Thursday, October 27, 2011


I know it's so like me to say we've been busy, but we have!  If I sit down for more than a few minutes I will either fall asleep or be bombarded with requests for a refill on a sippy cup, or need to let a dog out.  So, my motto is "Just Keep Moving."  I love it and wouldn't have it any other way.  How does that Duggar lady do it???  I bet she never sleeps.
Avery has come so far.  Less than two years ago she was in an orphanage and now she's reciting Bible verses!  I stand in awe at what only God has done in the life of orphans.

Monday, September 26, 2011

TWO Things Are Missing From This House!

AND, we don't miss them at all!!!

We've had a crib {this same crib} in our house ever since Conner was a newborn.  There were a few years when our friend Ben borrowed it, but it came right back to cradle two more newborns and a precious treasure from China.  The CPSC would probably burn it because it's out of compliance for two things now - it has a board under the mattress, not springs, and it has a drop down crib rail.  Other than that it could probably hold several more kiddos that might need it, but I bet it can't go to Goodwill because of those two things.  It may have to go straight to the dump!  Good bye precious crib.  You were very good to us, but it's time for you to move on!!

The other thing that's missing from this house is diapers.  NO MORE DIAPERS!!!  I told myself that after I get this fifth kid potty trained I wasn't going to change diapers until we have grandkids.  Grandkids are MANY years away - VERY MANY.  I've changed diapers off and on for different kids since my sister was a baby.  I think it's time for a break, don't you?  Now, if you bring me a kid and it's REALLY cute, I might change it's diaper.  Ha!

Friday, September 09, 2011

A Forever Family in Need

This precious family needs some financial assistance to bring their beautiful daughter home!  They are selling chances for some gorgeous Vera Bradley bags.  Go check them out!!!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

A Brief Recap of Summer 2011 - Just Gettin' Caught Up!

To say it has been a boring, uneventful summer would be an understatement.  There were times that were definitely boring, but man, what a summer.  I've heard that blogging is 'out,' well, I'm just going to have to be 'out' because keeping this blog is my only means of scrapbooking for now.  So here we go...

I'm currently recovering from my 2nd surgery since June.  I'm usually a healthy person, but apparently things decided to go a little haywire.  After my partial hysterectomy I got myself all back together and we had a few weeks of summer lovin'.  Then my gall bladder decided to rear it's ugly head and it wanted o u t.  At about 2am Tuesday morning August 30 I called my mom and my only friend who doesn't have to get up with kids the next morning, Janet.  Mom came to watch the kids (Dawna relieved mom at 6am so mom could get to work) and Janet took me to the ER.  I was admitted and three days later had emergency surgery ;).  The surgery schedule was backed up and my bilirubin was high so they made me stay until they could get me in.  Apparently, my gall bladder was in pretty bad shape according to the doctor and she was glad we took care of it.  Me too, frankly.  Ugh.  That whole week is kind of a blur . . . but we are back in gear!  So, here is summer in a nutshell:

4th of July with some of our bestest of friends at Ft. Gibson

China Camp!  This is Evan, he is Avery's 'orphanage brother.'  We were able to take pictures of Evan for his forever family while we were in China.  By the way, they don't remember each other, they were too young :(.

They started out clean!  We had a giant mud party at church with 2 other churches.

First day at our NEW SCHOOL!  This is Ethan my 1st grader and Nicole my 6th grader.

First day of preschool for the 'twins!'  Freedom!

Avery's 3rd birthday!  Her favorite character is Rapunzel from Tangled.

We have one more birthday coming up - Miss Carlie will be 4 Oct. 1.  Then we take it easy for the rest of the Fall - does that sound right?  Ha!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


So, I had a little surgery a little over a week ago. I guess I'm done with my uterus. It was a relief to have it done, but a little strange I'll have to admit. It's done a great job! OK, enough talk about that! I think I overdid it today. I'm not a person that likes to be out of commission AT ALL. I can take the 'being lazy in bed' for only so long and then I have to start tackling things like . . . say . . . LAUNDRY . . . or KIDS . . . or crap that seems to just accumulate on the floor in our living room magically. So, I sort of make myself bounce back pretty quickly even if the doctor tells me to cool it. This evening I was back in bed. Ugh. Pain. I just flat out overdid it. Thank goodness my sister and her family are here! I could not have done this surgery without the help of them, my mother, my mother-in-law, my friends, and my church family - they are all the best! More rest tomorrow. Trying to be productive in bed means a little more blogging and exploring a REALLY cool website called Pinterest! Oh. My. This is something to stay in bed for! Well, maybe for a little while.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Am the Next Pioneer Woman!

OK, so I may not be the NEXT PW, but at least I'm cooking and not burning things, right? I've been trying out her recipes and cooking them in order as much as possible. Sometimes I skip around, but for the most part I want to stick to my routine. But let me just tell you how DEElicious the cinnamon rolls were and those are no where near the potato skins or this corn relish stuff that I'm supposed to make next!

Our next item of food to attack were the potato skins. Frankly, the only tater skins I've ever tried were from Friday's or even the Friday's frozen ones you can buy at Target. My teenager son LOVES those things! Apparently, they aren't too hard to make :) just a little time consuming.

We made the Potato Skins for a Memorial Day cookout we were having and I put a few people to work helping out because I had several trays of potatoes going. If I've learned anything about this whole cooking thing is that it brings people together and makes you spend time with people. Not that that was ever a bad thing, it's just that I never saw it as a group project.

Well, when you have a BBQ you have to have a dessert, right? AND, it doesn't have to be anything chocolate, right? PW's sugar cookies sounded good to me and they weren't too difficult to make (have you noticed that I am always worried about the difficulty of recipes? weird, huh?). And, listen, I know you aren't supposed to eat raw cookie dough because of salmonella poisoning or whatever, but, this cookie dough was some of the best I've ever had! And you know what that means, riiiiggghhhhttttt?????

If the dough is good, then the cookies must be REALLY good!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Help Bring Alivia Home!

Sweet Alivia needs her family! Please go visit their blog and see what you can do to help - chip in, bid on an auction item, PRAY! Be part of one more orphan being orphaned NO MORE!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'm Still Cooking!

Here we go, recipe numero 2 and tres. They kind of compliment each other and I needed to make the first to make the second.

I made Pico De Gallo and it was pretty good. A tad 'oniony' for my taste, but was wuuuunderfullll with the other stuff I made that needed the first stuff. But I must admit, I REALLY dislike chopping things. I'm just not good at it and I try to improve, really I do! So I did a little research on how to chop cilantro:
Great video :).
So, the Pico had to dive into a little treat that I REALLY like - guacamole! THAT was delicious! I will definitely be making that again, and again, and again. I'll suffer through the chopping, cause it's so worth it!
The second time I made the guacamole I cut my finger pretty bad trying to pit the avocado :(. Thankfully I was standing right next to the sink and rinsed it off in the water before it started to bleed. I did not get a single drop of blood in the guacamole! Six stitches later and I was back in business!
What's next?

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Guest Bedroom - BEFORE

Ugly mustard paint - gone. Boxes - gone through and organized. Leaning wood shelf left by previous owner - collapsed when I tried to move it and got hauled to the curb. Ugly fan - still there, but not for long :).

We have painted it a nice neutral color. I know what direction I want to go as far as decorating. just have to buy some furniture, window treatments, and accessories and we are done! This room will be peaceful, restful, minimal, and relaxing. Hopefully.

The previous owners had this room for just some odds and ends like college memorabilia and mismatched furniture. I think they also did some smoking in here because it didn't smell too nice. But we are on our way to getting at least one room done!!

The Displaced Small Town Girl Cooks - It's Not As Scary As It Sounds

So, I purchased a certain person's cookbook. She's a displaced city girl now smack dab in the middle of rural Oklahoma. She married a rancher, started a blog about photography, cooking, and raising kids, and she calls herself The Pioneer Woman. Her blog is one of the most popular read blogs around and I am just in awe of how she gets it all done everyday with a smile on her face! I got something to learn from this woman! Numero uno would be how to cook better :)!

I remember a movie a few years back about a girl who decided to cook through Julia Child's famous cookbook (can't remember the name of the cookbook, that should tell you something), and she blogged about it, then it was made into a movie - Julie and Julia. Pretty good movie. I have no desire to learn how to cook like Julia Child, at least not yet. But I do have a desire to learn how to make good food like Ree (The Pioneer Woman)! Here goes with the first recipe in the book . . .

BBQ Jalapeno Poppers!

I followed the recipe exactly as the book said, even had to go to two different grocery stores. Not because her ingredients list was difficult, but because the first store had NO jalapenos. And since the title of the recipe has the word jalapenos in it, I figured that was something I could not leave out. I also have a bad habit of substituitng my own ingredients (like I know what I'm doing) when I either don't have what is called for or when I don't know what something is. And I wonder why I'm famous for NOT being able to cook!
So far so good. Dealing with the bacon was a little slimy and gross, but if I ignored the fact that I was dealing with raw meat and let myself go to my 'happy place' I was fine. Why does raw meat gross me out so much? Maybe it's the word 'raw.' Don't like it. I'm also not a huge spicy hot girl, so I was a little worried about all this jalapeno talk.

But I must say that these were absolutely delicious!!! I could have eaten the whole pan! But, I refrained. I did learn a couple things that I will apply the next time: try turkey bacon, and my oven's thermostat must be 'off' because it took way longer than what the book said it would to cook them. Other than that, these will definitely be tried again, like tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What's Up With the New House? ATTIC That's What!

Yeah, so someone around here has a Clark Griswold ball of Christmas lights to untangle, but for the most part the attic is done! I didn't take before pictures because . . . number 1 I forgot and number 2 you might cry. When the movers put the boxes in the attic they just shoved them in there all willy nilly, which was fine, but it had to be dealt with. Our old house had a teensy weensy attic and there was no way to even stand up tall in most of it. It was packed to the gills. This attic is pretty massive, thank goodness. Cause with 7 people in our family we got lots of junk to store. My trusty label maker was right by my side the whole time. I keep some of Conner's outgrown clothes for Ethan, most of Nicci's clothes for Carlie, and all of Carlie's clothes for Avery. Then there's the holiday stuff. And my husband's massive collection of wires, chords, cables, old keyboards, and old mice. Anytime we need a chord, cable, or wire we usually have it!

Now that this is done I can move on to the guest bedroom! YAY!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

So, Why the Move?

I'll give you two reasons . . . .

Number 1

And, number 2

Yup, a pool and six bedrooms for this gargantuan family. Everybody has their own room, except the 'twins' who get to share, which means we have a guest room (come see us!) and everyone has their own bathroom. Life is a little more peaceful around here with everyone spread out and stretching their wings.

Now be patient with me as I paint every single room and closet in this house, cuz it ain't been touched since 1984. And we all know how the 80's were, right? Yeah, not good as far as decor and fashion.

More WITH Than Without!

So, we reached another milestone in the world of adoption. We adopted Avery Lan when she was 15 months old. She was very much loved and taken care of, but small, had a skin rash, and an upper respiratory infection. Just some of the possible affects of living in an orphanage. Believe me it could've been worse.

She adjusted to us amazingly well, like she had always been with us. She was a perfect fit in every way! English is her second language and she speaks it better than most people (and a lot, too)! She's grown by leaps and bounds - from a 12-24 months size to a 3T. Her hair is now long enough for two, yeah, two pig tails! She loves going to preschool and being with her teachers and friends. She adores her older siblings. And she has the BEST belly laugh! Her eyes practically disappear when she smiles!

Avery has now been WITH us a month longer than we were without her! Time sure flies when you're having as much fun as we are. I think about and pray for her birth parents a lot. I can only imagine how much it hurts her China mommy's arms and heart that she does not get to hold her baby girl. And I pray that God will let them know how very much she was prayed for and loved and wanted WAY before she was even born.

"For you created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well."
Psalm 139:13-14

"Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west."
Isaiah 43:5

Saturday, March 19, 2011

And We're Back!!

So, moving day came and went. This first picture makes me want to throw-up a little bit in my mouth because it was just a tad stressful and the thought of our stuff being in boxes and everything in total disarray makes me a little yucky. But I'm good now :). This is our old house.

We hired these movers to move us (duh). They started out at 8am and weren't done until 8pm that evening on a Thursday. Our goal was to have beds or mattresses down so we could at least all sleep someplace comfortable that first night and know where our clothes were so we could all make it where we needed to go the next day.

And then . . .

The GREAT snow of 2011 hit. We moved in on a Thursday and snow fell that next Monday. For two whole weeks the kids did not have school. We got record amounts of snow. The USPS didn't run and neither did the UPS. I've lived in Oklahoma my entire life and have never seen so much snow for such a long period of time. It was beautiful and incredible and after a while kind of boring. You would have thought I'd gotten a lot of packing and decorating done while we were cooped up in side, but I had seven mouths to feed, wash up after, entertain (we had no cable, but did have the Apple TV), and manage. So, not a lot of unpacking happened during those two weeks, but we did have fun and stayed cozy warm and had full bellies. The kids have to go to school until June 1 and their school days are extended 30 minutes until then because of all the snow days. I guess it could be worse, right?

More to come later about the new house and all that comes with it. Just thought I'd get started back into the blogging world!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Gods Heart: Adoption

This video is absolutely beautiful. It makes me want to adopt them all, but we can't do that. Our job now is to support others adopting, encourage those with questions, pray for the orphans, and listen.

I know you are waiting for pictures of the move and new house, but I can't find my card reader to down load the pictures off the camera! It's in a box somewhere. We'll find it eventually. You would think that with two weeks of being snowed in we would have had everything all unpacked and organized. But, you see, we have a few kids running around here. And, well, they require at least 'some' attention and feeding and cleaning and disciplining and loving on. So, not many boxes have gotten unpacked except the necessities! I did unpack the LAST of the kitchen boxes on Friday. What a great feeling that was!
This house was not left very clean at all. So, I've also spent a great deal of time scrubbing everything. I've even had to take down light fixtures to get the TON of spiders out of them - ew! Not pretty (the light fixtures AND the spiders).
I promise there will be pictures soon. Lots going on here!