Monday, January 25, 2010

First pause the music at the bottom of my blog- then watch/listen to this... Awesome stuff. Michael Gungor is the son of my pastor. He has some great music out there (Friend of God is my favorite!)- and this hits the nail on the head.

Friday, January 22, 2010

My dad's crusty white braided bread:

Ok- here's the recipe. My dad used to be the baker in the family for holidays/special events. He died suddenly 6 years ago. I love making this and remembering him. I also have fond memories of him singing along with Johnny Cash and any other oldie on the radio. Maybe I should start playing dad's music while I make it. :) This picture is of him laughing really loud after A grabbed my dad's glasses off his face...

Makes 2 large loaves

5 cups flour
2 pkgs yeast
2 cups warm water (115* is ideal, I think)
1/4 cup oil
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour and yeast. Add water, oil, salt and sugar. Beat 30 seconds on low and 3 minutes on high with bread hooks on your mixer (or stir it by hand and make your hand go really fast like on cartoons). :) Stir in enough flour to make a stiff dough- usually another 3 cups on top of the 2 you started with.

Turn onto a clean surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, dusting with flour if it gets sticky. Shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with an oil-sprayed pc of plastic wrap and put a damp towel on top of the plastic wrap and let rise for about 60-75 min in a warm spot (until doubled).

Let your aggression out and punch it down. Divide it into 6 balls. Cover with the sprayed plastic wrap and damp towel again and let it rest for 10 min.

Roll each ball into a 16 inch rope (or a little longer). On a greased baking sheet, laugh while you attempt to braid the pcs together into two loaves. Tuck and pinch the end pieces under so they don't break open while baking/rising. Make sure to leave space between the loaves so that they can spread out and fully cook.

Cover again and let rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes. Bake at 375* for 30 minutes. They're done when you thump the top lightly with a wooden spoon and it sounds hollow. :)

Just typing it makes me want to make it again- but I'm already having a hard time buttoning my fat jeans- so I think I'll lay off for a while. Speaking of fat jeans, I highly recommend eating this bread warm with a smear of nutella. But don't blame me when your fat jeans get tight too... :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We got a grant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm without a good descriptive word right now...

Amazed.
Awed.
Flabbergasted.
Superfantabulastically excited?

We got a grant for a portion of our adoption expenses from Shaohannah's hope!!!!

Thank you Jesus!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sweet moments with Little People


Today was a funny, blessing kind of a day. Full of highlights that make life as a mommy so awesome.

The sweetness started with E wanting to sit on my lap while I watched a 'mommy TV show' this afternoon. I ended up watching part of a recorded episode of Extreme Makeover Home Edition from a few weeks ago that featured the Muppets (I figured, hey, if he was willing to sit with me, I might as well pick a the episode where there are puppets tearing down a house...). :) About half way through, I notice he's starting to breathe heavily- and his eyelids flutter closed. My 3 1/2 year old fell asleep on me! (This DOES NOT happen anymore!) So sweet. So, I sat there, remote in hand, thankful that I didn't have to pee- and watched two more 30 minute shows I had recorded. :) I loved hearing him breathe/snore, watching him occasionally twitch, and just having him so close for so long.

We went to pick up A from school and came home to ride bikes in the driveway. Within about 10 minutes, 4 neighbor kids joined in on the fun. 2 Bikes, 3 scooters, and 2 remote controlled vehicles were going every which direction- and eventually two plastic boomerangs were whizzing EVERYWHERE (1 ending on the neighbor's roof). I LOVE that my boys have neighbor kids their age to play with now. In Colorado we had neighbors but let's just say they were more interested in Medicare than boomerangs. Sometimes I joke that we traded our mature trees and mature neighbors for immature trees and immature neighbors (meaning kids, of course...)!

After it started to rain, the neighbor kids ended up coming in and playing here for about 20 minutes before the chaos started to get to me as I was attempting to start dinner - and I broke up the party. I had the boys wash up and they wanted to help me cook. I was working on making some homemade bread (I LOVE to make my dad's recipe, but I only do it about 3 times a year). So, we each put on our aprons (me in my 'Pampered Bride' apron from a wedding shower 11 years ago... and the boys in their ever-macho robot aprons.). They helped me knead and were so cute doing it.

Anyway- we had dinner as a family, ended the night reading some dinosaur books together before my hubby got them ready for bed (thank you!). Our bedtime snack was homemade braided bread with nutella on it... :) mmmmmm :) A and I had a great conversation as I was tucking him in about a friend of his at school who has a hard time with pronunciation. I love watching the caring nature in him really shine... he came to the realization that it's probably pretty frustrating for his friend to have a hard time saying his r's, and being made fun of for it must be especially hard.

Then tucking in E was fun too... but not in the deep, introspective way. I loved the story he/we made up about an elephant named Steve who ate a whole tree full of peaches, got sick, puked, then went to ride his hot wheels bike with real fire/smoke shooting out the back.

I love my life. As much as I can obsess about the child we're waiting on but have not yet met... the other two we have are amazingly fantastic. :) And although I should have taken pics while they were in their robot aprons, this pic of E wearing quite a bit of Nutella is priceless...


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Infertility

Odd title for this post- but I was reflecting on a post I wrote back in 2007. I was thinking earlier in this process that it feels like I've been pregnant for 16 months. But I feel like the comparison to infertility is actually a more accurate description.

Here are a few direct quotes from that 2007 post that I find pertinent and interesting in my current 'infertile season of the adoption' (where nothing is happening while we wait:)):

(Prayer for friends going through infertility)
"...but He is also able to soften your heart to believe and hope for His ultimate plan and timing."

"I also encourage you to seek Him and allow Him to grow you in all other areas while you wait.
"I'm realizing that peace is not JUST the absence of conflict- it's the presence of God. I want THAT more than anything."

Hang on. He IS able, more than able..."
I love that as I read this over to myself, I realize that I need to hear it again, 3 years later and believe it for my own life. I also think it's interesting that I was prepared 10 years ago (as prepared as you can be, I guess) for an experience with infertility because of what the Dr. told me in 2000. But 10 years, 2 kids and 1 miscarriage later, I realize that I haven't experienced infertility- until now... This adoption is sooo completely out of my hands. We started the paperwork last August (see the lilypie thing at the top of the blog to see how long we've been 'trying' for this baby).
My prayers today sound the same as they did when we were trying to conceive the first time and didn't know if it would be tomorrow or years away. I see too that I still need to REST and relax, and allow God to do it when I'm least expecting it. :) Or 'stop trying' - (as if I can 'try' my way to a referral).
(Deep breath.)
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life (Pr 13:12). :)

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Remembering His promises:

My emotional processing via the blog-world is not terribly healthy. I realize this… But I think it’s my form of calling a girlfriend when I’m overwhelmed. I need to get it out, then I can exhale. So, I’m into His word currently and am reflecting on His promises- and thankfully that grounds me like nothing else! Enough being bummed about a possible tax credit. I need to remind myself of the FAITHFUL one...

Here goes:
Verse for today: 1 Peter 1:13 (New International Version)
Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Verse for the adoption: Isaiah 43 (New International Version)
1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.


2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.


3 For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush [a] and Seba in your stead.

4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give men in exchange for you,
and people in exchange for your life.

5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.


6 I will say to the north, 'Give them up!'
and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.'
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth-


7 everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made."

---
Pass through, pass through the gates!
Prepare the way for the people.
Build up, build up the highway!
Remove the stones.


Raise a banner for the nations.
The LORD has made proclamation
to the ends of the earth:


"Say to the Daughter of Zion,
'See, your Savior comes!
See, his reward is with him,
and his recompense accompanies him.' "


They will be called the Holy People,
the Redeemed of the LORD;
and you will be called Sought After,
the City No Longer Deserted.

Isaiah 62:12-14

Monday, January 04, 2010

Unmet Expectations... AGAIN!

Well, I got snared by unmet expectations, AGAIN...

I got all excited, thinking that we qualified for the extended homebuyers tax credit, available to those who owned homes for the last 8, lived in them for the last 5, etc... turns out it only applies to people who bought another home AFTER Nov 6th of 09... Bleh. I thought that the dates of the firstime home buyers credit were the same as the ones for the people who bought another home... :(

I was truly chomping at the bit to file our taxes so that we could get that $6500 and use it toward the remaining $12,000-13,000 left of the adoption expenses... not so.

So, I'm back to the drawing board of wondering HOW IN THE WORLD we're going to pull this off without going into debt.

And to top it all off, I'm starting to have dreams about our daughter, her birth mom, etc... I'm getting so messed up in my heart about it all, and it's still out there as this indefinite, etherial, almost-imaginary experience I'm going through. It feels at times like I'm pretending that I'm going to bring home another baby.

How much longer, Lord?