Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our Story In Print...God Is Good!

Today for the November Adoption Awareness Month, our story came out in a local family magazine. This magazine is a Christian magazine that goes all over the Kansas City, Kansas area in churches and businesses.
I took some pictures of it rather than typing it out. When it arrived, Michelle (Bailey's birth mother) and I read it together. It was a touching moment... and we both loved it.

God is good!

I wonder how many hearts God will touch through the telling of our story?

Monday, October 27, 2008

"Homemade Pizza" I'm in the cooking mood.

Someone tried the Pizza Soup and loved it, so I thought I'd pass on another family favorite with many of the same ingredients. "Homemade Pizza"

Here is how I make my pizza's. They are a hit in my family also.

Homemade Pizza
First I use the cheap little boxes of "Jiffy" pizza crust mix. I make two large pizza's so I use 4 boxes. (We like left overs and usually have guests) If you have a smaller family you could use 2. I've shown a picture of the box so you know what to look for if you decide to try this.


4 boxes of Jiffy pizza crust mixes
Powdered garlic... (it's also yummy to use some fresh also)
Italian seasoning
Oregano seasoning
I jar of spaghetti sauce
2 tomatoes
1 zucchini
1 onion
1bag of mozzarella cheese
1bag of Mexican Style four cheese (finely shredded)

Okay, I start by browning in a skillet a small amount of hamburger and drain off the grease. Then I heavily season with the Italian seasoning. (set this aside for later)

Pre-heat oven to 425*

Then, in a bowl I mix my pizza crust (follow the directions on box) It's very simple. All you do is add water stir and let sit for 5 minutes in a warm place. Then, after 5 minutes you are supposed to knead it on a floured board...But, this is where I stray a bit. Instead of kneading on a floured board, I spray my hands with "Pam" cooking spray and I also spray the ball of dough. Then, I sprinkle the counter with tons of powered garlic and I knead the dough on top of the garlic blending it within the dough. I use a lot of garlic and it's even good at this point if you have it to press some fresh garlic into the dough. Respray the dough and roller with pam often if needed. I then roll it out onto the pizza stone or pan. If you are using a pan rather then a stone, spray the pan first.
After the dough is spread out, put it in the oven for 2-3 minutes then take it out and begin adding your toppings.

(The crust is semi cooked)

I place toppings in the following order upon the crust:
I first spread the crust with my spaghetti sauce. Then, I season with more Italian seasoning and some oregano seasoning. Add your hamburger, onions (if you like them), zucchini, (about 1/2 inch thick slices..maybe just a bit smaller),sliced mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, Mexican cheese, sprinkle again with some Italian seasoning and oregano seasoning, and lastly top with (thinly sliced) tomatoes.

Then I place into the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until the top and crust is golden brown.

It's so pretty to have the tomato's on top over the different colored cheeses. I know that putting the zucchini on pizza sounds odd but, believe it or not, everyone is surprised and loves it. This pizza is very thick and very filling. Most people can only eat a few slices and are stuffed.

It's VERY good! I hope you try it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pizza Soup...Yumm!

Last night I made Pizza Soup and the kids ate it up! Here's the recipe in case you want to try it. It sure is good on a cold rainy day... Just like we had yesterday.

I make it with...

1 jar of spaghetti sauce
1 can of diced tomatoes
(In a skillet) Cook a small amount of hamburger meat (drain off grease) and heavily season with oregano & Italian Seasoning. (Add it to your soup)
Throw in some frozen mixed veggies, a bit of frozen chopped spinach, yellow zucchini, and a few cut-up slices of pepperoni or summer sausage, and a 1/2 of a sm. can of sliced olives.
Add as much water to it as you desire
Salt to taste
Boil it all together and it's done!

One of the cool things about making this soup is that you only use a small amount of your ingredients (Veggies, olives, summer sausage, zucchini, spinich) and I freeze the left over ingredients and then have more to make on another day.

I serve it with a long skinny loaf of freshly heated, French Baggett bread. Yummmm!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Starting Injections

Today I went in for my diabetic check-up and also to start a new injectable medication call Byette. I’ve been a bit nervous to start injections but after praying about it; decided it was what I should do. One of the possible side effects of this medication is weight loss. I’m hoping this will be the case with me. After starting the diabetic medications I’ve currently on, I’ve put on 30 lbs and it’s been really hard to accept. So, I’m praying, praying, praying that I have great results with Byette.

Levi was my buddy today and he was a pretty good boy for the most part. He did decide to dig his powder out from my purse and shook it all over himself and the chair he was sitting on. LOL Other than that, he did fine.

The doctor’s office was great. They set me up with my first month’s worth of Byette and needles. The Byette shots are taken twice daily. They also gave me an inhaler, and a new box of Accu Strips (Yay!), and sent me to the lab to get blood drawn for my levels to be checked.

They also gave me the results of my recent sonogram and uterine biopsy. EVERYTHING LOOKS GREAT AND THERE IS NO SIGN OF ABNORMALITIES…LIKE POLYPS OR CANCER! Thank you Jesus!!!
The doctor did say that the lining of my uterus looked like it was slightly decreasing in thickness and that is what she likes to see. I will again be checked in another 6 months.

This is the nice looking young man named Cordeus (Isn’t that a great name?) that drew my blood for the level check. He was very sweet and allowed me to take his picture for my blog. LOL

He did a great job and it hardly hurt a bit.

Giving yourself injections is such a creepy thought. My heart goes out to those that have to do it and don’t have a choice about it. My doctor recommended this for me a few months ago, but I just couldn’t get myself to accept it. Then, this last month, I just felt I was ready. I knew that in order to do an embryo adoption, I’d have to do injections for my body to accept the embryos and also because I am a diabetic, I would have to switch to injections for the pregnancy. So, I figure that there is no way around it; I should accept it, bite the bullet, and start the Byette now.

Here is me giving myself my first shot.

Tonight for dinner we had Chinese food and my fortune cookie said, “You should be able to undertake and complete anything you desire.” Hummm… pretty appropriate, huh?

I can do All things through Christ Who strengthens me.

Awww… Even injections!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

4-Wheeling and Loving It!

Last Sunday after church, our family went out to ride 4wheelers with Will, Shay, and Madison (Bailey’s Birthfather & family).

Our family plus Madison

We had a blast!!

Will giving Bailey driving instructions. You have to shift those CRAZY things!

Richard was loving it!


Madison and her Momma :))
The weather was perfect and the dust was a flying…Especially behind Will, Bailey and Richard’s 4-wheelers. They were so fun to watch. They kept racing each other and I’m almost thinking that Bailey had both her dad and Will licked. LOL

Levi with Daddy

Addison decided at one point to flip hers and amazed us all that she walked away without a scratch and was back up and at em’ within a few minutes.

Will kept everyone safe and having fun. He’s very good at making sure no one gets hurt and everyone’s 4 wheeler was in tip-top working condition. We just have such a blast with their family. Shay and I have no problem keeping a conversation going and Levi and Madison played and bonded on the trampoline.
Madison is an only child but has no problem sharing her family, her toys, her chickens...and is a complete doll.

Thank you Maddi :))

Will with Levi

After becoming completely covered with dirt from head to toe, we all took showers and recouped our aching muscles in the hot tub. Who would have guessed I’d have gotten on a 4 wheeler and had such a blast?

Bailey with her dirt mustache

Our kid’s birth families are constantly challenging me to step out beyond my comfort zone and try new things. Addison’s birth family took Bailey for her first HUGE roller coaster ride (I was one freaked out Mamma for that one) LOL. Then, this summer, Will threw me into the lake so now, I’m over my fear of DEEP,DARK, SCARY, Possibly Shark infested (it could happen…LOL) water and love boating.

Me and Levi... Yes, my baby was ridding them too and loving it! We went very slow!!! Hahaha

Spending time with my children’s birth families is a part of my life I would never change and thank the Lord for all the time.

What a blessing our birth families truly are!

Monday, October 13, 2008

In Loving Arms

I wanted to share some pictures of my son and I taken the other day by my sister when she was visiting. Although, they are not the most flattering pictures of us, I can’t help but think, they remind me of just where my heart is right now with waiting, embryo adoption (E/A), and my appointment today for a uterine biopsy (done every six months to make sure I do not develop cancer). Knowing that I had this upcoming appointment has had me thinking a lot about the “Why”. Why do I have to wait so long? Why do I have to have the cancer threat hanging over my head? Why does it seem to happen for others so quickly and I have to stand on the sidelines cheering them on with no hope in site for our own E/A? It seems so unfair and I often feel left behind. Why is our waiting filled with so much pain and uncertainty?

It’s in these quiet moments when I’m left alone with my thoughts that I struggle with this. I cry and feel just as my son, as his father left for the football game without him. He couldn't understand why he was being left behind. Why he had to stay when his father knew how much he enjoyed going. I watched as his little heart broke and his sobs for me to allow him to go seemed to go unheard. I being his mother knew that he was sick; it would not be good for him to be in the night air at the game. Although, it hurt my heart to see him feel so disappointed and upset, I did what was best for him because I love him.

As Levi sobbed, I called him to me and picked him up within my arms. I listened to his heartache and spoke softly to him. I said, Levi, Mommy knows how much you want to go with Daddy. I know your little heart is broken, but you are sick right now and have to stay here with me. I soothed his sobs with loving words and kissed his head and held him. It wasn’t long before he quieted and relaxed within my arms and snuggled close to me.

He lay there for quite awhile until he felt better and accepted that he was not going and would miss the game. A bit later he was talking of other things and excited to go play with his sister.

These last few days as my heart pondered the “Whys”, I thought of those pictures taken with my son. That’s exactly what happens with me. When alone, I sob my heart out and wonder why, how long, and when will it be our turn? Then, I feel a gentle soothing of my Jesus as He wraps His arms around me and speaks ever so softly to my heart. I feel His love for me and I’m comforted with His knowing what is best for me. I don’t understand or have answers to my questions, but I am resolved to know that my heavenly father has only the best in store for me and I can trust His timing, His trials, this road He’s chosen for me. Then, just as my precious son did in my arms, I relax and am quieted. I feel a sense of peace as I think about our journey. God is in control and this walk I am walking is for change in me. I’m a completely different person today, than I was even a year ago. This has not been easy, but it is necessary for me.

Today, with my doctor appointment, the doctor gave me the choice. She could tell by my sonogram taken last week that the lining of my uterus appeared to not have changed in the last 6 months. Knowing how painful the biopsy would be, she really didn’t want to do it if it wasn't necessary. For the briefest of moments, I was completely relieved. But then, I heard that ever so soft and very familiar voice speak to my heart. I would need this biopsy to have current proof that I am cancer free if I am to do an embryo adoption. In that brief moment, I felt a sense that I was choosing more than just whether or not to do the biopsy, but rather whether or not this road the Lord has me on is worth the pain. In that moment I knew; it was, and I would willingly choose to suffer for whatever that Lord has for me. I’ve often said that,

I do not know what my future holds, but I do trust the One who holds it within His hands.

Today, in this moment, that statement felt like it grounded me in my future and my walk with Jesus. Not only did I choose to undergo the painful biopsy today, but I also felt that my heart had taken in a new breath of understanding. I can trust the Lord. It will not be easy, but nothing…absolutely NOTHING will happen to me that first does not pass through His hands and is the best for me. I’ve given my life to Him and I desire for Him to use me in whatever way He sees best. Even if that “best”, is down a road myself and others do not always understand.

Lord Jesus, thank you for all You have done in my life. Thank you for every difficult and hard thing You have walked me through. I trust You with the building of our family and only desire what You desire for me. Teach me to trust You with the “Why's” that erupts from my longing and settle the sorrow that the waiting has upon my heart. You are such a loving God and it is so deep within my heart to please You.

Apple Crisp, A Fever...And A Great Love For My Daughter

I asked Bailey what kind of cake she wanted for her birthday and she said she didn’t want a cake this year but wanted an apple crisp instead. So… Today, I’m sick with a fever and Bailey looks at me and said…”Mom, you don’t have to make it, I can tell you really are sick.” She was being so nice that it gave me the energy to get up and make it for her no matter how I felt. I thought I’d share some pics of making her birthday apple crisp.

Richard and Bailey were my photographers

Apple Crisp Topping

2 c. flour
1 ½ c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder

Mix well, then add 2 beaten eggs. Mix with a fork and make crumbs. Sprinkle on top of apples. Pour 1 c. melted butter over the top. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake in a 350* oven for 45 minutes.

I had the ingredients out and the apples sliced. Everything was going well until...

Most likely due to my fever, this is where I messed up. I forgot to add the eggs before I dumped the mixture onto the apples. LOL

This is me pulling out the apples and putting them into another bowl.
(rolling eyes) hahaha

Okay back on track... adding the eggs.

I did not dump all of this butter on it. Again... Blame it on the fever I melted too much butter. LOL

WALLLAH! It's done! Pretty yummy looking considering all things. :))

While the apple crisp was baking, my sister Janene came over and took some pictures of Levi and Addison outside. This one turned out so cute of the two of them.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bailey's 16th Birthday

On Tuesday, Bailey turned 16. I can’t believe how grown up she’s become. For her 16th birthday, she’s asked to have a small slumber party with some close friends and dye her hair dark brown. I figure she is old enough to make her own hair choices and Yes, now she has dark brown hair. Actually, it’s not too bad. She’s beautiful no matter what color her hair is… I am very thankful that she did not ask for something wild like pink or hot red. For her birthday we had a family breakfast and I made yummy chocolate muffins, scrambled eggs with bacon and coffee. She felt so mature drinking coffee with her parents. The younger kids got hot tea and felt just as big.

For her birthday she gets to go to the mall with her friends and pick out her presents. We let her color her hair dark brown and she got her favorite teen movie “Step Up” …a bunch of break dancing. Will (Bailey’s birth father) dropped by in the morning and brought a gift for Bailey’s birthday. I was so touched that he’d driven the hour drive to bring it.

A little later that afternoon, Michelle (her birth mother) came over and brought her “Step up 2” and a hand crocheted blanket that was made my Michelle’s grandmother. I thought this was touching. I told Bailey that this was a piece of her birth heritage and that she needed to always treasure it.

Here are the gifts waiting on the table for Bailey when she got home. I thought it was funny that Will’s gift bag and Michelle’s gift bags both matched the ones we’d chosen for Bailey’s birthday. I guess we were all thinking the same thing this year… “NO PINK”

Here is the blanket Michelle gave Bailey

This is Bailey opening her gift from Will, Shay, and Madison.

She loved it! Here room is decked out in Kansas University and she's nuts about the Jayhawks.

He also gave her a very funny card.

I can't help but be a bit emotional this year as I think about Bailey growing up and becoming such a beautiful young lady. She's no longer that tiny little baby I once held in my arms and couldn't take my eyes off of. I thought I might burst into tears as I talked with Will in my kitchen, about how we only have just a few more years and she will be sprouting her own independent wings. She talks of going to Bible College with her best friend Brie and then wanting to become a police officer. Honestly, I couldn't be more proud and I know she'll do great at both. I just hope I'm strong enough to allow her to venture out there on her own to do it. Uuugghh!

Thank You Lord Jesus for the gift that Bailey has been to my life. What a complete joy! Continue to watch over her as she takes those steps towards her goals in life and becomes who You've made her to be. I pray that she will always understand the love that surrounds her between, her family and her birth families.... And may she never question, for even a moment, the purposes You've held for her life. It's my prayer Lord Jesus, that she will always know You and walk with You... Trusting You always for whatever You hold for her life. And Lord, may she see the beauty You've brought to those who've sorrowed for children and know how comforting her life story has been for those without hope. You truly are an amazing God...

Thank You for our Bailey!