Happy Holidays!

From our house to yours, we hope that your holiday season is filled with love, laughter, and tons of memories!  



We closed on our house tonight!  We are the newest home owners on Elm Street!  Hopefully, the couple that we bought it from will be out in less than 60 days.  We plan on then doing some updating in it and shortly after moving in!  I'm excited to own our house again and I'm even more excited to make this house our home.

Upside Down Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake

1 can apple pie filling
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tube Pillsbury Grand! Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls {with regular or cream cheese frosting…I used regular}
2 tbsp. butter, melted
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
Mix together apple pie filling and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon.  Spread a thin layer of the filling onto the bottom of a well greased, 9-in. pie pan.  Set the remaining filling aside.
Now, separate the cinnamon roll dough into 8 rolls {my tube only had 5 rolls, so I cut it into 8 rolls}.  Cut each roll into quarters.
Place the quartered rolls into a large bowl and add remaining apple pie filling.   In a separate bowl, combine melted butter and brown sugar.  Mix well and add to the cinnamon roll/apple filling mixture.  Toss gently to combine.  Now spoon the cinnamon roll mixture over the layer of apples in the pie pan.
Bake at 350 for about 28-32 minutes or until a deep, golden brown. 
Cool for about 5 minutes and invert onto a serving platter.  Now remove the lid from the frosting container and microwave for about 10-15 seconds or until it’s a drizzling consistency.  Then drizzle over the warm coffee cake…
Seriously.  You can’t tell me that doesn’t look like the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen.   It makes an awesome dessert and an even better breakfast!  I definitely plan on making this for breakfast or brunch over Christmas break!!  


Baby E update

I received an e-mail today that said that I had to again update some of our paperwork, but I had a question about one part of it and so I called one of the Ethiopia specialists.  I learned that our date that we were put on "the list" is not June 5, but in fact June 4, 2009.  I know it's only one day earlier, but to me it's one less day that we'll have to wait.  Also, I learned that CHSFS just matched the rest of November 2008 and began December 2008.  Right now families are waiting about 24 months and the specialist said that she predicts that the wait won't extend longer.  She also went on to say that the number of dossiers submitted did decrease also, so that helps me to believe that we probably only have 6 months or so left to wait.  Six months is nothing...we can do that with our eyes closed!  We're so excited...Saturday will mark 18 months officially waiting!


New recipe

I'm trying to find new recipes lately and thought that it would be fun to share my new recipes as we try them on my blog.  I hope you find a recipe or two that interests you!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 tube refrigerated pizza dough {we used Pillsbury}
Mozzarella cheese
1 bottle {16 oz} buffalo sauce {you can use any hot sauce, but Frank’s or Cookie's are the best!}
1/2 stick butter (I used I can't believe it's not butter- light)
Olive oil
Parmesan Cheese
First, mix together hot sauce & butter in a small pot on med. high heat. Heat until butter is melted and bring to a low boil. Meanwhile, cook your chicken!
Next, pour the sauce over 1/2 cup mozzarella and the shredded chicken and mix well. I sorta eyeballed this. I didn’t want the chicken mix to be too ‘soupy’ so I added a little bit of sauce at a time until it was a good consistency. There was quite a bit leftover so I just dumped that out.

Now it’s time to make your little pockets. Roll out the dough kinda thin and cut into little circles. All I had was a little 3 in. biscuit cutter, so that’s what I used to cut the dough. 
Grease your baking sheet and start the pocket makin’ process. Lay out a little circle, top it with the chicken and some shredded mozzarella, lay another dough circle on top of the chicken & cheese to cover, and pinch the edges with a fork to seal.
Brush the tops of the pockets with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes or until puffy and brown.
They actually look pretty good and they taste even BETTER than they look!! These made a great little supper and I think they’d make an awesome little appetizer…especially on game days!!! The combo of pizza dough and buffalo chicken is seriously melt-in-your-mouth YUMMY! So if you’re a fan of either…or both…you gotta put this on your list of things to try!



It's Thanksgiving weekend...a time where people reflect on the things that they are thankful for in their lives.  As I sit here,  I'm overcome with emotion as I think about all I have to be thankful for.  God has blessed me over and over again in my life and I'm not sure I can even list all the things that our family is thankful for.

I'm thankful for my amazingly loving and understanding husband whom has stuck with me through the good times and the bad for six years as of this Saturday.  We've gone through some tough times together and there's certainly no one that I would rather have had by my side.

I'm thankful for the beautiful, spunky, and sweet little two year old that calls me mom.  We are so blessed to have her in our lives and to be the ones who get to see all of her firsts, kiss all her boo-boo's, and hear all of the "I love you more than ice cream cones!"  We are overwhelmingly grateful for this little miracle that God hand picked for us and put into our lives.  I would redo EVERY moment in my life again, including the painful ones, if we were promised this little girl again.  When I think of Allie, I hear that saying "my cup runeth over."  It really does.  Webster doesn't have enough words to describe the depth of my emotions toward the two loves of my life...I look forward to the third!

I'm thankful for such amazing family and friends who have been there for us through all of our ups and downs over the past 6 years.  The infertility, failed adoption, Allie's adoption, and now our journey to our second child who's joining our family from Ethiopia.  If it wasn't for such amazing people in our lives, this journey would actually be too difficult to endure.  We are blessed!

I'm thankful for the sacrifices that our children's birth families have/will make.  I can't imagine what they go through and will continue to go through over the years.  I am thankful for the strength that God gives them and I'm thankful that we will be able to meet each birth family so that we can share with our children someday how amazing each of their birth families are.

There are so many things that we are thankful for this Thanksgiving.  We really are blessed everyday and we want to continue to try to focus on the things that we are thankful for as we wait for news of a baby number two.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!



I've been so excited to start projects for our new house.  We close December 13 on our house and then the current owners are renting it back from us for about 2 months.  In the mean time, I'm finding ideas and creative projects that I can do between now and next summer to keep me busy and to inexpensively make our new house our home.

Here's my first project that I want to make.  I've seen one of these in the pottery barn teen catalog (much more expensive) and I want to try to make one for Allie's first big girl room that I get to create for her.  What do you think?  Wouldn't it be cute over her bed or in a little nook?!

November 2008

There were 3 referrals last week through our agency to 3 families.  It sounds like the matching was to families that have been waiting since the very end of November 2008.  That means that people who are now being matched with their children have been waiting approximately 2 years.  The date that our dossier arrived in Ethiopia is June 5, 2009.  That means that we have just over 6 months until we're at that 2 year mark.  In the grand scheme of things, 6 months isn't all that bad.  My biggest fear right now is that the wait continues to extend and that we don't receive a referral and court date prior to court closure next August.  If we don't make it in prior to court closure, it would be close to impossible for baby E to be home in 2011.

Please continue to pray for baby E and for his/her birth family.  I know in my heart that his/her family could really use our prayers.


Halloween 2010


One thing I love about this blog is that it's a great way to document things that happen with our adoptions and with Allie so that someday I can look back and remember the moments that I never thought I would forget...

A few weeks ago, we were talking with Allie about us going to get her brother or sister someday and we started talking about how we would get to Ethiopia.  Allie quickly stated that we had to "fly up in the air in an airpain."  She thought for a minute and then she said, "You can borrow my blue Tinkerbell wings mommy!"

Talk about melting my heart!!!


Reason #231 why I LOVE 2 year olds!

Allie: "I'm a good girl mommy.  I didn't have any accidents at Lavonne's (daycare) today."  As she's chewing a piece of gum.

Me:  "Yes Allie, you are a good girl!"

Allie:  "God says I can have a piece of gum because I didn't have any accidents."

Me:  "Who says?"

Allie:  "You know, God!"

Me:  "Ummmm....Okay..."


will mark 17 months waiting for "baby E."  It's getting closer...I can feel it.  Some really amazing people in my life recently threw me a surprise "sprinkling."  They said it wasn't a shower, it was a sprinkling to sprinkle me with love as we wait for our newest blessing...it was amazing and it helped to make everything seem more real.  Baby E is real and he/she may already be born...so tonight our prayers go out to his/her birth family.  We are praying for strength for what they are going through and for the choices will someday have to make.

Adoption is so bitter sweet...



2 1/2

2 1/2 and 16 months waiting...

It's hard to believe that our little girl just turned 2 1/2 years old! I'm amazed when I think about how much our lives have changed since she came into our lives and how much she's changed in just the past few months.
No longer is Allie a little toddler, she's becoming more and more of a young lady every day. She continues to amaze people with her height and her vocabulary. She wears size 4 jeans and they even seem to be getting shorter and shorter every day. Allie wears a size 10 1/2 shoe and my guess is that we'll be moving up to a size 11 before winter! Her vocabulary is endless. She talks in complete sentences and sometimes it seems as though she must have some kind of word quota for each day (I have yet to see her meet her quota thus far). Potty training...she's been fully potty trained for about 2 months now, except for at bed time and the occasional accident at daycare.

As for Allie's favorites at age 2 1/2....
Favorite foods: broccoli, lettuce salads, noodles, soups, and of course ice cream
Doesn't like: Tomatoes!
Favorite drink: MILK!! LOVES it and can never get enough!
Favorite book: Llama Llama books, Good Night Moon, Dr. Suess books, pop up books, Eric Carle books, any animal books, Richard Scarry books, Chicka Chicka books, Look & Find Books
Favorite activities: Anything outside, playing with her babies, reading books, going to the park, hanging out in mommy's classroom, any art activity possible, listening to music

We talk about baby E around here a lot lately and it's becoming part of Allie's vocabulary. She's constantly talking about how she wants a brother & a sister (she doesn't just want one, she wants 2) and how we should go to Africa and get 'um. The other day, two of my coworkers (Landon & Melissa) and their son (Aidan) came over to our house. Melissa is 9 months pregnant with their second child and Allie walked up to Melissa and asked her if she had a baby in her tummy. I then asked Allie where Mommy's baby is and she said, "in your heart" and came over and pointed to my heart. She then explained to Melissa that "baby E is in Opiopia and mommy has to go get him in an air pain!" Too cute! She's going to be such a great big sister!

We've officially been waiting for baby E for 16 months. WOW...that's hard to see and to still know that the wait continues to extend. Right now the wait is listed as 16-24 months, but the trend is on the far side of that more like 24+ months. The people being matched with babies right now began their wait in November 2008. Our date we were officially added to the list was June 5, 2009.


Carving pumpkins

Hallie came over tonight and Allie and Hallie had fun carving Allie's first pumpkin! Hallie is my friend, Kari's, 5 1/2 year old daughter who Allie looks up to more than you'd ever imagine! We had fun and I hope to carve more pumpkins next weekend!


How cute are these?!?!?

Can you guess what's on my wish list for our Christmas tree???

p.s. Leo, I am SO getting you one of these for Christmas too!


And then came Sunday...

There's no better way to end my weekend then by spending time with Allie (and Cory)! Have a great week everyone!


Lazy Saturday afternoon with Sarah and Allie

Sarah is our 16 year old neighbor from our old house and we just love her (and her family)! She's almost like a little sister to me and a big sister to Allie (I suppose she could be like a daughter, but I like to think that I'm not old enough for that one). We are lucky enough to be able to still spend time together every so often. Today was one of those days and Allie just couldn't get enough of Sarah!


Wait time...

Sounds like our wait is now being extended for baby E. They are now saying that we are looking at "at least a 24 month wait if not more". We were thinking we were getting closer to the call (at least we thought it would be sometime this school year)...looks like we were wrong. Sigh...

15 months down...


Parade time

We had a very busy Labor Day weekend that included a wedding, lots of family time, a little shopping, and a parade in Tracy. Allie enjoyed the parade for the most part, but decided that she's scared to death of clowns! She spent the end of the parade on Kari's/my lap which ever one was as far away from the clowns as possible. Oh well...she enjoyed getting candy and daddy enjoyed eating it!