Friday, February 26, 2010

Meet Ruffey!

Laura's dog match was emailed to us tonight!!!
Click HERE to read about her new, special friend!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mmmmmmmm...

School was canceled again today because of snowy backroads,
(cool living in the country!),
so Charlie didn't have preschool.
As the bigger boys were working on their subjects,
I pulled out Char's ABC notebook we're putting together,
and the letter M page.
Charlie: M!
Me: Yep, that's m.
C: (looking at the little "m" pictures) M for mouse,
mother, and what's that?
M: That's a moose. Mmmmmmoose.
C: Mmmmmmm
M: What else starts with Mmmmm?
C: Mmmmmmm rabbit!
(big brothers start giggling)
M: Um, how about mmmm meatloaf.
C: and mmmmmm potatoes!
(big brothers are now laughing loudly!)
Figuring he must be hungry, I just let him cut and paste,
and grabbed some mmmmmm snacks for the the kids.
Oh, well. At least there was some humor in it!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Homemade Laundry Soap

OK...here's my recipe for homemade laundry soap. I received this from the store where I purchased my ingredients, and the website listed is www.tipnut.com.
Happy Washing!
Ingredients:
1/3 bar Fels Naptha soap
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax powder
1 large bucket
Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dossolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. You use 1/2 cup per load,or 1/4 cup for front loaders.
A Few Notes:
1. The finished soap is not a solid gel. It will be more of a watery gel that has ben accurately described as an "egg noodle soup" look.
2. The soap is a non/low sudsing soap. So, if you don't see suds, that is OK. Suds are not what does the cleaning, it is the ingredients in the soap.
3. If you want your soap to have a scent, you can add 1/2 to 1 ounce of essential oil.
4. The soap does settle in the bucket and you have to give it a stir before you use it. I fill a gallon jug so I can give it a quick shake before pouring it into my machine.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Egg Roll Recipe

OK...I'll share a frugal recipe that we enjoy...egg rolls.
I've taken a little bit from one recipe and
added a little bit from another
to come up with one we like.
I think with egg rolls,
you can pretty much add what you like.
I make ours vegetarian, but you can
add ground meat easily.
I buy shredded broccoli slaw (which is loaded with
fiber, vit. C and vit. A),
and stir-fry it in water or coconut oil along with
saifun bean threads.
Add ginger and garlic powder to taste.
Then I wrap it up in the egg roll wrappers,
fry them in coconut oil,
and enjoy!
We like to use sweet & sour sauce, peanut sauce,
hot chili sauce for garnishes. Add some rice and
you have a healthy, easy meal.
OK...here's the cost:
20 Wraps: $2.78
2 bags of Broccoli slaw: $3.00
Bean threads (lasts 3 meals): $1.18
Rice: $13.00 for a 20 lb. bag...you do the math
Not bad for being a healthy meal, at a cheap price, that
feeds a large family.

A Frugal Share

I think a lot of us are being more frugal these days.
Maybe your family is growing (like ours),
maybe you're feeling the pinch from this economy,
maybe you're realizing that less is more,
or maybe you're realizing that the money God
has given you is not being used
in the most selfless ways.
Spending less on our unnecessary items
can be used to help others in so many ways.
So, let's share...
My friend Adeye beat me to the punch!
She just blogged about a new way to save money...
I have to say, when I first heard
about this a few months ago,
I thought...no way!
It must not work very well,
and it's too much work.
Well, I've eaten my words and I started
making my own soap last December.
Wow! It really does work and it's
easy to make!
Our clothes are not stinking,
and they're getting clean.
And talk about a cost savings!
I can do over 400 loads of laundry for less than
$12.00.
That's right, folks.
Gone are the days that I'll spend buku bucks on
name brand laundry soap.
And for those who are "green,"
it's much better for the environment.
So, now for the sharing part. I'm looking for ways
to cut back on the grocery bill.
Honestly, I'm not one to spend hours clipping
coupons while matching them to the sales ads
and rebates.
I just don't have the time.
So, what else have you got?
But what about healthy meals
(stress on the healthy part)
that are low on cost?
One meal I shared in my last post from Adeye...
Mexican stacks.
Healthy, and inexpensive,
and feeds a large family...
we now are one.
So, go ahead and share.
For those of you lurkers...you know who
you are...this would be a great time to
introduce yourself and share some ideas.
Keep checking back to the comments to see
what great ideas are being shared!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Childproof Icecream

Who would have thought that Tupperw*re had
childproof bowls?
We made snow-icecream last night,
(thank you, Brandy),
and the kids loved it!
I saved the leftovers in a tupperw*re bowl
in the freezer.
Tonight, they couldn't wait to have more.
But try as they might, they could not get the lid
off the bowl!
It took Jacob, Amarin, and Jacob's friend
to pry it off.
Hmmmm...maybe I should try this with more
food and save on the grocery bill!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A New Favorite

Here is a new favorite of Amarin's.
HOT sauce!
Even on the bottle, the word HOT is enlarged!


He eats it on everything...rice, chicken,
has become one of my
favorite meals to prepare and eat)...and
even cookies. Yes, cookies.
Thanfully, it's not difficult to find so we
can keep stocked!


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Holidays

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY
Those of you familiar with Gary Chapman's Love Languages,
mine is "acts of service." I love for someone to pitch in
and help me do something.
Last night,
Jamie went shopping, and cooked dinner for me. He rented a
movie for the boys to watch while
we had a "Valentine's Day date" in our diningroom.
He even made the boys' dinner.
For us, he cooked steak on the grill (which
he had to shovel snow off first),
lobster tail, french bread with dipping
sauce, a salad, and a glass
of red wine. He even brought out
our good dishes.
What a treat!

My boys presented me with these:
this from Jacob...

and this from Amarin.
Charlie gave me big hugs and kisses!

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR

Two holidays in one day! We're ready!

Here are the paper lanterns we made

which are hanging around the house.




Saturday, February 13, 2010

In only 6 months...

...this is what God has done in Amarin's heart.
We were driving last night, and spontaneously,
this is what Amarin shared:
"I like Jesus. No, I love Jesus. He a good boy. When
everyone hurt, He help them."
6 months! With a language barrier!
God can change hearts in amazing ways.
Here is a little boy who had no idea who Jesus
is, had never heard the gospel,
and never seen a Bible.
Now, he loves Jesus.
Now, he asks for prayer at night...it might be
that his cold goes away, or his skin stops itching.
But, he understands!
He has seen answered prayer.
He wants us to pray for him, too.
Oh, the blessings of spending each day, every day,
with our precious children,
and sharing God's word (the Bible) with them,
and helping them grow in faith and character.
I wouldn't trade that for any worldly treasures.
The world can have their big bank accounts,
and their huge stash of material goods.
The more that is hoarded,
the more that shows that God is not trusted
to provide.
Either you trust God, or you don't.
But I tell you,
the Bible makes it very clear that we will
take nothing with us.
The only things we will have are the treasures we
store up now in heaven.
Matthew 6:19-21
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth
and rust destroy, and thieves break in and steal.
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neighter noth nor rust destroys,
and where thieves do not break in and steal,
for where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.
So, what are "treasures in heaven?"
Those treasures are the things you do here on earth
to build God's kingdom.
But be careful...
these are not to earn your way to heaven.
If that's why you're doing good,
it's pointless.
You can't earn your way to heaven.
That's free...and that's another post.
But as for building treasures...
Have you fed the homeless?
Have you cared for the orphan or widow?
Have you studied the Bible?
Have you helped someone who has been
sick, or needed prayer?
Have you really looked for the direction
in your life that God has for you?
Have you turned away from the things that
take our thoughts away from Jesus...like
gossip, drunkeness, jealousy, anger,
grudges.
When we get to heaven,
God wants to shower us with blessings, beyond
anything we can imagine.
But like with our kids,
if they don't obey us, we don't readily give more
and more, right?
No, we take away blessings and privledges.
Same with God.
We are His children and He wants to bless us abundantly.
But not if we don't handle what He's given us here on earth well.
If we squander our money and time, if we don't help where
needed, if we waste the talents He's given us,
He will remove blessings from our "stash."
He will still welcome the saved into heaven
free and clear, but don't you want the full blessings He
wants to give us?
What treasures are you storing up right now?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Another Walm*rt Conversation

Is it just me, or do these conversations tend to happen at Walm*rt more often than not? Or, maybe I just spend too much time at Walm*rt. Whichever it may be...here's another funny conversation for you!

Sunday is the start of the Chinese New Year celebrations. We've never done much for it, but I thought this year, since we're awaiting little Shasha, and we have two other little ones with Chinese heritage, why not do something? So, we made paper lanterns the other day. And today, I picked up some bamboo chopsticks, made in China, from Walmart.


So, I'm at the checkout and the gal is ringing up my order when she comes across the chopsticks.


"What are you going to do with all those sticks?" she asked.


"We're going to celebrate the Chinese New Year on Sunday, and I thought those would be fun."


She looked at me a little funny, so I added, "Some of our children are Asian, so we're going to have a little celebration."


She replies, "Oh! (like she gets it now) Do they all eat with chopsticks?"


What on earth do you say to that? Nothing clever popped into my head, so I just said, "No, but it sure will be fun trying."


She says, "What did you say you were celebrating? The Chinese Christmas?"


Oh, that sounds wrong for so many reasons!


"No, the Chinese New Year. It's just a little fun thing we're doing," I said trying to leave before it got any more complicated! I still don't think she got it. But at least it gave me another fun blog post!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It's all downhill...

for these goofballs!
Jamie took Monday afternoon off work, and the
boys all went sledding.
Posing before they get going.
Scopin' out the hill...
Here we go!


Let's try it now with a partner!


Friday, February 5, 2010

Reading Material

TGIF!
Jamie treated us to our favorite burger place...actually voted best burgers
in the state! And is standard protocol when we go out to eat,
the boys all grabbed a book to keep them
occupied at the table.

Jacob came down with a library book about dragons.

Amarin came down with a Disney/Pixar sticker book.

Charlie...well, he came down with something different.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Peanut Sauce

Now, before I get too far into this post...I hope I don't offend anyone. If you are easily offended, please don't read on. It's a post about something that happened at the dinner table...something silly...and it landed us all in hysterics.

A little preface. First, we do our best to not swear. My kids think the s-word is "shut up" and that an a** is the donkey from the Christmas story...still not sure why some stories choose to use that word. We even try not to use the word "g*sh" because it is slang for God, and we don't use His name in vain. Nor do we talk silly about bodies. We use the real words, and bodies are private. Period.

Now for the story. I decided to make homemade egg rolls tonight for the first time. So, Jamie went out and bought sweet & sour sauce, peanut sauce, and a couple other sauces that sounded fun. Jacob and Amarin remembered eating the peanut sauce in Thailand, so they were pretty excited to try it again. So, we dished up the egg rolls, some rice, and left over meats from a couple dinners.
Time to pour out the sauces. They were all really good, and Amarin decided he wanted more peanut sauce.
So he says, "More peanuts right here, please," pointing to his chicken drumstick. However, when he said the word "peanuts," the T did not sound. OK...go with me on this...and if you didn't catch it...go back and pronounce it again without the T sound.
Obviously, Charlie and Amarin did not catch it. Jamie, Jacob, and I are sitting there silent and perfectly still. All of sudden Jacob bursts out laughing....really laughing! Jamie and I can't help it and start, and we're laughing so hard because Jacob's laughing so hard, that the younger boys start laughing, too. Funnier still...they had no clue what they were laughing about!
Laughter is so contagious, and when we laugh like this at the dinner table (even if it's not totally appropriate), it makes me so thankful that we have this time together!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Little Gifts

I think we'd all agree that sometimes it is the little things that God does that just make our day so wonderful! Yes, we pray and pray for those big things...good health, safe travels, secure jobs. And it is awesome to see God answer those prayers...a great testimony to the one true God that listens, and cares, and knows what we need before we even ask.
But what about those little things that we don't even think about? That we couldn't even orchestrate if we did think about them? I think these are even more telling about how much God cares, and how much he wants to show his love.
Here are two examples that just happened. Yesterday at church, a friend of ours brought 2 colleagues to church, and these colleagues were from a business location in China. Wouldn't you know it...that would be the day that our two little ones stayed home and our friend couldn't introduce them to his colleagues! Anyway, they asked me questions about why we adopt, and I shared with them that we are adopting one more little girl from China...from the Chongqing area. Can you guess where these two colleagues were from? Yep! Chongqing! Now what are the chances...with all of the millions of cities and billions of people in China, that they would be living in the same city??
The second thing happened today. I found a yahoo group, the only one in fact, that deals specifically with Shasha's orphanage. So, I filled out the invitation to join and within the hour, I had a reply from a member. Her daughter and Shasha were friends at their orphanage! WHAT?? This lady knew about Shasha, and had even talked to another family that had been viewing Shasha's file. Coincidence? I don't think so.
I think both of these "little things" are just fun gifts that God sends to us. I mean, don't you like to surprise your kids with a little treat now and then when they're not expecting it? How much more does God love us, and want to give us little treats now and then?