Friday, November 26, 2010

Caramel-Topped Semolina Cake: French Fridays with Dorie

{I'm slow in posting ... busy weekend! :) }

I saved what I hoped would be the best recipe of the month for last.  Cake ... made with Cream of Wheat!  I've always loved Cream of Wheat ... one of my most favorite breakfast items. 

I started making the cake after 8 pm one evening.  It was done & out of the oven by 9 pm.  Very quick & easy and I keep all the ingredients on hand except for maybe a fresh lemon. I made my cake with dried blueberries cause I'm not a huge fan of raisins.

I had two friends visiting late that particular night, so they taste-tested the cake with me.  They both enjoyed the cake and commented several times that it was yummy.  They did comment that the cake was not sweet enough unless they had a bite with a blueberry, which most/all bites did have a blueberry, but maybe something to keep in mind for the future.  I also think my caramel got too much lemon juice cause it was a little too sour.

The next morning, my kids polished off the rest of the cake for breakfast.  My 7 year old requested chocolate chips instead of blueberries the next time I make this cake.  I have to admit I was actually thinking the same thing.  Chocolate would be a very yummy addition!!

Overall this cake was yummy and had great texture.  I think that even those who don't like Cream of Wheat cereal might still like this cake.  If I were to make it again, I'd try a caramel sauce with less or no lemon juice.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wise Use of Leisure Time: Young Women Lesson #43, Manual 2

I do have a Young Women lesson this week, for those of you who are interested.  Lesson 43 is about using leisure and free time as efficiently as possible.  This was a fun lesson to teach.

Instead of having a treasure box with photos of girls participating in different activities, I brought a bag and put things in my bag that represent activities that I like to do.  In my bag I put a piano book, a novel, a scrapbook, a cookbook, and a quilt.

When I was searching for lesson ideas on Sugardoodle's website, I came across this article about time management.  I made word strips and we discussed some of the main points of the article at the end of the lesson. (Minus point #8 in the article ... at the time I was preparing my lesson, it didn't seem like something I wanted to talk about during my lesson.  If you use my word strips in your lesson, #8 is not there, so you will have to also skip point #8 or make your own word strip(s).)

Word Strips for Time Management Article:

Man 2 Lesson 43 Wise Use of Leisure Time - Time Management Tips

Here is the quote from the lesson.  Just print it out and hang on the blackboard at the appropriate time:
(You may want to ask one of your kids to quickly color in the block letters.)
Man 2 Lesson 43 Wise Use of Leisure Time Quote

And finally, a little handout with a quote from C.S. Lewis:

When you cut these out, you can leave them as squares or you can play around with a large paper punch ... squares, circles, something with scalloped edges, etc.    I used a circle-scalloped edge punch that's probably about 3 1/4" or 3 1/2" in diameter to turn my squares into this:

I noticed one of the other teachers brought a nice mantle clock from home to display on her table.  It was a nice touch.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Favorite Things #4

Although I didn't really have anything officially scheduled on my calendar this week, it is turning-out to be another killer of a week.  Today I spent several hours making "rough-drafts" of wedding invitations for a good friend & trying to recover from Peacock's birthday party this past weekend.

So ... back to some of my faves.

I am a girly-girl.  I love wearing make-up and feeling pretty.  If I were going to get myself stuck on a deserted island and could only take a limited number of items, mascara would rank high on my list.  I've tried lots of tubes of mascara in my life, but I'd have to say my favorite, especially for the price, is Loreal's Voluminous Mascara.  It's usually about $7 and can be found at all those regular places we shop ... Target, Wal-Mart.... 

The Voluminous mascara lengthens your lashes, but also adds lots of volume.  Before symphony concerts, our conductors ask us ladies to wear lots of make-up ... more than what we usually wear.  I usually put on about 3 layers of mascara before a concert and I always get lots of compliments on my eyes.  Mascara is always a favorite stocking-stuffer!!

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Pumpkin Flans: French Fridays with Dorie

Because time is of the essence this week, I chose to make the pumpkin flans.  This has to be one of the fastest recipes I have ever made!!  I just dumped a handful of ingredients into my blender, whirled everything around a bit, poured the mixture into ramekins, and then walked away while they baked.  I chose to use some more of the Gruyere cheese that I had in my fridge because I knew my family wouldn't come close to the flans if they had "moldy" cheese in them.

I tried a flan while they were still a little warm.  I liked the flavor better than I thought I would, but I think when we see cute little pumpkin custards, we expect them to taste like pumpkin pie.  I served the remaining 5 flans with dinner.  We put a little honey on them and they appealed to us a little more with some sweetness. My girls didn't care for them at all, my husband ate some, but my little 3 yr old guy was the only one that asked for more.  If you are worried about using the Gorgonzola cheese that Dorie calls for, the Gruyere was great with the flans.  My favorite bites were definitely the ones that were loaded with toasted walnuts and cheese.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dancing Queen

Congrats to my Penguin!!  Yesterday in her ballet class she won the "Ballet Spirit" and "Nutcracker Expert" awards.  Her teacher said that in all her years of teaching, she has never had a student  with so much love and enthusiasm for ballet.  Penguin earned the Nutcracker Expert award because she knows the titles of all the Nutcracker songs. 

Guess I better sign-up that Penguin girl
for more ballet classes.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Favorite Things #3

For the chef/baker in your life or someone who would like to aspire to be one, I highly recommend Dorie Greenspan's new cookbook, Around My French Table.  Check out French Fridays with Dorie to learn more about all the delicious recipes.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Favorite Things #2

For someone who loves sewing and other crafts that involve fabric, I love my Gingher scissors.  These are special scissors that you hide from husbands and little kids.  I prefer a medium-sized scissor ... something that's not too big and heavy but that still gets the job done.  I'm fairly positive that you can use your 40% off coupons to buy these scissors at Jo-Anns.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

My Favorite Things #1

I think I've bitten off more than I can chew for this coming week.  Too many things going on!  If I turn-up MIA for a few days, I'm just running around with my head chopped off!!

Instead of regular blogging, I thought I might share some of my favorite things.  I know that I'm no Oprah, but hopefully my faves are a bit more practical for us regular people.  Maybe you'd like to do the same by sharing some of your favorites.  I thought it might help spark some ideas for the approaching gift-giving time of year.  So, if you are also up for sharing some of your favorite items in life, please leave your blog link in my comments so we can all check-out your faves.

Today for Monday I'm gonna have to say some of my favorite things are the Ikea plastic dishes for kids.  The fun, bright colors initially caught my attention several years ago while shopping in Ikea.  We have now collected a few sets of their cups, bowls, plates, and utensils.  I keep most of mine at kid-level in the kitchen so the kids can grab what they need and help set their spots at the dinner table.  I love that they wash well and that they can go in the microwave ... great for lunchtime leftovers!!

P.S.  They're cheap too ... each set of 6 (6 bowls, 6 plates, etc) are only $1.99!

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux: French Fridays with Dorie

This week I chose to try the Roast Chicken for the Lazy!  Lazy is about right.  It was a very simple recipe with few ingredients.  I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and try cooking the meal without making any vegetarian variations.  I picked-up a whole chicken from Trader Joe's ... my first whole chicken.  I was somewhat surprised by how inexpensive the chicken was, even for an organic/natural one ... but I wouldn't know what to compare the price to since this was my first purchase of one.

My hubby is a huge fan of pot roast & veggies and when we make our pot roast, we make TONS of veggies to go with it because that's what we eat the most of at our house. I already had some large red potatoes, so I used those ... about 3 lbs of them.  I used up some carrots and ended up with about 1 1/2 lbs of carrots in my pot.  I also had my garlic, onion, oregano, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  I love celery with my roast and debated on adding some to my chicken.  I decided against it, but afterwards wished I had that celery to enjoy with my potatoes & carrots.

We put bread down in the bottom of our roasting pan and then placed the seasoned chicken on top of the bread.  (I made my hubby do all the handling of the chicken!)  After the chicken had cooked a while, we added all our veggies, which had been tossed with some olive oil.  The final product was delicious and I even enjoyed the chicken!  The bread that had cooked under the chicken didn't really do much for me or my kids, but I think my hubby enjoyed it.  Next time I'd add more variety of veggies & use less olive oil somewhere along the way.  I could see our family enjoying the recipe again in the future, especially on a chilly day.

Go here to see other participants' results from this past week.

All FFWD recipes are from her new cookbook, Around My French Table.  As participants of this online cooking group, we are not allowed to share the recipes on our blogs, so if you like what you see, pick up your own copy of the cookbook.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Butterscotch Sauce

I had a request from a dear friend for the recipe of the butterscotch sauce that I used on my pineapple cake.  It's an easy recipe to type-up and I actually have no idea where the recipe came from ... it's just one I've used for a long time.  So ... I'd love to share. :)

Butterscotch Sauce:
{I usually double the recipe, but keep in mind that a little bit goes a long way!}

1/2 C Unsalted Butter
1 C Brown Sugar (packed)
1/2 C Heavy Cream
1/2 t Vanilla
Pinch of Salt

*In a small saucepan, melt butter & then add sugar & cream.  While constantly stirring the mixture with a whisk, bring it to a boil.  Once the mixture is boiling, remove it from the heat and stir in the salt & vanilla.

Store extras in a sealed container in the fridge ... it will keep in the fridge for quite a while.

Super Easy!!!!!!!!

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Alice Medrich's Chocolate Pudding Bars

On Sunday, I was in mood to spend some time in the kitchen.  Since Hubby was around, I had him help me with my FFWD (French Fridays with Dorie) recipe for the week cause it involved raw meat.  More on that Friday...

Saturday morning I helped my mom teach an appetizer/cooking class.  As a thank you gift, my mom gave me my very own copy of Alice Medrich's newest cookbook: CHEWY GOOEY CRISPY CRUNCHY Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies.  I was very excited & since it's a very new release, I hadn't gotten my hands on one prior to my mom giving it to me.  I made a stop at Trader Joe's on my way home and grabbed some heavy cream to make some cookies that had already caught my eye.... Chocolate Pudding Bars!

The chocolate pudding bars are delish and a recipe that I'll definitely make again.  The crust is like toffee and then the pudding is about the consistency of cheesecake ... not runny at all.  I made 1+1/2 the recipe and used a 9x13" pan.  Alice recommends cutting this treat into bars or circles using a biscuit cutter.  I tried to cut the circles first and lost the handle to my cutter .... the crust was too hard.  I also couldn't figure out how to get the treat out of the cutter ... it kinda stuck in there and when I tried to gently remove it from the top, the crust broke in several places.  I ended up cutting my bars into squares and they were just as good. :)

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

East Valley Mormon Chorale Organization (EVMCO) Christmas Concert

**UPDATE:  Just checked available seats for the concert ... I may be heading down BEFORE Saturday ... maybe Thurs or Fri cause the best seats are selling-out quickly.

Folks ... It's that time of the year!  Time to purchase your tickets for the upcoming East Valley Mormon Chorale Organization's annual Christmas concert.  The *SPECTACULAR* symphony had it's first rehearsal with the adult choir last week.  I always start to get really excited for the concert when we have combined rehearsal and I get to hear how everything sounds together.  It is going to be an amazing evening complete with cute little kiddies singing their hearts out, hand bells, and a wonderful program of music.  We are performing everything from traditional carols to songs from the movie Polar Express to calypso style tunes.

The symphony will be performing this song:

Tickets are very reasonably priced, especially considering how much we spend at the movie theatre for something that far less uplifting and inspiring.

We will be performing on Saturday, December 4th at 5:00 & 7:30pm at the Mesa Arts Center.
Purchase your tickets HERE

For anyone who is interested in saving some money by eliminating extra fees, I will try to make a trip down to the box office sometime Saturday (11/13) afternoon. If you want me to get some tickets for you as well, let me know and we can work out the details.

*Children ages 5 and older are welcome & encouraged to come!!  What a great evening for a special family outing!!

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Pineapple Cake - Variation on Marie-Helene's Apple Cake

I know you've all been on the edge of your seat anxiously awaiting my variation on Dorie Greenspan's apple cake. :)  When I made the apple cake for my FFWD assignment, my husband asked if the cake could be made with brown sugar and pineapple.  A challenge ... I love it!  And a request from Hubby for a particular treat ... Love it even more!!

I followed Dorie's recipe but substituted all the sugar for brown sugar ... same amounts, but packed because that's how we should measure brown sugar.  I used apple cider instead of the rum cause I still had some cider in the fridge leftover from when I made the apple cake.  I also did 1+1/2 the recipe again because I only have a 9" spring form pan.

I cut up a large fresh pineapple and used all the pineapple except for about 1 cup worth.  Since I had recently made the apple cake, I just kept adding pineapple until my batter with pineapple looked similar to how my batter with apples had looked the week before.

I baked the cake for 10 minutes longer than I baked my apple cake and after it had been in the oven for about 65 minutes, an inserted knife came out clean and the edges were getting very brown ... I was worried that the edges might be a little too dark.  The crust & top ended up being perfect.

The cake was too batter-y ... like it hadn't been cooked long enough.  I don't know if simply baking it longer would have solved that problem or because the pineapple is more juicy, maybe I should leave the 3 T of cider/rum out of the batter.  If anyone has any tips or ideas, I'd love to hear them.  My 7 yr old said she liked the pineapple cake more then the apple cake, so it would be worth perfecting the recipe.  :) 

I served my pineapple cake with vanilla ice cream and homemade butterscotch sauce.

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Potato Gratin (pommes dauphinois): French Fridays with Dorie

For the month of November, we were given the choice of about 10 recipes and then FFWD participants got to vote on which recipes we'd try during the month.  I chose recipes that sounded autumn-ish.  Three of the four recipes that were my top choices got the top votes, so I'm definitely looking forward to the month of November's recipes.  Since it's a busy month, we get to choose the order in which we try those four recipes.  I chose Dorie's Potato Gratin for my first November recipe. 

I love potatoes ... haven't met a potato that I didn't like.  And potatoes just scream Thanksgiving.  Now, I don't know if I could possibly pull myself away from the traditional mashed potatoes for my Thanksgiving meal, but gratin would definitely be do-able for other approaching holidays ... Christmas, New Years, etc.

It seemed like I got a late start on making dinner every night this week and I kept pushing my Dorie recipe off until ... tomorrow.  So, here we are on Friday ... early afternoon and I type as my potatoes bake.

Yesterday I made a stop at Trader Joe's.  I grabbed some of their Imported from Switzerland Raw Milk Gruyere cheese.  (Their price is $10.49/lb.) It was a little more than I wanted to spend on cheese, but I've really been enjoying the Gruyere recently and wanted to try it with the potatoes.  I also had a little leftover Swiss cheese from my last Dorie recipe that included potatoes (hachis parmentier).

Today as I was pulling out my ingredients, I realized that I had enough potatoes that needed to be used to double the recipe.  I made my potato/garlic-infused-cream layers and added a little salt and pepper here & there between layers.  When I finished, I couldn't see the cream coming up to the top of the potato layers, so I added more half-and-half.  I chose to put some fresh thyme and then I put A LOT of Gruyere and Swiss cheese on top of my potatoes.  Because I had doubled the recipe, it took about 30 minutes extra (so around 75 minutes total) for my gratin to cook.  My kids kept asking me what I was baking ... we all loved the smells coming from the kitchen.

I wanted to eat the gratin with our dinner, so I planned my meal around it.  I ended up making Maryland-style crab cakes and asparagus to go with the potatoes.  It was a nice & very fattening dinner. :)  Hubby said he gives the potatoes a 7 out of 10.  I really wanted to try this recipe with mushrooms, but I forgot to pick some up at Trader Joe's, so next time.  Next time I think I'll do a bit less garlic and try it without the thyme.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Trip Down Memory Lane: Peacock's Adoption Story

November is National Adoption Month, but more importantly it is the month that sweet Peacock joined our family.  There probably hasn't been a single day go by in the last four years that I haven't thought of Peacock's birthmother/family.  Around this time each year, and this year was no exception, my thoughts wander to her birthmother more frequently ... almost a bit obsessive at times. (I've been to her Facebook page numerous times this past week ....) My mind races with questions like:  Where are they (the birthfamily) now? What are they up to? Have they been receiving the letters and photos I send them? Does it break their hearts to open those letters and photos or is it something they're OK with now?  What are their lives like now? How can someone be so selfless to give their baby to someone else to raise? Now that I've been through pregnancy, labor, delivery and recovery, my respect for birth mothers is even greater. I remember sitting with Turkey when he was a newborn and, in quiet moments, I often wondered what it would be like to be sitting there without a baby to hold and knowing that someone else was holding my baby. I can not imagine a greater sacrifice except the sacrifice made for us by Jesus Christ.

When we left Arizona to attend dental school in Pittsburgh, Hubby & I were under the impression that we would not be able to adopt another child until after graduation. I guess I just figured that Penguin would be 6 years old (or older) before she got a sibling or I'd have to pursue infertility treatments ... neither idea sounded very appealing.

After we were in PA for about six months and somewhat settled, the local social worker for our agency came to do a post-placement visit for Penguin to be sent to Russia. When she met with us, she asked if we'd like to adopt again. She told us that laws were different in PA, that she could approve us to adopt again, & that all the medical, dental, & law students have gotten babies while attending school there.

After we were approved to adopt in PA, we started getting some interest from birth mothers and we were almost chosen several times, but it just wasn't happening. We put our profile online in a few places. We were involved in an adoption scam ... a woman was looking for money who said she worked with birth mothers. This turned into a huge mess involving families all over the country and the FBI even got involved ... I believe this woman is now in jail. She got our hopes up and we were let down and angered that someone would try to take advantage of us. How cruel! Finally one day in July, our social worker called and said she was on her way to visit a birth mom and was wondering if it would be OK with us if she showed our profile to this birth mom, "M". Later that day we got a call from our social worker saying we were the family that M picked & that M was having an African-American boy on November 17th. We were so excited!! A boy!!

Hubby spent his summer break studying for and taking the board exams cause we knew we didn't want to save that for after a baby came. I painted our extra bedroom, bought a dresser, set up the crib, shopped for boy clothes and started thinking about names for this little boy ... I liked Spencer. We were thrilled and couldn't wait until November to bring home our sweet baby.

On September 11th, I was getting ready to go pick-up a friend cause we were going to go to the farmers market together. The phone rang; it was our social worker. She asked if Hubby was at home ... my mind started spinning & wondering what she could want ... no, Hubby wasn't home. She broke the news to me that "M" (the birth mom) had been offered about $10K to place her baby with an agency in Utah ... totally illegal for the agency and "M" to do this! It took a few minutes for this to process in my mind and then I lost it. My heart literally hurt & felt like it was breaking. I can't think of anything in my life that was more emotionally painful to me than this experience of losing the baby boy that I had hoped and planned for. Poor Penguin was left to try and comfort me that afternoon. She brought me tissues and told me everything was going to be OK.

After taking a break from all the adoption stuff for a few weeks, we were again ready to move forward. By this time, I started having strong feelings that my child was out there somewhere and I needed to be more proactive in finding my child. I started visiting websites everyday that had photo listings of available children, sending our profile to every agency that would accept it, and spending countless hours a day looking for our child. A girl I went to church with is a social worker for Adoption Advertising, so we registered with that agency as well.

Around the beginning of October, Adoption Advertising called us with a situation...a 3 week old girl named "A" in Eastern PA. They told us up front that it was a "risky" situation because the birth mother, "C", had been caring for the baby for 3 weeks and had created a bond with baby "A". Also, in the state of PA, the birth parents have 30 days to come back for the child, so we could have "A" in our home for a month and then have to give "A" back to the birth parents. We thought about this situation and felt really good about moving forward. We had several phone conversations with "C" & "J" (birth father), exchanged email addresses, received photos of "A" and set up a time with "C" & "J" to go to their city to meet them and baby "A".

I remember it was a Wednesday and the same day my sister entered the MTC (Missionary Training Center in Provo, UT). We drove to "C" & "J's" city, met them at a mall and got to meet "A". We took them all out to lunch and "C" & "J" seemed to love us and said we were exactly what they dreamed of finding for their daughter. "J" had a book and letter that he wanted us to give to baby "A" someday. "C" sobbed uncontrollably as she knew her time with "A" was coming to an end. We called the lawyer to meet with "C" & "J" so they could go sign the adoption paperwork. We waited at a park nearby for the lawyer to bring the baby to us. I felt like I was going to puke ... I was so nervous. After a while we started to realize that too much time had passed & that something wasn't right. The lawyer finally showed up with no baby. I didn't know what to think. How many times was I expected to endure this pain? We drove home in complete silence for the entire 4 hour ride. We arrived home to voice mails from family members congratulating us on our new addition & Hubby had to go back to school the next day and face every one's questions.

By this time we were getting phone calls & emails several times a day about potential situations. Some interested us & we pursued them a little bit. We talked to a birth mom on the phone who was due to give birth any day with twin boys. Nothing felt right & nothing was working out.

I remember Halloween of 2006. Penguin & I had spent a lot of time on her cowgirl costume & I was upset that it was raining & that we couldn't go trick-or-treating. I also remember feeling somewhat depressed about not having two kids to dress up that evening. The next evening (Nov. 1), we received a phone call from Adoption Advertising & they offered us another situation that was considered "no risk" and that they were only offering to families who had previously experienced a failed adoption with their agency...a healthy baby girl born on Halloween somewhere in South Carolina & if this worked out, we'd have to leave the next morning to pick up this baby. That's all the info the agency had at that point and they could only give Hubby & I about 20 minutes to think about it because lawyers were already on their way to meet the birth parents and have them, "C" & "M", sign paperwork and pick up the baby. Hubby & I talked quickly and decided we felt good about moving forward. "C" & "M" were presented with three adoptive families to pick from and about 30 minutes later we received a phone call informing us that we were the chosen family for their baby. We were given a few minutes to gather our thoughts and then we talked on the phone with "C" & "M" for about 30 minutes. We wanted to talk longer, but the agency wanted to give "C" & "M" time to talk and make sure they felt good about everything before the lawyer showed up at their hotel to get the baby. For hours we paced the floors ... do we get our hopes up and pack the car? or just sit and wait? Around 10:30pm another phone call came saying everything went perfectly, all paperwork had been signed, and OUR baby was in the care & custody of the lawyer.

The morning of November 2nd was a whirlwind. Hubby had to attend a couple classes that morning, so Penguin & I ran around like crazy people, got everything packed, and I think we finally got out of the house around 11am without a single newborn diaper or outfit (cause we didn't have any) for our new daughter. After a long day's drive, we made it to the lawyer's office around 8:30pm and there was our baby - so small and sweet. We held her and took a few photos, but we were anxious to get out of there cause we were tired, hungry and Penguin didn't even have a shirt on under her coat cause she had gotten sick on the way down. And what a weird feeling to walk into a lawyer's office with one child and walk out with two. Thank goodness the secretaries had gone to Wal-Mart that day and bought Peacock some diapers and a pair of jammies. After signing a couple papers, we put Peacock into the car and set out to find a hotel. As soon as we got settled in the hotel, we started emailing photos of this little girl we had just met and were already growing to love so much.

When we left Pittsburgh, we expected to stay in South Carolina for a long weekend and that we'd be able to return home with Peacock quickly. On Sunday, November 5th, we realized Peacock wouldn't be allowed to go anywhere, so Hubby rented a car and returned to Pittsburgh for school while I waited for word that it was OK to return home. After much frustration, being stuck in a hotel room with a 3 year old & newborn for a couple weeks, Hubby renting cars & driving back & forth a few times, we finally got a court date of November 17th ... on the other side of the state! So, I packed up all our stuff and the girls into my car, drove across the state and found a new hotel to stay in until we could go to court. Thank goodness Hubby was able to get out of school and join us for court. "M", the birth mom, also came to court so we were able to meet her. Of course we were nervous about meeting her, but once we met and started talking, we relaxed and were thankful for the opportunity we had to spend time with her and get to know her a little bit. I'm sure it will be a story that Peacock will want to hear many times as she grows up.

A couple days after court, we were finally able to return to PA with Peacock! It was wonderful to be able to return home and eat real food ... eating out every day for all 3 meals for several weeks quickly loses it's flare! We got home just a few days before Thanksgiving and thankfully some other dental students invited us to join them for their Thanksgiving get together.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween Pics ...

Courtesy of my brother, Ryan.

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Birthday, Peacock!!!!

My Peacock ... what would life be without you?  Much quieter & somewhat boring, for certain!  Peacock celebrated her birthday this past weekend.  She is my Halloween baby.  Lucky for her, there are always parties, baked goods, candy, and tons of fun things to do on her birthday.  And then she usually gets to celebrate again, with family, a few weeks later after things settle down a little a bit.

Miss Peacock keeps me hopping.  She is independent & very strong ... both mentally & physically!  She knows exactly what she likes and how she wants things done.  She is definitely my most daring and determined child.  There is not much that she is scared of.  She loves to laugh loud, play hard, and sing with all her heart.  I'm counting down the days until she can join the EVMCO Young Singers Chorus and put her lungs to good use!

My peacock has a very kind & caring heart.  She adores babies and caring for younger children, especially Turkey and my sister's baby.  She loves being a girl ... she is happy to wear a dress or skirt everyday, Disney princesses are always on her mind, and she looks forward to having her hair done.  I thank my lucky stars that such a fun & precious girl is MINE!  Love ya, Babe!

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