Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Breakfast Casserole

This comes from a good friend of ours.
Enjoy!  This one is a keeper.  We are a family of four and it is almost gone!

Just make sure you read the directions all of the way through! (insert hand slapping head!)

Thanks Norma!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Party, Party!

We recently had our daughter's birthday party.
I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

Friday, January 25, 2013

camera dump

 My new FAVORITE mug.  It's cream colored.  It's big.  It cost me 49 cents!!

 The big four-oh and a forty-four magnum!  What a pair!

 This was supposed to be Hubby's birthday cake.  Old Fashioned Nut Cake from Eula Mae's Cajun Kitchen.  I call it the half-baked cake.  Daughter is really the only one still eating eat.

Orange Cranberry Maple Syrup over a special waffle.  The syrup was good the waffle not.

**edited with the recipe**
Cranberry Maple Syrup
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
3/4 c pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoon orange juice
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine the cranberries, maple syrup and oj in a medium saucepan.  Cook over medium-high heat to bring to a boil.  Boil for 3 minutes.  Meanwhile, stir the cornstarch into the water.  Add the cornstarch mixture to the syrup and continue to boil for 2-3 min or until cranberries are tender.  I "smooshed" some of the cranberries.

If  the syrup is not thick enough for your liking, add a teaspoon or two more of cornstarch while the syrup is cooking until desired thickness is reached.

Syrup will last 3-4 days in the frig.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

a Bit of This and That

Golly, where did the time go???
Being sick can REALLY throw me off.
Back to life here.
We have celebrated two more birthdays since my last post.

Been making cold medicine runs like nobody's business.
Trying out some new recipes, some failures, some keepers.
And doing a bit of scrapping.

 credits go to Sahlin Studio which can be found here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

It's Birthday Month Around Here!

Three of us have birthdays this month.
Why does it go so fast.
From a colicky baby,
To a beautiful young lady, whom I love more than the first day!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Part of the Group

We all belong to communities, to groups.
If we work, our co-workers are our community.
If we home school that is a community...and so on.
Families with children with Down syndrome is one group I long to be a part of.  To truly belong to.
People with Downs stand out to me like...can't think of something fitting, but my eyes (heart) are drawn right  to them.
I am never quite sure if it's okay to introduce myself.  "Hi.  My name is... and I am going to be a part of your group one of these days, can we talk."
I usually just watch them pass on by and pray that our day comes all the sooner.
I feel like a soccer mom sitting in her fold out chair at a game cheering on a team where I don't know any of the players, but can tell you all of the moves, etc.

Well, today I did it...I introduced myself to a mom and her beautiful (truly beautiful) 17 year old daughter.  They kept passing me.  I had to say something.  I walked over to them as they were looking at burger buns and said, "Excuse me.  I just wanted to say your daughter is beautiful."  They welcomed me very warmly and we ended up talking.  I left so encouraged.  She is 17 and just graduated.  (Early)  She is going to go to college!!!  There is a special college near us just for graduates like her.  The mom was Korean I think, and the girl, she talked so well.  I was truly blessed to meet them.  I was encouraged to see what possibilities lie ahead for our Little A (the boy we are hoping to adopt).  Happy that I didn't offend them, and that they welcomed me so genuinely. 

It totally made my day!  Today I felt one step closer to being part of the group.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Let's Talk - Time Management

Can someone say "Ouch!"
Time management is something that I haven't necessarily struggled with, but haven't mastered either.
Take this morning.  I slept in a bit longer than normal, watched a few funny YouTube videos with the kids and maybe checked my email one too many times.  (This adoption process has me chained to my email.)
Now I did workout, do my devotions, showered, ran errands and sit a bit and talk to the kids all before noon.
While I am a stay-@-home mom and can "make my own" schedule, I really am aware of those time thieves that seem so innocent until you look at the clock and realize you still have a full to-do list.
Nothing gets me stressed like running behind (well, ok there are a few things other things), so I have to be diligent with how I spend my time.
Here are a few of the things that steal my time:
*the internet, can we say FB, email, blogs...are really the biggest thieves.

When we had dial up or even before we had internet (we were late bloomers), I would get all of my stuff done in the morning, have time to go to the park, library, etc. with the kids, read a book, have ladies over, etc.  Now so much of our lives are ran by the internet, you almost can't avoid it.  Don't worry I am not giving up all of my web life. 

The main thing that keeps me on track is making a list of what I need to do that day and erase it when it is finished.  With the kids here it is easier to get distracted more often, and believe me, I do that well enough on my own.  So, having a visual list helps.

What are your biggest time wasters?  What helps you to stay focused?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Let's Talk

I am going to start a new series of blog posts called Let's Talk.  I will be writing about lots of things from food, homemaking, husbands, kids, chores, running, etc.  Hope you enjoy.

First off, Let's Talk Hair & Hair Products

My hair has long been one of my favorite parts of my looks.  While at the same time one that takes the longs to maintain (other than my actual body).

In high school I used to spend at least two hours doing my 80's style hair.  Not to mention all of the trips to the girls restroom between classes, the list goes on for a long time.  We lived in the desert and sometimes had cars without A/C.  I was so vain about my hair that I would make a BIG fuss is anyone dared roll the windows down.
 (Me with Julie, high school best friends, 1989, 1990ish)

While I love the hair that I have, I do wish God had blessed me with wash and go hair, but He chose not to.   I don't have straight hair or nice curly hair.  I have frizzy, big hair.
I recently got a new style, which brought more curls.  I needed something to maintain them, but am picky about the products I put on my hair.  Not for health or earthy reasons, more like I don't like my hair to feel sticky, or my hands to feel yucky after touching my hair.  That sort of thing.

I bought this:
 Which produced this:
(all mine, except for a few curls with the curling iron.)

I LOVE Sprunch.  It helps the curls without looking wet or feeling hard.  It also doesn't get your hands yucky after touching your hair through the day.

I also, use these products to maintain healthy hair.
Pantene Shampoo and Conditioner, Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum

What type of products do you use for your hair?  What type of hair you have?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Random and a Special Feature

It's Sunday.
I am cold...well my hands are.  I need to find my gloves.
Hubby is napping and the kids are at friends'.
Hot green tea is brewing.
I am skipping my usual Sunday nap to get caught up on a few things.
I think I am all caught up after vacation.  Seems like it took me longer than normal.

You all know my passion for  children with Down syndrome and adoption.  Well, I wanted to share some of those special kids that are up for adoption with you.  Maybe your heart will be moved, or someone's you know.  At the very least maybe you could pray for these kids to find a forever home.

Meet Marc (sorry for the blurriness, but I wanted to blow these up as much as possible.)
 Marc makes me happy.  You can't help but smile when you look at these photos.  I dare you not to get even a bit happy when you see his video.

It's time for Marc to get out of state care and into a family of his own! Marc is 11 years old and Hispanic. 
Diagnosed with Down Syndrome, Marc responds enthusiastically to music and loves to sing and dance. Any video or board game that includes music will always bring a smile to his face. Marc keeps himself entertained by coloring, and his ideal future family would be one that engages him and shows him a lot of love and patience.
The adoptive family MUST be willing to visit him a few times in South Florida, so the transition can be a successful one. Single and married families can apply, and he can go to any state. There are no fees for his adoption, and subsidies are provided. If you can travel to South Florida multiple times and are SERIOUSLY interested in Marc, please email Stephanie at ndsan.org. Please share this post, and let's find Marc a family! 

Did you watch his video?  Did you not feel a bit happier?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Food

Okay, so the food has to be one our favorite parts of the trip to New Orleans.  We did eat at Bubba Gumps...okay.  One of our favorites was N'awlins Cafe and Spice Emporium.  It is right in the French Market.  Good 'ole southern/cajun food.  So good we went there twice, and would've gone there daily had we stayed longer.  That poor fellow had no idea I was taken a photo.  The waitress was right up there with some of the best.  It was a cold, cold day when we took the photo.  The red beans and rice which we mixed with our mixed greens was perfect on the cold day.  If you ever go to New Orleans, you've got to go here.

On one of our first days we had a muffuletta at the Central Grocery.  People line up for this sandwich!  Hubby bought a jar of the fixin's before we left.  That is half of the sandwich below.

I can't write about food without mentioning Cafe du Monde.  Beignets and Coffee.  Personally, I thought it was a bit over rated, but still yummy.  I do love that this cafe has been such a success with selling just two main items.  Note, make sure you aren't wearing black and it's not windy when you eat there.  The beignets are COVERED in powdered sugar.  I used the extra sugar for my coffee.  We actually got coffee from a different coffee shop.

This was another fave.  We ate there twice.  The pizza is awesome; the kids loved it.  The red beans and rice are thee best!  You can get a wide variety of food here. 
 See the brick building?  It is an US Mint which is also right across the street from our hotel.

Our last night there, we had Krystals, which you can skip.  Though Hubby liked it...he likes almost everything food.  Then we met up at MIL's place and some of the fam went to get oysters and came back with a small buffet. 
Overall, the food is AWESOME in New Orleans.  Something for everyone and most at a good price.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The French Market

 The place we frequented the most was the French Market.  It was like a block from our hotel and on the way to everything.  We shopped, we ate, we walked through it again and again.  It reminded me of a California swap meet only smaller and much more condensed.  You could buy just about anything you wanted here.  Jewelry, art, clothes, African soap, gators in all forms, etc.  You name it they probably have it.

Fresh produce as well.  One of the things that stood out to me was the diverse amount of cultures there selling their goods.  Africans, Jamaicans, Middle Easterners, Asians, Orientals, Italians, etc.  Some were very pushy. 
 The photos don't show the number of people there.  Don't know how I missed the people in my photos.

 The market at night.  Totally empty, except for a homeless here and there.
Hubby actually stopped traffic for this one.  Well, two kind ladies stopped to let him take the photo.  Right when he was about to snap the shot the market lights went out then came right back on for him!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Break in NOLA Posts

I thought you may be getting tired of NOLA posts.

I bought some new pillows at WalMart for our couch and love them...
 I added two dark brown faux leather pillows and some colorful ones!  The couch is very comfy now.