those rides that goes up and then drops, up and drop, etc.  Liam's face on the first drop was PRICELESS.  And Olivia could not stop laughing!  Luckily it didn't end in tears and yelling on his part, but rather since Olivia (and mom too, I'll admit it!) was laughing so much, he decided he'd laugh and enjoy the rest of the ride too... and he did. :)

Then there's Olivia.  She is such a DAREDEVIL.  She used to judge how tall she'd grown based on how tall she needed to be to ride the BIG coasters.  The year she hit 54 inches was IT for her!  She will ride ANYTHING.  So, she did!  She rode this...

And this...

And her favorite of today... The Mind Warp, which she rode TWICE.  Would have been more if I would've let her!

We all had fun on the bumper cars!

And I was thrilled to see an old time Tilt A Whirl... one of my favorites!  We all went in the same car and it was my favorite time of the day!

Braeden is not much of a rider AT ALL,  he often won't even ride the kiddie type rides, but he came on this.  And I was SO proud of him!  Because once that thing hit the first knock-the-wind-out-of-you spin, he started to get mad.  I could just see it coming.  He has a very hard time processing emotion and I could tell he wasn't happy that this was spinning much faster than he anticipated.  Most of the time his emotion - be it embarrassment, etc, comes out as intense anger. BUT, instead he shifted it himself.  He CHOSE to smile.  He CHOSE to laugh.  And he gut wrenchingly laughed and laughed.  We all did.  (Mind you shortly later he turned a shade of green and I prayed he could keep his food down, but he did.)  I was just so proud.

Only three of us rode this big beauty, can you guess which three it was???

Yep, these two lovelies and myself.  And I was trying NOT to look down too much! :)

Old Fashioned Cars... license to drive... :)

Not sure WHAT I was thinking sending these two off alone in a CANOE!?  But they made it around and then went again!

And who wouldn't LOVE a GIANT pixie stick chock full of sugar to end the day?!?  (And mom loved the 99 cent price tag!)

We had a lot of fun at the water park as well.  But since I was busy hanging with four cuties and getting wet, no pictures were taken there. :(  Very proud of Braeden once again there though as he went on a big water slide.  It was one you ride face first on a mat and race to go down.  All four of us went and half way up I thought... this looks a LOT higher than it seemed a minute ago from the ground.  Sure enough Braeden almost went back down.  But he said, "Think happy thoughts."  And he did it.  (He says he hates both of those rides and won't go again... but he DID IT!  And did it willingly and cheerfully!)


Day 26: 31 Days of Pinterest: Baked Oatmeal

This pin is a little different in that I can't post the recipe or directions.  All of that good stuff is copyrighted so you'll have to click on over HERE yourself if you'd like to see how this was done!

These looked SO TASTY in the pin's picture and I couldn't wait to try them out!  What a great and easy make ahead breakfast item!  Make them and then store in fridge or freezer to nuke for a bit when you're ready to eat!

Baked Oatmeal

I actually made these last night and then put one at a time in the microwave this morning for 20 seconds.  

You can add any topping your little heart desires to them before baking.  I did some plain (cinnamon is in the recipe), some with chocolate chips (kid approved) and some with dried cherries (YUM!).

If you do make these:
* I left out the flax meal that the recipe calls for.  It's not something I've ever used, wasn't even sure where to find it, and didn't know if I would use it again so I opted not to get any.  They still were wonderful!

*I halved the recipe as I didn't think we'd eat enough before we headed back... but saying that the recipe states it makes 18 cupcake size portions.  With my recipe (half of original) I made 15!

*There is mashed banana and applesauce in this recipe.  I could not taste the banana... a bonus since Braeden claims to not like bananas.  BUT... because of the applesauce these somewhat tasted like apple cinnamon oatmeal. 

*Added bonus: these are made with NO sugar (Stevia instead) and are gluten free and diabetic friendly!
Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 7 Niagara Falls

Today was mostly a down day to recover from our late night at the Drive-in last night.  It was a great night.  Olivia and Liam made it through Brave and The Avengers both, but Braeden slept and I dozed through the second.  Getting home at 2:30 was exhausting and I knew we'd need some rest time today!  (Olivia slept, and slept hard until I finally woke her from a deep sleep at 11:15!)

After lunch (breakfast for Olivia!), we went on a small side trip to Whirlpool State Park to see the sights... beautiful!

Funny that we were directly across the border from the back of Great Wolf Lodge where we went while in Canada!  Liam thought we could put our suits on and just go on over!

See those TINY rocks WAY down there???  You can BARELY make out a couple black spots on them...

Here are those spots up close... CRAZY people!  HOW they got down and WHY on Earth they are hanging out near those rapids is beyond me!

LOVE this!

And this! (Liam was being stingy with photos today!)

A little time to play!

Caught ya!

Tomorrow is our LAST FULL DAY before we head back!
(We are taking two days on the way back and stopping for some fun in OH on the way!)
It's so hard to believe our vacation is dwindling down to a close. 
It will feel good to be back (but not to the HEAT they've been having!)
and to see Percy (our pup), but we will certainly miss all of our 
family time and adventures!

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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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-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