Monday, January 24, 2011

100th Day

Will celebrated the 100th day at school last week by decorating and wearing a shirt with 100 eyeballs glued on it. Thankfully, we both agreed on the theme.

Last year's was also a hit. He had 100 dinosaur stickers with a painted volcano and licorice lava on his shirt.

I know that my time is really limited with Will wanting to wear and participate in these types of things. I'm trying to enjoy every moment!!
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Kindergarten Dinosaur Shirt

Lifebook Complete

Seth loves his lifebook. He has looked at it over and over. We have read it all the way through only once, but, since then I know that he has remembered the story. After seeing an airplane on TV Seth told me that he rode on one. He also likes to point to the pictures of him at Mrs. Ting's house. He says "I had TWO beds!" He had a bed upstairs in their house and a cradle under the house to nap in.

I feel a huge relief of having it completed. I plan on updating it from time to time.

Seth's Bowling Video

We went bowling with my friend, Dana, and her girls, when the kids were out of school for Martin Luther King day. She sent me this video. Thanks, Dana!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Uncle Mike's Birthday

We celebrate Uncle Mike's birthday every year at our house. I am thankful for him and for the great care he gives my 87 year old grandmother. Without him she would not be able to stay in her own home. He also loves my kids like crazy. There is rarely a time that he does not have a treat for them at his house when we visit. He also stocks the kitchen full of junk food and Cokes for them to eat. It's a big deal to them because we don't eat like that at home. He goes wild at Christmas and birthdays with gifts for the kids. We can thank Uncle Mike for the hamster and lizard. He would give a lot more animals as gifts if I would let him. We love him very much and are thankful for him!

The little boys ganging up on Roro. Don't feel too bad for him, he's an instigator!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day

In the south a good powder snow is rare. In my part of Mississippi we get two or three "snows" a year but they are usually so wet that you can't really play much in them. There was a lot of hype built up about the snow we got last night. Weathermen talked about it for days, stores were packed, and the bread and milk shelves were empty. Us southerners are pretty freaked out at the mention of snow. In my 38 years I've never been "snowed in" for more then a day or two but we all must make sure we have plenty of staples "just in case."

Snow days around here can be as much or more exciting than Christmas. The anticipation of the white stuff coming is almost too much for kids. Around here school shuts down, many business' close, and people don't drive unless they absolutely have to. Joel stayed home today played outside with the kids. I told him that these are the days that I am reminded how thankful I am for his job.

This snow was a very fluffy and powdery snow. Rare for us which made it extra fun to play in!

Dad and the boys working on a snowman.

Brave little Seth being pulled behind the four wheeler. Yes, he does have gloves but he won't keep them on!

Kara coming down the hill.

Snow angel!!

Will's turn behind the four wheeler.
We set bowls out the night before to catch some clean snow.
I used a can of sweetened condensed milk, a little vanilla, and milk to thin out the snow. A friend of mine posted this recipe on Facebook. I like this a lot better than the sugar, vanilla, and milk recipe my mom always used. I love to try new things.

Tired from a day in the snow.

Seth's Lifebook

Seth is almost 4 and I have been trying to make a lifebook for him since he's been home. I just get so overwhelmed by telling his story in a child's way.

I'm reading a book called "20 Things Adoptive Parents Need to Succeed" by Sherrie Eldridge. It has been really eye opening about adoption from the child's point of view. I am reminded of the importance of telling Seth his story. That way he will hopefully feel comfortable talking to us about his adoption and asking us questions. Sherrie talks about the fairy tales that many adoptive parents have. One being that if my child doesn't ask about being adopted then he must not have any questions. Seth's lifebook will be his to look through as much as he wants. I will make a more detailed book for him when he is older.

My goal is to have it finished for him by his birthday. I finished typing the story tonight and just need to tweak it. Then I'm going to put it on different pages with pictures. I'm so thankful to have pictures of Seth's birth mom. She's holding him when he was 10 days old. I hope that will help him understand that she loved him and was just doing what was best for him. I would love for him to be able to meet her again one day when he is older.

The book that I am using as my guide is "Lifebooks" by Beth O'Malley.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Quiet New Years at Home

As busy as our life is, we find it a treat to stay home and do absolutely nothing. That is what we intentionally planned for this weekend. We let the kids make out our menu which was... an appetizer of apples and peanut butter, steak and potato with corn, and strawberry shortcake for dessert. The kids popped "poppers" and was so excited to see the treats inside. Poor Seth couldn't stay up so we saved his until the next morning. I hope that we can have many more relaxing weekends like this. By the way, we had a very unusually warm New Years day of 71 degrees. The next day was 30 degrees cooler. Only in the south!

Poor Seth couldn't make it for the poppers!

My Daddy's Cake

My dad is the baby of 5 children and was the spoiled one at that. My grandmother lived a full life and passed away when I was pregnant with Will(2003)at the age of 93. She made my dad a special cake every Christmas although I did not find out about it until I was out of the house. I am guessing that my dad hid it from my brother and I because I don't ever remember it in the kitchen. One year when Kara was just a baby Grandma had me come to her house to instruct me in the proper way to bake this monstrous and expensive cake. I think she knew that she would get some great quality time with Kara and I as it takes 2 hours to bake. I followed her instructions well and learned there is a process of baking a cake that is not normally in the instructions of the box cake mixes I buy. When she passed away she left me her large mixing bowl, measuring bowl, and heavy bunt cake pan. This was to ensure that her baby would continue to have his special cake at Christmas time.

Well, I just didn't get around to the cake at Christmas so this year it's the new years cake! By waiting until the last minute the ingredients have cost me a ton of extra money. Usually, if I can bake it for $20 I feel like I have really done well. I could only find a few ingredients that I needed at Schnuck's so the cost doubled. Yep, $40 for a stinking cake. Note to self, next year start buying ingredients earlier. Now, my dad would be completely fine if I skipped this year and he is always happy and grateful when I deliver his cake. I love making it for him and feel like I am keeping a piece of my grandmother's personality alive. It's just as much for me as it is for Daddy.

Here's the recipe:

Lemon Extract Fruit Cake

The night before combine 1/2 lb candied cherries, 3/4 C golden raisins, 4 C chopped pecans with a 1/2 C of flour and set aside. My grandmother used 1 Lb. cherries, 1 qt. pecans, and omitted the raisins. (Makes it extra healthy, LOL!)

Cream the following:
1 lb. butter
2 1/2 C sugar
6 eggs - one at a time
3 oz. pure lemon extract (no less)

In separate bowl sift 3 1/2 C of all purpose flour, 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt (add to the creamed mixture a spoonful at a time).

Fold in the nut/cherry/pecan mixture that had set overnight.

Bake in a greased, floured pan at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. (You will need a large bunt pan)