Thursday, May 26, 2011

My FAV Summer Recipe!

If I swore, I'd swear that I posted this recipe before but now I can't find it... and it's a MUST for your summer recipe collection! Here it is....

Chinese Chicken Salad

* 1 package cole-slaw mix
* 1/2 cup toasted almonds
* 1/2 cup green onions
* 3 Tbsp. sesame seeds (optional)
* 1 can mandarin oranges
* 1 package dry Ramen noodles- chicken flavor, crushed (save flavor packet for dressing)
* 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (optional)

* 4 and 1/4 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
* 3 Tbsp. sugar
* 1/2 cup oil
* salt & pepper to taste
* Flavor packet from Ramen Noodles

~ Mix all salad ingredients in a large bowl
~ Mix all dressing ingredients in another, smaller bowl
~ Top salad with dressing


I don't have a picture but trust me.... you'll LOVE it on a hot summer day! AND... the leftovers are amazing ;-)

For more awesome summer recipes, check out The Beautiful Mess Photography blog... and consider entering one of your own to WIN a Nikon camera, too!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Another Update ... With Nothing New

First off, I am SO excited for not 1, not 2, not even 3 but FOUR of my blog-friends and the VERY recent additions to their families! These woman have become my friends and fellow waiting mommas through blogging and I'm so thrilled that they have all brought their sweet babies home! God has truly used them in so many lives, including mine!

I thought I'd post another update since it's been a while but the truth is... there's not a whole lot to report; or maybe there IS a whole lot, depending on how you look at it :-/

In the past few weeks we've learned about THREE more sweet babies through our Facebook page and through friends... all boys! They are all healthy and home with their new families... none of which are us.

You know what?! We're next... I just KNOW that we're next; we have to be.

'Cause I don't know how much longer I can do this.....

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Wait, The Pain, and a Few Other Things...

We brought our baby-girl (who's now 2.5) home with the help of an agency called Christian Adoption Services. CAS is run by angels and we have been so blessed to have developed some incredible friendships and relationships with so many of them. CAS releases a newsletter each month and they asked me to write an article about adoption and our experience not only with them, but with our wait and what we've learned. I've shared some of these thoughts here before but wanted to share what I wrote for them in hopes that it will encourage some of you as we all 'wait' together....

"Be still...", "Do not let your heart be troubled...", "I am waiting for the Lord...", "I know the plans I have for you...",

Do you ever feel like you just don't want to do it anymore? That you can't handle another painful lesson, another indefinite period of uncertainty that's inevitably mixed with fear, anxiety, hurt, and what seems like the continuation of endless disappointment? Yeah.Us too.

The ‘wait’ is torturous and it just doesn’t matter who you are or what your circumstances are, or if you’re waiting for #1 or #2 or #3. While waiting to bring home our baby, more often than not, God's Word brings us peace, and comfort, and more patience at times when a storm is raging. He calms it. He dulls the pain and though there's still an ache, it becomes bearable. Tolerable. Until the next wave.

But can we be honest for a second?

We’re not tolerating this very well. We’re not very patient. At times, we don't think we can bear ‘this’ anymore. And sometimes we just can't hear Him. Oh, we know He's talking... He just seems to be whispering when all we want Him to do is scream and yell, just like us but slightly more gracefully. In a way that will force us to listen because the problem isn't that He's whispering... it's that we’re too wrapped up in pain and grief and frustration to really hear Him.

So what's God telling us in the wait? What in the world is the lesson we’re supposed to be learning now... please, tell us because we’ll do anything we can at this moment to learn it and move on, toward His plan.

And His still small voice whispers, “This part, this pain, IS part of my plan.”

As our Hannah would say; "bummer".

So we’ve been thinking a lot about faith.... or maybe it's better to say that we've been 'learning' a lot about faith.

'Faith' is an interesting word. "Faith is trusting Him BEFORE the blessings come." Because if you don't trust before, then you really don't have faith... you're just calling the waiting part 'faith' because it sounds good. If you say that your 'faith' and 'trust' in His plan got you through when it's all said and done, you can automatically forget and negate your painful impatience, the tears of anguish that fell every day, with every disappointment, and the sickness that took up permanently temporary residence in the pit of your stomach. You can just call it ‘faith’.

So where does that leave us? At what point does the noun become the verb? We trust. We have faith. Not later when it's all said and done. We trust NOW. We have faith in HIS faithfulness. We listen. We try with everything that's in us to hear His voice.

"It's ok, my child. Be sad. Allow yourself to feel my arms around you. Don't fight me. Cry. Scream.  And then, in the quiet of the still. I love you. I've got this. Be still."

So we will. We’ll be still. We'll feel and be sad and cry and scream and let the people around us who love us, love us... and we’ll be ok. We’ll take comfort in those who’ve been here before us. We’ll trust the people who’ve dedicated their lives to helping us find our precious little one.

But we have to let God do the rest.

Christian Adoption Services is run by angels- the ones who helped us bring our daughter home. The quality that stood out to us about CAS was the unconditional and everlasting support and love that they provide for every single birth-parent (and in our case birth-grandparent).  We quickly came to appreciate their willingness to listen, their deep desire to see families grow, the education they provide for waiting families, and the community they’ve built.

Some of our closest friendships developed as the result of that uncomfortable first step out of our car into a parking lot and a short walk to the CAS annual picnic. Though not every CAS employee has personally experienced the mixed and sometimes awful emotions that are inevitable in ‘the wait’, every one of them walked along-side us, offered a shoulder to cry on, and rejoiced with us to when they placed our baby-girl in our arms 2.5 years ago. They are simply the best. Trust them, let them do what they’ve been called to do, be still, and let God do the rest… our babies are on their way!

Heavenly Father~ We’re trying so hard to hear you. Please don't stop talking to us. Please whisper, talk, yell, and scream. We promise to listen. Wrap your loving arms around us all. Give us patience. Show us your plan, Lord. Help us to just be still.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sarcasm Rears It's Ugly Head...

We met a couple tonight who said that their dream is to have triplets.....

So she's eating a diet that consists of lots and lots of sweet potatoes.

Oh, if only it were so easy......

For The Ladies...

I've told you all about Incoco Nail Appliques before so if you've been around here long, you know how much I LOVE them! Incoco is giving THREE winners 2 appliques each (of their choice) on my coupon blog and I don't want you guys to miss out on your chance to win... go check it out and enter!