------ the long and winding road to home

11 November, 2011

I'm addicted to Pinterest :O)

I saw this idea on Pinterest and just knew I had to try it out. I've made several with friends and family names, but I don't want them to know yet, so I'll just show my Noel one.

18 October, 2011

Creamy Chicken Soup with Wild Rice and Autumn Vegetables

It's not really a pretty soup but it tastes DELICIOUS!
3 stalks of celery, diced very fine
1/2 onion, diced very fine
2 medium carrots cut in slivers
2 T butter (I used real)
1 T olive oil
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast or 2-3 boneless skinless thighs (I cooked mine in my microwave roaster for 7 minutes)
2 chicken boulion cubes
5 cups water
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 box Uncle Ben's Original Long Grain and Wild Rice (already prepared per box instructions)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp.Mrs. Dash Original
Sautee the onions, celery and carrots in butter and oil until onions just begin to carmelize - about 15 minutes or so on med/hi heat. Add salt, pepper, garlic salt and Mrs. Dash. Add water and boullion cubes and allow to come to a full rolling boil. As this is boiling - for about 20-25 minutes - prepare your chicken breast and Uncle Ben's rice. Cut chicken into small cubes/chunks after it's been cooked. Add cream of chicken soup and allow to boil until it is no longer lumpy. Add in the prepared rice and chicken. Let soup lightly boil for about 30 minutes to combine flavors.
This would be delicious served with a crusty bread!
Makes approximately 5 hearty bowls of soup. (If you are feeding a family of more than 4, I'd suggest to double the recipe.) If your family likes mushrooms, I think it would be good to do one can cream of chicken and one can cream of mushroom soup.

Daria's 10 year Adoption Day Celebration

Daria and Cash below the Russian Flag. We fly the Russian flag for about a week around Daria's adoption day each year.For the past several years, Daddy makes a Russian "inspired" dinner. He made Chicken Kiev; creamy mashed potatoes; Russian sausage from the Russian grocery in Dallas; Russian Sok (juice) and Russian Chocolates. We also had broccoli and bread. It was yummy.
It is hard to believe that ten years have flown so quickly! We have a wonderful little girl who is growing into a young lady right before our eyes!

26 July, 2011

My how he's grown!

Last summer's family trip - 1 year 10 months
This summer's trip - 2 years 10 months

07 July, 2011

Summer Pix

In Sunday School this past Sunday, July 3.

D at Ridgecrest, NC
C at Ridgecrest, NC
C with his Day Camp on a hike. I took this picture from our hotel window :O)
He didn't know we were watching him. I like how he is the only one looking at the camera even though he didn't know.
On Father's Day

22 January, 2011


Every now and then I check the Russian Data Bank of children available for adoption - just to make sure Viktoria is not back on there. She's not.

She turned 6 years old this past week. I just pray that she is in a happy family.

I decided to click on the children left from when Daria was there. It is unbelievable! There are still 2 pages of girls and 3 pages of boys who are Daria's age. They may have even been in Daria's room! These are beautiful boys and girls who need Mommies and Daddies and they are in a region where it will not happen! It just breaks my heart! If people from their own region do not adopt them, they will not be adopted.

It just breaks my heart.

10 January, 2011

Snow in East Texas

D and her friend made a big snowball - mostly with snow from the pad on the trampoline.
They turned their big snowball into a snowbunny/snowman.

C needed to mow the snow. He's a mowing man!

Well, it wasn't quite the blizzard we'd hoped for, but we got out and played in it anyhow!

16 November, 2010

This and That

Some Jack-O-Lantern carving pictures.
On our first cool day I made some hot spiced tea and C drank it up
in his tiny little cup like Grandpa.

People say that we live in the best small town in Texas. I guess so! Our firemen come right into the house and carry the trash out for us! That's service!

For Halloween supper I made Mummies. I said, "I guess I could cut them in half and do them at Christmas and they could be baby Jesus in swaddling clothes."
But Hubby said, "I wouldn't want to eat Jesus!"

We finally got a good bit of rain. I keep getting in trouble for letting C leave his wagon out where it can get rained in. Oopsie.

15 November, 2010

D is 10!!

A couple weeks ago we celebrated D's 10th birthday. I CANNOT believe my baby girl is double digits now! Here are a few pics of the festivities.
Our tradition is to take a picture of D going to bed one age and waking up the next age. I don't know what we'll do next year for 11 - add a big toe??

On the Thursday before her birthday we were in Dallas for her eye doctor appointment so we celebrated with Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt D. Grandma made a homemade cake - yummy.

Before her friends arrived for the party.

On the Friday before (her birthday was mid-week) she had a sleepover. Here they are doing "cheers" with the ice cream cone cups over pizza and cheese balls.
On her actual birthday, November 3, it was a school day so I put a candle in her pancake that morning and we sang happy birthday again. It wasn't Walt Disney World this year, but I think she partied sufficiently for a 10 year old :O)

28 October, 2010

Fall Festival - 2010

We had a great time at the Fall Festival this year! C ate and ate and ate! He had more candy last night that I think he's had in his entire life! He also had a hot dog weiner, popcorn and some cotton candy. D ate half a lollipop and didn't get her hot dog till right before we left, so she ate a weiner and some fritos on the way home.
Thanks Debbie B for the idea for the Scarecrow cake. I didn't buy enough fruit roll ups, so he's a little bare in the hair department :O) I made him and 2 dozen of the spider cupcakes below as well as a German Chocolate cake for the Cake Walk that the Sanctuary Choir hosts each year. I started baking when Hubby and D left for work/school and only got finished about 4:30 p.m.!

Here's the Baker's little helper!

(look at those big feet on Superman - he's wearing an 8! D didn't wear that size till she was nearly 5 years old!)

12 October, 2010

Happy Family Day - D!

Nine years ago today the judge said "Da!" I can't believe it's already been nine years!! The time has flown so quickly it's scares me to think how quickly the next 9 years will pass!
I love you so, so, so!

10 October, 2010

I made my goal . . .

Please bear with me for a momentary tooting of my own horn . . .

I haven't said much on the blog, but in January I set a goal that by 10-10-10 I would wear a size 10 again. This morning the tag in my dress read "10!"
I actually achieved the goal back in August when I wore a size 10 dress to church on my birthday and I had also bought a couple pairs of size 10 jeans. Now, I am realistically a comfy size 12 with a few 10's fitting in here and there. I'd like to lose about 15 more pounds so that 10 is my main size with a few 8's popping in every now and then.

I know that size 10 to many people is still big. But I don't have aspirations of being tiny - I've never been and I never will be. When I got married 15 1/2 years ago, I wore size 10/12. So that was the focus of my goal. I just wanted to be able to shop again in the "regular" sizes. To be able to be "average" and to reach for a normal size on the rack and be pretty sure it would fit. I was so proud when I was finally able to move out of the plus sizes! It is not a happy place to have to shop!

I've lost about 60 pounds since January. Over the years of struggling with infertility and the emotional roller coaster of adoption, my weight had crept up and up. In the years of waiting for and then losing Viktoria, it really crept up. But I truly didn't realize that it had gotten as bad as it was. I'd been in a size 18W and some 20W's creeping in here and there for several years. But I didn't "see" myself the way others must have seen me. Actually I looked to myself pretty much the same as I look in the current pictures above. But . . .

. . . pictures surely don't lie. My "Ah-Ha" moment was last Christmas when we had our Family Portraits done and I couldn't believe that was me! Surely I didn't really look like that! But the worst thing was that we got so many compliments on the picture! I will admit, the rest of my family really did look great, but if people thought "that" picture was of me looking GOOD? Something had to be done - and that was when it clicked.

So on January 4 I started focusing on my goal of being in a size 10 again by 10-10-10. It really helped to have that to focus on.

I started out by just making a few changes that Dr. Oz had outlined in his shows. Automate breakfasts (Oatmeal and turkey bacon); eat almonds (100 calorie snack each afternoon); eat yogurt (morning snack); take fish oil; drink lots of water; really watch portions; exercise at least 30 minutes per day. I did this for a few weeks and I saw results! Then I started really focusing on calorie counting along with these previous changes. I did very well for a couple weeks and then I figured, "if this is working - less calories and more exercise would really work!" WRONG. I dropped my calories too low (1000-1200) and my weight loss stalled. It took me nearly 3 weeks to realize this. So that is when I settled on keeping my calories between 1400-1600 each day; drinking about 100 oz of water and exercising at least 30 minutes, but most days closer to an hour. Steadily the weight just disappeared - about 8 pounds per month. In the last several months it has slowed way down, but I've also relaxed on my calorie counting and have held fairly steady.

Ok, end of horn tooting. Back to pictures of cute kids and fun family times!

08 October, 2010

Long Time No Post

I'll add some pictures for our recent trip to SW Texas. We were surprised there were "mountains" there, weren't expecting that! We stayed in a log cabin and visited Lost Maples State Park.

We ate at a place called Mac and Ernie's that Guy Fieri visited for Diners, Drive-ins & Dives - click here. I must admit I'm kind of a snoot when it comes to going to Dives, but when I learned he'd featured it on his show, I was better about it. The food was pretty good!

Ok, here are the pics!

Here we are cooking our first supper outside our log cabin. Grandma and Grandpa stayed in another cabin called, Little Feather.

D was excited to climb her first tree.

When we were unloading the car, we had a little shower and this pretty rainbow appeared over the mountain.

We hiked in Lost Maples State Park, I like this picture of D & C walking together.

Walking across the rock bridge over the stream.

There were lots of beautiful butterflies. I was happy with the way this picture turned out!

C "fishing" with Mommy (he didn't have a hook!)

Daria looked so forward to fishing, but didn't get a nibble - yes, she had a hook. Maybe next time?

We enjoyed wading (D actually swam) in this spring fed part of the Sabinal River which was on the property of our cabins. The water was so clear.

D and I rode horses on Saturday. She has ridden a few horses before, but doesn't really remember it. But never before for this long and all on her on. We had a trail ride of 30-45 minutes. The horse she rode is named Red.

19 September, 2010

D's 4th Grade Texas Project

D made a mobile for her first Texas History Project. It had to have four official symbols of Texas.

This is the eco-friendly portion of the project, a recycled Texas shaped Lone Star Flag from 3rd grade! I'm glad it was still tacked to my kitchen bulletin board - this was the easiest part of the project.

This was the most time consuming part of the project, she made the armadillo from papier mache.