Monday, April 30, 2012

Z is for. . .

Z is for Zoom!

Does anyone else feel like April zoomed by?  It seems like just yesterday I was visiting a blog that suggested the Blogging A to Z Challenge.  I signed up and the first week flew by. The second week was a bit harder but the third week zoomed by. The fourth week was super busy and it really zipped along (it was hard to keep up!).

I’ve met a lot of new blog friends and visited new blogs. I have lots more  blogs to visit! There were more than 1700 blogs signed up for the challenge. I want to keep visiting and hopefully visit them all!

Do you have any favorite new blogs from the Challenge?

Visit May 7th for the Blogging A to Z Reflection post!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y is for. . .

Y is for Yummy!

I love deserts and sweets. I also love to make them. I like chocolate, vanilla, fruit and most any dessert flavor.

One of my favorite cookies is peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip.  (Here's the recipe. Try them you will be hooked!) Jake is not a peanut butter cookie fan but likes these cookies because the peanut butter is not an overwhelming flavor and the texture is wonderful!

Jake loves ginger carrot cake cookies (Here's the recipe. Make the cookies small they are very rich!)

We also like banana bread, and apple bread, and pumpkin bread.  

We don’t eat a ton of sweets but we do enjoy them.

What sweets do you enjoy?

Check back tomorrow for a great quote and on Monday find out what z is for. . .

X is for. . .

X is for exciting!

Friday was an exciting day (that is why this is late!)

I had a presentation at work. I am NOT a public speaker (even though it was only about 10 people it still had that public speaking feel) and I get worried and nervous about it. It is also a tough time of year for teachers. There is so much to do! The last thing they need is one more thing. Luckily it seemed to go well and best of all . . .       IT IS DONE!

After work I went out with a group of friends. We went out to dinner then went to a 24 hour dessert/pastry shop.  We had a great time laughing and talking. I got home MUCH later than I expected. The first thing Jake said when I got home was “Did you have fun?”

Hope your Friday was as good as mine!

Come back to find out what y is for. . .

Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for. . .

W is for Waiting.

For many hopeful adoptive families, there is a lot of waiting. After all the paperwork is filled out they are put on a list and they wait. Their agency takes it from there.

We are not in a Waiting stage; we are in a Finding stage. Our agency encourages us to actively try to find someone who will consider us as adoptive parents for their child.

I think the difference is subtle but important. Waiting sounds passive (even though those who are waiting to be chosen are thinking about adoption every minute of every day). Finding sounds active and helps us feel we are active participants in the adoption process.  

Some of the things we are doing are:

Pass along cards with our names and information that I leave all kinds of places- restaurants, hair salons, doctor’s offices, libraries, bulletin boards etc. Any where that someone who knows someone might find the card and either use it or pass it along.

This blog. We hope this blog will give more information about us than our profile can. If you know someone who is considering an adoption plan; feel free to send a link to our blog!

Emails to our friends and family every 6 months or so to remind them we are hoping to adopt.

Basically the more people who know we are hoping to adopt the better our chance of finding someone who will consider us.  

Thank you for joining us on our journey!

Come back tomorrow to find out X is for. . .

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V is for . . .

V is for Vote.

Voting is so easy here in America.  We can vote on all kinds of things. Which singer we like best on a TV show, what news story we want the pundits to discuss and much, much more.

We vote at school- the children choose what book they like the best, or which reward they want. We vote (in a way) by choosing a store for shopping, restaurants for eating and all the other ways we spend our money.  

Election season is upon us here in North Carolina. We have the Primary elections in a couple weeks. There are signs and commercials everywhere!  Soon after that it will be time for the General Election craziness.  According to some experts, North Carolina is supposed to be a hotly contested state. It will make for an interesting fall!

Come back tomorrow to find out what W is for. . .

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U is for. . .

U is for Ugh.

This is the FOURTH U post I have tried. (I deleted the other three. There wasn’t even enough to save and hope to get something out of later).

Nothing is really working.  I started with different U words. I tried Unbelievable (haven’t some of the news stories lately fallen into that category?), Understanding (it is National Infertility Awareness Week) and Us (I tried a post about Jake and I and it just was blah). Those are just the U words I actually got a few sentences about.

So this is one of those days when there are little tiny sparks of inspiration but not enough to really get anything meaningful; which leaves us with . . .


Come back tomorrow to find out what v is for . . .

Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for. . .

T is for Talents.

Everyone has a talent for something. Some people are great at putting colors together, others are good at putting words together and others are good at putting sounds together (just to name a few).

Some talents you can see easily. The well dressed woman-

The well landscaped yard

The well written book
A Wrinkle in Time (Newberry Award Winner, 1963)

Other talents are harder to see- people with a talent for compassion, listening to others, seeing things that need doing and doing them.  These talents are just as important as composing, telling jokes or great acting but not often recognized as talents.

Some talents are easier to develop than others (especially if you already have a natural affinity in that area). If I want to be a better singer I can take lessons and practice a lot. I will get better but I will probably never be singing duets with Carrie Underwood.

Being more thoughtful or compassionate (or insert your choice here) is a little harder. Where do you take compassionate lessons? Finding someone who is compassionate and using them for a model is one way to “take lessons”.

What talent do you want to develop?

Check back tomorrow to find out what U is for. . .

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Thoughts


S is for. . .

S is for Service.

Today (really yesterday since this post is late) Jake and I went to the Cannery.  Our church (we belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) puts an emphasis on lots of things but going to the Cannery helps us with is being prepared for emergencies and serving others.

One way to be prepared is to have food stored in your home for times when you can’t get to the store (bad weather, bad health etc), don’t have money (lost a job) or something else happens. At the Cannery, we can put dry goods in big cans and most of the food will keep for 25 years. We canned flour, sugar, wheat, beans, rice, fruit drink mix and lots of other things.  It takes several people to work all the stations. Two to fill up the cans, one to put the oxygen pack in, one to run the canning machine (it seals the lid on), and two to put all the cans in boxes for us to take home. We also needed one or two to be gophers (go for another bag of oatmeal, go check if there is any rice, etc, etc). Not everyone who buys the food can go to the Cannery (that's where the service comes in!)

It is fun and I love looking at the pile of boxes and seeing what we have accomplished at the end of our appointment. If you want to know more about being prepared go here. Not only does the food keep a long time the prices are VERY reasonable.

For  a great post about going to the Cannery from someone who had never been click here. There are lots of pictures too!

Check back later to see what the Sunday Thought is and tomorrow to see what T is for. . .

Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for. . .

R is for Radio.

radio from google images

I listen to the radio a lot. I always have it on in the car and usually in the house too.

from google images
In high school, I listened to Top 40 music.  Then in college I had a hard time finding a station I liked and had some friends who listened to country so I tried that. I listened to country music until we moved to North Carolina.

Unfortunately, I had a hard time finding a station I liked. Either the morning people were rude, or they talked too much and didn’t play enough music or the station went in and out as I rode to work.  Since music stations weren’t working out, I tried talk radio.

I have found a station that I like. It has a good mix of local and national news. I am able to keep up with what is going on locally and can look up more information if I need too.

from google images

What do you listen to on the radio?

Check back tomorrow to find out what S is for. . .

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for. . .

Q is for Quotes.

I love quotes. Often other people can say things so much better than I can. Here are a few of my favorites!



What are your favorite quotes?

Come back tomorrow to find out R is for. . .

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for. . .

P is for Patriots.


I feel very blessed to be an American. I am grateful to those who sacrificed for the freedom an opportunity I have. I am also grateful for families who worry and pray for their loved one who is serving our country. I know families that do the best they can while Dad is deployed or take their sister’s children while she is deployed.  The world is full of heroes.  Service men and women, their families, and others who make this country great are all heroes.  
Not a sports player. Not a politician. Not a faddish figure. A hero faces death for others, with no thought of personal gain or glory. This is the face of a true hero.

To those who serve or have a loved one who does- thank you.

I am sure if you live in a different country you feel the same way about your country and your patriots and heroes- as well you should!
Check back tomorrow to find out Q is for. . .

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for. . .

O is for Ocean!

I love the ocean. My dad grew up on San Diego very close to the beach (he could walk!) We visited California as often as we could (with 5 kids it was pretty expensive).  We loved going to see my grandparents and not just for the beach. My grandmother had an orange tree in the back yard and would give us fresh orange and banana fruit salad for breakfast.

One year my family went to see my grandparents for Christmas. My dad’s three sisters came too. There were tons of people and lots of kids. Every family had a four year old (so that’s 4) and there were 6 other kids. It was so much fun!


Both of my brothers lived in the Los Angeles area for a while. We enjoyed visiting them. The beach wasn’t as close enough to walk but it was close enough to go for a morning. One time we were at a beach (I don’t know which one) and we saw dolphins, pelicans and seals. It was wonderful.

When Jake and I first moved to North Carolina we went to Charleston, South Carolina. We found a “secret” beach and spent time strolling up and down the beach watching the waves come in and collecting shells.  So relaxing!


The ocean and the beach have so many great memories for me. What has great memories for you?

Come back tomorrow and see what P is for. . .

Monday, April 16, 2012

N is for. . .

N is for NOOOOOOO!

That was my first thought when the alarm went off this morning. Last week was Spring Break and so I got up when I wanted, had a nap (also a great n word!) if I wanted and went to bed when I was tired. It was great!

We were back to work today though. School here starts pretty early so the children were pretty subdued this morning. I’m sure everyone will be used to getting up early by the end of the week (even me!)

Are you a morning person?

Check back tomorrow to find out what O is for. . .

Saturday, April 14, 2012

M is for. . .

M is for Moms.

It is no secret I want to be a mom. We hope that adoption will make that dream come true.

But moms have been in the news lately. It is the age old question of stay home mom or working mom. All moms are working moms. I don’t think either choice is easy. Every family makes a choice depending on many factors.  There is also not one right choice and there are moms who make a different choice at different times in their lives.

 "We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are." Marjorie Hinkley

Here’s to you and the choices your family makes. The wonderful thing about living now is moms can make different choices and if the choice doesn’t work the family can try something else!

Come by tomorrow for a quote.  On Monday, find out what N is for. . .

Friday, April 13, 2012

L is for. . .

L is for Luck.

Today is Friday the Thirteenth a historically unlucky day. I have been thinking about luck all day. I hear all the time about hard work making luck (did you know Thomas Jefferson said that?)

But you also hear that shamrocks, horse shoes or a penny will bring good luck. There is hard work involved in luck. I am never going to be a famous heart surgeon because I am not working toward that goal.  But there is also being in the right place at the right time.

My take on luck is this- we are going to work hard and take advantage of opportunities we see and hope we will be in the right place at the right time for luck to find us!

Check back tomorrow when we find out what M is for. . .

Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for. . .

K is for kitchen.

I didn’t enjoy cooking for a long time. When Jake and I first got married he worked second shift and he wasn’t home in the evening during the week. So dinner wasn’t a big deal. We cooked together on the weekend and went out a lot.

Once we moved to North Carolina Jake worked days and we were home together for dinner. So we started cooking. We cooked a lot together and since that went well I started to try more things on my own. We eat a lot of chicken- mostly grilled.

One of our favorite marinades is regular Italian dressing. It is cheap and easy!

Another is. . . 

Sticky Garlic Marinade

3 crushed garlic cloves

2 TBSP honey

4 TBSP ketchup

4 TBSP Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp Dijon mustard or spicy brown mustard

Salt and Pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Marinate 3 or 4 chicken breasts for 30 minutes or longer. Grill, sauté or bake.  We marinate in a gallon ziplock bag.

Recipe from

I do enjoy baking more than cooking dinner. Cookies, cakes and pies are much more fun than regular dinner.

Check back tomorrow to find out L is for. . .

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for

J is for Jangled Nerves.

While I was getting ready today, I heard a bird VERY close. It sounded like it was coming from the vent. I was worried we had a bird stuck in the fan. Jake came and popped the cover off and had a look.

"It this the way out?" said the bird.

I was really worried a bird was going to fall into the bathroom. I had visions of us chasing a bird and it turning into a scene from the movie The Birds! (Great movie if you like scary movies!)

The Birds (Collector's Edition)

Luckily no bird fell out of the fan but Jake could see that some birds have built a nest in the tube (is that the right word?) that leads from the fan to the outside. I went and had a look outside the house and could see the evidence. We have a cover on the other vents but not on the one the birds used.  They are smarter than they look!
The birds have really made themselves at home!

As soon as the babies fly away we will get covers on these last two vents. Until then we are going to keep the fan running (hoping to avoid a bird going toward the wrong light and having a HORRIBLE accident), and just deal with strange tweeting, pecking and hope for the best!
This is what the covers look like!

In other news, our caseworker was here today for the home visit and it went very well. A few more papers filled out and we are approved to adopt for another year. Hopefully we will find someone (or they will find us) soon!!
Come back tomorrow to finish this sentence- K is for. . .

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for. . .

I is for ideas.

I love gathering craft and DIY ideas. I also like food and cleaning ideas.

The greatest place to get any idea you want is PINTEREST.  If you have tried it you know exactly what I mean. If you haven’t – here’s how it works. But beware- it is HIGHLY addicting! You have been warned!

There are pictures of tons of things (food, rooms, clothes, people, places etc, etc, etc) and you “pin” the ones you like and sort them in different categories. Each idea has a link to where it came from so you can get the recipe or know where to buy what you want or find out more information.

I really enjoy finding all the ideas. Today I tried two- they were great.  

The first was a way to clean the microwave- here’s the link- it worked great!

Pinned Image

The second was how to clean soap scum from the shower (here's the link) – it was amazing!
Pinned Image


So if you need ideas- is a great place to look!
Check back tomorrow and find out J is for. . .

Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for. . .

H is for Home study.
We are in the middle of renewing our home study. When we decided to adopt we needed a home study to show we are able to provide for a child. We answered tons of questions (covering everything from discipline; to how we grew up; to our relationship with each other; to what our brothers, sisters and parents do), get physicals, and have background checks, credit checks, gather references, have interviews, home visits and more. Our agency gave us a list which really helped. I could check things off as I finished them or the paperwork came in and I mailed it. 
Since we are renewing, we don’t have to answer the background questions again (some were easy but some took a lot of thought) or get references.  We do get to have all the background checks done, physicals, another interview and a home visit.  Our caseworker is coming this week to do our home visit. It is a little nerve racking (she isn’t going to look in closets but I want them clean just in case).
We hope to find a child we will get the opportunity to parent. We know that the more people who know we are looking to adopt the better chance we have of finding someone who will choose us. The world is a big place and in some ways the internet makes it bigger (you can contact people all over the world) and smaller (people far away seem close).
The A to Z challenge has given me motivation to post every day and try to write about adoption more.  While every post hasn’t been about adoption there have been more about adoption than usual!
Thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

G is for. . .

G is for gumption. Don’t you just love how that word sounds? It is a great word that doesn’t get used as much as it should or could.

I looked up the definition in case it had a different definition than I thought!

1.    gump·tion/ˈgəmpSHən/

Shrewd or spirited initiative and resourcefulness.

I found out it is also of Scottish origin. When I hear gumption, I think of stories set in the early 1900’s. Perhaps I am not the only one who thinks of the past when they hear gumption.  It paints a different picture than courage. With courage I think lions, but with gumption I think Unsinkable Molly Brown.

Some words to fall out of favor after a while or seem too old fashioned. The urban dictionary had more a more modern definition –boldness, spunk, commonsense, initiative, the nerve.

I bet we can bring gumption back – we see what we look for. If we look for gumption we will see it and maybe exhibit some ourselves!

Tomorrow I have a quote ( I usually have quotes on Sundays) and Monday we will see  what H is for. . .

Friday, April 6, 2012

F is for. . .

F is for family.

I grew up far from relatives.  My parents are both from western states. Their parents and brothers and sisters all still live in Western states.  Because of work, my family moved east. We spent vacations driving across the country to see as many relatives as possible in two weeks.  This means I got to see lots of states and sights across the country. I have seen the Arch in St. Louis, Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Disneyland (but not Disney World- no relatives there!) and lots more.   For holidays, my mom liked to have lots of people so she invited people who were in the same situation as us –far from extended family- for Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter dinner.

Jake grew up with all his relatives close by. When he was very small his grandma babysat him while his mom and dad worked.  He had aunts, uncles and cousins in the same town and many in the same state. His family dinners were full of extended family or there were two dinners-one with his family and then a second with the extended family.

There are benefits to both. It is nice to have people around who have known you forever but it is also nice to find people who are like your family when blood family isn’t close. When we adopt, we hope the birthfamily will want to become part of our family. I want to build a relationship that involves family birthday gatherings and other get-togethers. Most people have a family tree- we are hoping for a family forest!

Come back tomorrow to find out what G is for. . .

Thursday, April 5, 2012

E is for

E is for easy.

I don’t usually post every day.  I thought that the A to Z challenge would help! (I want to post more often.) But this is harder than I thought (and this is only E- how will it be by S?)

I spend all day with the idea of a post floating in my head. I look for ideas all day.  Could that horse rolling on the ground to scratch his back be a post? How about that weird cloud shaped like a snake? Maybe that chicken farm? What letter will that work for? Can I use it later?
Actually I reject ideas all day. Then something sparks interest and I start writing. I fuss with it. Edit. Erase. Move things around. Cross them out. Put things back. Finally the post seems ready.

I hit Publish Post. I close the computer and do something else. Then the really great idea comes. Why didn’t I think of that before????? And yet if I had,  that post would have gone through the same process and at the end (after I hit publish) I would have thought of something that might have been better.

Even though this isn’t as easy as I thought it would be, I think that by the end of the month I will look back and say – wow! Look what I did! Maybe I will even be able to say it was EASY!