Monday, July 30, 2012

Sneak Peek

Just a little sneak peek on a new product I'm currently in process of reviewing and "playing" with at home.  Soon, very soon, you will get all the gory details on this amazing product.  And then you will have a chance to win one of your very own for some amazing playtime yourself!  Giveaway to come! 



Also... don't forget... once we get to 100 "likes" on our Facebook page there will be an Amazon gift card giveaway!  We're just about at 40 now... how quickly can we do this thing???  MANY updates on FB regarding great deals, Pinterest finds, and some amazing apps!  Just click the FB icon at the top right of the side bar to go to our page, then "like" us!!!
Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Favorites

Here are the "trys" of the week!

First a couple of pencil holders for my classroom.  Created out of used and cleaned soup cans and leftover scrapbook paper and stickers. (Yes, I know... you have the summer OFF... WHY are you thinking about school?!? - Because that's how I am!  I actually started in April thinking about this coming school year, changes I wanted to make, new things I wanted to try, etc.)


One of the things I sold (and it feels like anything not nailed down might end up sold pretty soon! LOL) was my bedside alarm clock!  What?!  I know... but I had found a great alarm clock app for my iPad to use when I travel.  I got to thinking why not use it at home as my daily clock since I usually plug it in at night to charge, it shows not only the time but the temp and weather too, and with a touch in one of the corners it becomes a night light!  So... to help with this, I found this idea on Pinterest to hold my charger for the iPad onto my bedside table!  A leftover binder clip from when I made the kids' summer journals... and voila!


And finally... Taco Pasta!

Brown 1 pound ground meat (we used turkey) and 1 white onion, chopped, in a skillet.


After browning, add in one packet of taco seasoning and 2/3 cup water, bring to a boil, turn down heat, and simmer 3 minutes.
Then add the following...
1 cup sweet corn
1 can black beans
1 cup shredded cheese
1 cup salsa
Mix and serve with a bowl of chopped tomatoes and sour cream.  You can also add tortilla chips and/or lettuce if you'd like. (Not the most gorgeous of meals... but it was TASTY!  And we had LOTS left over to refrigerate and freeze for two more meals!) 


And anything that can get THIS ONE to clean his bowl... yeah... it's a KEEPER! :)


Lack of Blogging...

We've been busy... but then again not really... if that makes ANY kind of sense.  Just the "busy-ness" of summer.


Lazy days
Dollar movies
Errand runs
Reorganizing portions of the house (NESTING!)
Household projects
Selling off excess and adding to our adoption fund
Going to swim at our summer "oasis"
Reading
Working with Liam on letters, numbers, counting, etc
Going to the local FREE splash park...







Practicing Kung Fu moves...


Exposing kids to the finer things in life like Flea Markets...



Trying "free" hair...


Of course eating chips...


Buying things at the flea market with our own money...


Ok, so maybe that last one wasn't my BEST idea ever!

video
Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday Favorites

OK, so it's not 31 days of Pinterest... though that was SUPER fun!  I may just bring that back in a new way each summer!  BUT, I think this will be a way to introduce Pinterest and/or other ideas, recipes, etc into the blog on a hopefully regular and doable (once school starts again) basis.


Saturday Favorites


One idea/tip/recipe per week. (At least.)


Starting today.


Walking Tacos


Have you ever had these?  Maybe seen them at a fair or such?  I had seen them advertised the times we've gone to the Indiana covered bridge festival (LOTS of fun!  Hope to go again this year and will blog about it more then if we do!) but we had never tried them.


Last year when we were having some rough times at home with Braeden, some good friends from church organized people to bring dinners for us on a number of nights.  One dinner that was brought was a home version of walking tacos... and we all fell head over heels for this meal, now a family favorite!


First, gather your ingredients for tacos, but instead of traditional shells you'll want to use corn chips.  I've seen these done with Doritos as well but we haven't ventured out that far yet! LOL :)
Our ingredients:
Fritos corn chips
lettuce
tomatoes
taco meat
shredded cheese
sour cream




The beauty of a meal like this is that with each ingredient on the table separately, the kids can pick and choose what to add to their bowl.  (Liam and I go for everything while Olivia and Braeden leave out the tomatoes.)


Then add your items to a bowl and enjoy!




Like I said it's one of our favorites!!!  NOTHING is left after this meal!

PS... don't forget to check out our Facebook page and give it a "like"!  33 so far and once we get to 100 likes there will be a giveaway!

Pouring on the Help

Have you heard of Hope Mob?  Well, if not, today is the perfect day to learn!


Hope Mob is basically bringing together a "mob" of people to support good causes.  Their "brief description" states... "



They have "stories" that people nominate such as providing a home for someone in a Uganda, building a well in Haiti, helping a family whose youngster has cancer, sending a high school class in Kenya to school, buying a van for rescued trafficking victims in Mexico City, etc. It's amazing.  Their tagline is "Where generous strangers unite." and that becomes reality.  These stories are voted on until one becomes the featured story of the day and it is then open for people to donate money toward.


I first learned of Hope Mob through a Haiti adoption group, as they are trying to get donated airline miles for those adopting from Haiti to become a featured story.


They normally take a while for a story to become featured... but today they are putting a halt to that in order to help those affected by the tragedy in Aurora, CO.  Please go HERE to see for yourself the wonderful way they are banding together to help those in Colorado during this time!  They are looking to raise a whopping $100,000!  At this time they have almost $2,300.  Is $100,000 do-able?  Is it crazy?  I think both!  Our God is a mighty God!  I have seen HIM raise $20,000 toward an adoption.  I have seen HIM do some AMAZING things, and I know this goal is attainable!


GO HOPE MOB!
Friday, July 20, 2012

Bad Blogger

I've been a bad bad blogger!  I must say I enjoyed doing the 31 days of Pinterest and being on this blog every day sharing our "pin" of the day!  Maybe I need to start that again!?


Been a busy week with school supply shopping (yes, I want it over with to enjoy the rest of the summer and something like that is easier with one less child in the mix! :)  ), selling more "excess" from around the house on FB (put about $200 into my adoption fund just this week doing this!), taking the boys to the morning dollar movie, going to our pond oasis, and just working in the house!


We've been missing this one like crazy and she finally came back to us...




I can't tell you the wonderful time Olivia had at camp this week!  She met some great new friends and cannot WAIT to go back next year!  Her favorite part?  Being able to talk about HIV and not worry about people being scared of it. :)  Two of the friends she made, whose moms I had already known online through blogs, FB, and a yahoo group, live in MN.  We had already started thinking about a trip over spring break to the Mall of America this year and planned on visiting a good blog/FB friend of mine that I still have never met, so these two might just be added into the mix!


In adoption news... my home study and approval should be arriving any day and I'm preparing my application for my I-600a to mail off as soon as possible! I had hoped it would be here today but no luck, so now I set my sights on tomorrow! :) 


I'm a member of a facebook Haiti adoption group and there has been LOTS of movement in their adoptions recently.  That is SUCH good news!  Here's hoping the rest of our process goes smoothly and quickly!
Monday, July 16, 2012

Update!

This just in... finally some movement and information!


Heard just today that my home study has been approved by Illinois and was sent off in the mail on Friday!


Next steps... send it on to my adoption agency, then work on/finish my dossier! 


Hooray!
Saturday, July 14, 2012

FREE!

A bunch of new freebie offers posted over on the Little Did I Know Facebook page today!!!  If you have kids especially, check it out!  Don't forget to "like" the page while you're there!  Once we get to 100 likes there will be a giveaway! :)
Friday, July 13, 2012

Blogs, Backgrounds, and Bargains

You may have noticed my blog list has been missing.  I apologize.


You may also have noticed my blog has been redesigned.  LOVE IT!  You can find the wonderful designer listed at the bottom of the right side bar.  An added bonus is that a portion of her proceeds go directs to Home of Hope which helps babies in Kenya.


Unfortunately some of my sidebar items went missing in the process, my blog list among them.  No biggie and hopefully I've re-added any that you may have been following or linking to through this blog.  If there are any missing, PLEASE let me know!


I wanted to point out that I now have social icons available at the top of the sidebar.  You can easily email me, check out my Pinterest boards, or "like" the Little Did I Know Facebook page.  

Currently there are less than 25 "likes" on the FB page... if we can raise that to 100, there will be a GIVEAWAY!  I will be giving away $10 for Amazon (dot) com once that number reaches 100.  Feel free to share the page!  That page will be used for important blog updates, bargain sharing, and more!

Camp Adventures

Today my oldest leaves for camp.  But not just any camp... and not just any where... Camp Heartland... in Minnesota... especially for kids and who have or have close family with HIV.  (And it's all FREE for us... simply amazing.)  But since camp is in Minnesota, and we're not, transportation consists of small plane pilots who donate miles and time to flying kids in the midwest to camp.  And that's what we did this morning.





You can actually see her looking out the window at me in this one! :)




Can't believe I really just sent my daughter off into the unknown, just the pilot and her, so crazy!  Prayers for a safe flight and loads of fun while she's away!  She'll be back again next Thursday and I can't wait to hear about her adventures!
Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer Fun

Today was gorgeous and we had plans to meet with some of our bestest friends for a morning at the zoo.  Both of us needed some "get out and hang" time, with thoughts far from what we were dwelling on previously and while it was short, it was just the ticket.










Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Why I "Thrift" Shop

Because you can find things like this if you are vigilant...


A HUGE hard cover Dictionary/Thesaurus/Atlas, perfect for a young girl going into middle school, that was originally $40 + tax...


For only 25 CENTS!

Nice.
Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Day 31: 31 Days of Pinterest: Trifle, Drinks, Strawberries... Oh My!

Day 31! Can you believe it?! Feels like I just started down this path, and now the end is here. A little bittersweet I think. But I think there will be many more pins to try over the upcoming weeks this summer!

For today, though. Our Fourth of July Pinterest extravaganza! Since there are three I will let you click over to the original recipes if you'd like to recreate them.

Red, White, and Blueberry trifle

I tweaked the original by using red velvet cake. It gave more of a deep red and was SO tasty!
I actually made this two days in a row for a school meeting yesterday and again for our Fourth celebration today! A HUGE hit with ALL who tried it!



Trifle recipe HERE.

Can you even BELIEVE this!? SO COOL! Now, be CAREFUL if you try this. It says you have to pour right on the ice or it will mix... TRUE! Olivia's didn't look so nice because I hit a pocket of red when pouring the blue and it mixed immediately.


Drink recipe HERE.

Just YUM. Easy. Simple. Quick. Self-explanatory. But so cute and so good!

Strawberry recipe HERE.
Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Day 30: 31 Days of Pinterest: Lemon Cake Bars

Yum! And SO easy! I was very skeptical with this pin. I chose almost all of my 31 days of pins before I ever even started. I had to with vacation looming and all! So after I made the brownies using diet coke and it was a bomb, I was very nervous about this pin coming down the road.

But I was so wrong! I did sub out the Sprite they had in their recipe for the new Strawberry Kiwi Sierra Mist. And I didn't use a topping like the original had, I thought these could hold up on their own, and I was right.

Mind you, I'm not a big lemon person so I liked them but just had a taste myself. My kids, however, LOVED them and wanted MORE! :)

Ingredients:
Lemon Cake Mix
Can of soda



Mix together using a whisk for a light and airy batter.


Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Original pin found HERE.
Monday, July 02, 2012

Day 29: 31 Days of Pinterest: Eggless Cookie Dough

A recipe for cookie dough you can eat straight from the bowl and not worry about the eggs? yes, please! (Course that never stops me anyway, but I might as well try!)

Ingredients needed:
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup softened butter
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup chips (I had white chocolate chips on hand so I used those)

Mix the sugar and butter until creamy. Add in the vanilla and milk and mix well. Slowly add in the flour, salt, and chips until well combined... Ta Da!


Original pin found HERE.

It is GOOD stuff! I can see making this on that occasion when you are craving sweet but don't have anything already made. It was quick and easy and most ingredients should be on hand! Too bad the kids didn't get to try any!
Sunday, July 01, 2012

Day 28: 31 Days of Pinterest: Glow Stick Lanterns/Fireflies in a Jar

I've seen a few different pins that use this same idea: break a glow stick, shake the contents into a mason jar, and there you have it.

I decided this would be easy enough to do after a long day of driving and unpacking a car.  (Not sure WHAT I was thinking of trying to do ANYTHING today... I almost skipped today!!!  But decided to persevere!) :)

That said, this WAS really easy.  After all, I had the needed supplies: glow sticks and mason jars.

Braeden and Olivia opted to camp out in the basement tonight.  (Braeden's room is upstairs in a finished attic space and with ONE register it gets REALLY hot during the summer at times, and the basement stays VERY cool - in fact it's SO cool that my Thursday night small group of 3 ladies who come over bring sweatshirts and grab throws on the way to sit down because it's so cold!).  So I made a lantern for them to use while they went to sleep!

Simply gather supplies...


And cut one end open, then shake into the jar.  The inside is much more "liquid" than I would've guessed seeing all the pins on this.  It didn't turn out quite as "splattered" and a lot pooled in the bottom... BUT it did glow!  The picture looks much more like white light than it did in person, but it was actually quite colorful.


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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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Blog Archive

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: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources

Other Awesome Blogs

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