Saturday, August 21, 2010

Korean Cooking Adventures

This past week I finally jumped in and started to try out some Korean recipes. That started with a trip to H Mart - the Asian Grocery store near us. It was a nice, smaller grocery store. The produce had terrific prices! I was quite impressed. And it was fresh! Then I had to start weaving my way through the store looking for ingredients but also just having fun looking until....(this is where I admit my clumsiness and great luck) - I dropped a glass bottle of dressing on my foot. I only mention the glass b/c it makes it heavier (it didn't break which is a blessing). Not only on my foot but it landed with all it's weight on just 1 toe which is now broken. So H Mart was fun but not entirely what I expected.
I did limp out of there with all the ingredients I needed to make 2 dishes this week and I have successfully made both of them!

Thursday night we had Kimbap (think Korean Sushi). Brian and I both liked it a lot. B said it was "a little good" (translation: he can choke it down without whining). G whined and wasn't a huge fan. Oh well. She's 3, what do I expect?!?

Tonight I made Bulgogi, rice, and salad with ginger dressing (we're not huge fans of Kimchi here, I'll continue to try it when we're out but I'm not making it at home). I also got some rice wine that is pretty strong and not really to my taste but it was fun to try.
The verdict - YUM! 8 thumbs up! All 4 of us loved the Bulgogi! Bap (or rice) is always a hit in our house and we also liked the ginger dressing (that broke my toe) a lot. :)

Below is the Bulgogi. I wish I had though to take pictures of the Kimbap but oh well.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fun Playdate!

B had dinosaur camp all week and loved it! What a cool idea for a camp.

G and I got to spend a lot of Mommy/daughter time together and it was great. We were very fortunate to get together with another Mom and her 2 daughters who are using the same agency as us and are just beginning their adoption journey. We had a fantastic time at the play area at the mall, then walking (running) around the mall and coming to screeching halts in front of anything that looked exciting (ie. Build a Bear, Pottery Barn Kids). I hope K and her daughters enjoyed getting together as much as I did because Ella and I had a great time and really enjoyed them!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We Met Kala and Matthew!

We were so blessed to get to meet Kala and Matthew on Monday. Unfortunately for them my kids have been traveling and very busy so they were a bit hyper. They could NOT sit still during lunch but Matthew took everything in stride and that adorable little boy does NOT miss a thing! He is so observant and such a sweetheart. He shared his toys with my kids (and me) very willingly. We all loved his Pororo phone! I think he takes after his Mama who is sweet as can be. I was so excited to meet them both after reading about their adoption process and praying Matthew home. God is good!

Thanks Kala for taking the time to visit with us. Maybe next time the kids will be a bit calmer - though no guarantees.

Learning Korean

I've started kicking it into gear with my Korean lessons. I have the Pimsleur Korean CDs and LOVE them. I'm learning a lot more this way than I did with Rosetta Stone. I also found a wonderful website - - an American Man is teaching Korean to other native English speakers in Korea and he has posted his lessons on the internet. It's a trial thing so they're only up for a few more days so if you're interested check it out. It's all about learning to read and write Korean which is helping me big time! You also learn the types of sounds a bit better. After I finish these two I may be ready to give Rosetta Stone a try since I'll have a bit more background.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Theme Song: Even a Miracle Needs A Hand

Earlier in our adoption process this song came into my head and I found it quite appropriate. It entered my brain again today and I thought I would share. It's from a Christmas special that is pretty much about Santa Claus but with subtle references to the Christian Faith and the song is a wonderful one about having faith while working hard to achieve something. It seems to apply to the adoption process because there's a mix of working hard and then waiting and having faith that God is in control.

Even A Miracle Needs a Hand

Miracles happen most every day
to people like you and me
but don’t expect a miracle
unless you help make it to be

You hope while I hurry
You pray while I plan
We’ll do what’s necessary cause
Even a miracle needs a hand

You love and I’ll labor
You sit while I stand
Get help from a next door neighbor cause
Even a miracle needs a hand

We’ll help our maker
to make our dreams come true
but I can’t do it alone
So here’s what we’re gonna do

You hope while I hurry
You pray while I plan
We’ll do what’s necessary cause
Even a miracle needs a hand

We’ll help our maker
to make our dreams come true
but we can’t do it alone
So what are we’re gonna do

You wish while I whittle
You drip while I dry
Lets all try to help a little cause
Even a miracle needs a hand

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

9 years!

I am so blessed to have been married to the best man in the world for 9 years today! Sorry to all of you who think your husband is the best but mine really is. :) He is also the best Daddy (right up there with mine, of course!). :) He spends so much time with the kids and truly enjoys it. We are both excited for what the coming year has to hold.

It is strange how in some ways 9 years seems so long and in others it was just yesterday that I was getting ready to walk down the aisle to my new husband! I love you Bri! Thanks for sticking with me through thick and thin!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Camping with kids

I can count on one hand the number of times I slept in a tent when I was younger. So when my husband thought it would be a great idea to take our 2 and 5 year olds camping last year I thought he had lost his mind. But I was convinced to go along with his plan and it was OK but we got next to no sleep and we didn't camp nearby either (learned our lesson and stayed local this year). It was exhausting. This year was an improvement! Note that we are currently doing recreational family camping, not "real" camping. There is a bathroom and running water nearby! The only way to do this with young children!

Friday was rough because I was constantly worried about whether G was sick. She was fine and after a bit we went into full packing and getting ready mode. Lots of errands and packing and the Brian came home. We left as quickly as possible and checked in at the camp site around 6. One positive point is that the playground was RIGHT next to our campsite. So the kids played on the playground while we set up the tent. They were back quickly though because they were excited to "help". Afterwards we cooked hot dogs at twilight. It was actually pretty nice (though I'm a bit nervous about having my kids near fire so I'm an overprotective camper - I'll get there I'm sure). Then we made a sticky mess of ourselves and made smore's -definitely the highlight for the kids! Then it was bedtime. Here is the real issue. We put them to bed and we cooked our smore's while they were (supposedly) falling asleep. Well they were up and the tent was moving and the talking was loud and sleeping was definitely NOT happening in that tent! We had to tell them several times to go to bed and my beautiful angels did not go to bed until 11:00!!!! Brian and I were exhausted and ready to sleep!

The next day was much better. We got up in the morning. I'd packed bagels/pastries for breakfast. That was a fun start to the day but the bees came around soon after so I tried to hurry the kids along! Then we had some down time. We got to play on the playground, walk around a bit, relax a bit and enjoy being out with the kids. This was nice except that the kids couldn't stop jumping around asking when we were going to the waterpark (which is basically a pool with a water feature in the middle).

Finally we got changed and headed over (it didn't open until 11) and had a great time in the water. I tried not to get my head too wet since I still am using drops for swimmer's ear but overall we had a great time. The kids could stay there all day, it was fun though crowded and crazy.

We went back to our campsite and decided to take a hike down to the marina. Very pretty hike and the waterfront was nice. It's fun to walk along and be able to focus your full attention your kids and on God's creation around you. No distractions from this family time and that's what I like about camping. Having the time to spend with my family without other demands on my time and attention.

Saturday night they went to sleep QUICKLY! It was wonderful! We definitely wore them out during the day. We all got a much better night's sleep though Brian and I were still VERY ready for coffee come Sunday morning (I was going through a bit of withdrawal at this point...). :)

All in all it was a success but we are imagining in a few years (probably 5 since we'll be adding another little one to the mix in the coming year) how much fun this will be as long as we keep it up. The kids will be used to it and know what to expect and I'll eventually relax a bit more and we'll be able to continue to spend some great time together as a family!

Movement at our agency!

I'm sure there are referrals often enough but this week I actually know/blog with two people at our agency who received referrals. One is H - you can read her blog here:
and the other is my friend G whom I met at a waiting parents meeting and we've been emailing back and forth. I am so thrilled for both of them. I'm also excited to see movement at our agency because we've now been waiting 1 month! I know this means many more until we get a referral but we're moving forward and that's wonderful!

During naptime today I will try to write about our camping trip with a 6 and 3 year old (which was smoother than our camping trip last summer with a 5 and 2 year old so it's something). :) Have a great day!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Family Fun Friday (hopefully)

The plan for today is to go camping! The kids have been super excited and we're all looking forward to it.

Then G came in this morning and told me she threw up. I went and checked and there is a wet spot on her bed. Not to be too gross but it didn't smell very much, it was clear and just wet, not sure what's going on. Once she ate she said she felt fine. She woke up really early this morning and I put her back to bed (before all of this) so I wonder if her tummy was upset because she hadn't eaten but was awake for a while?

Anyway, we're debating our camping trip right now. Fortunately it's nearby so we could decide to just go over in the morning and set up camp if that seems like a better idea. I guess we'll see.

Here is a picture of the "water park" at the camp ground we're going to.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Book Worm Wednesday!

While I visited my parents I finished one book , read another, and started a third (that I finished soon after returning home). So here they are:

The Blind Side by Michael Lewis

Great book - a lot of football - one chapter I skimmed because it was pretty much all football! ;) I told my dad he should read it because there's so much football!
But it's also about adoption and about love and about breaking down boundaries. I highly recommend reading this. It's better than the movie (though I also enjoyed that) and I think it was very interesting to read after hearing Collins Tuoy speak at our adoption agency's Annual Conference. She was EXCELLENT! She shared so much and was inspiring to listen to. And Michael is such an amazing and interesting person. All that he's been through is heartbreaking and just amazing that he didn't fall into drugs, gangs, etc and not only survived but with the love of the Tuoys he has thrived!

Gurnsey Potato Peel Pie Literary Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

I was skeptical about the is book because a book told through letters is generally not my favorite style of writing. It didn't take long to forget that it was letters being written at all. This was a terrific book and I'd definitely recommend it. It's about an island off of England that was occupied by the Germans during World War II. A writer in London ends up in touch with someone on the island quite accidentally and becomes entwined in the lives of those on the island. She is intrigued by what they lived through and she eventually goes for a visit. You can find out the rest by reading it.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

This book is also about a writer in the 1960s. She lives in Jackson, Mississippi and was raised by her black maid (as were most children at the time). She was much closer to this person than to her parents and she came home from college to find her gone. Her Mom wouldn't tell her why and neither would anyone else. Over time she found herself drifting away from those she was close to in high school and disagreed with their view on how "the help" should be treated. Eventually she grows close to her friend's maid and the two of them start to write a book. Hearing the story from 3 different viewpoints is interesting. Parts of the book are absolutely heartbreaking but mostly it is a wonderful portrayal of the beginning of the changes that took place in this country and especially in the deep south in the 60's. Definitely keep reading, it took a chapter or 2 for me to really get into this, but it's worth the read.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Poem: More Than Enough (Jamey Briscoe)

This poem was in an adoption e-newsletter that I get and I think it's well written. Just wanted to share.

More Than Enough
By Jamey Briscoe

My child, I know you have questions
about the mother of your birth.
And I don't have all the answers,
but this I know for sure.

She loved you enough to protect you
and do what she thought best
to keep you safe and healthy
and help you find happiness.

Maybe it was hunger
that she protected you from.
Or maybe she was ill
and knew neglect would surely come.

I do not know the reason
she chose to give you up.
But this one thing I know for sure,
She loved you more than enough.

And that was just the beginning
of the love that's felt for you.
God held you in his loving hand
and was there to see you through.

God watched over and protected you
though the times were tough.
He always had a plan for you,
He loves you more than enough.

And then half way around the world
we said our nightly prayer
and asked God if He could use us,
His love we wanted to share.

My child you were the answer
to our prayer that night.
God knew the love that we would share
as we both turned out the light.

Now, if you ever wonder
about your "forever family's" love
It's unconditional and unending.
We love you more than enough!