Friday, January 15, 2016

Good Morning

It's a great morning! I don't have any morning appointments and my afternoon work was cancelled, the sun is shining after a night of much-needed rain and I began my day with a phone call from My Firefighter, who is back at work across the street after being out sick for over a month, and he said the nicest thing to me. You know, one of those things that just fill your heart with joy and make you feel so loved.

This is his little old lady dog, he inherited her just over a year ago when his dad passed away. I have the cutest videos of Apple walking her when she was still learning to walk well herself. They both move at the same speed - slow. My cat Rose doesn't care if Josie is a dog, she knows a friend when she sees one. My other cats don't mind having a dog around, especially one that is deaf and blind, but it's pretty comical when Josie realizes a cat is near and barks like a dog should and sends them scattering, especially if they've come to see what's in her food bowl.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

New Year, New Recipes

While winter is here and the temperature outside under 106 degrees, I am enjoying using my oven, but I've also rediscovered my crock pot. A couple months before adopting Apple, I bought a few new cookbooks so I decided to get them out and pick something new to try. I used the Taste of Home's Slow Cooker Favorites and made Slow-Cooked Sauerkraut Soup. I'd never had sauerkraut in soup before and would have been turned off by the title, but the picture was enticing so I gave it a try and I'm so glad that I did. It was really, really good. I can't wait to make it again. I did, however, not read the recipe closely and thought it only made 3 quarts, so I doubled the recipe and realized a single batch was 5 quarts when it didn't all fit into my 6 quart crockpot. I ended up cooking half in the crockpot and half in the electric pressure cooker. They turned out identical, but one took only 10 minutes to cook and the other a few hours. 10 quarts sure seems like a lot, but it lasted for only 2 meals with my crew plus My Firefighter and that's with adding grilled cheese sandwiches to it, too.

Last night, My Firefighter and I made chocolate chip cookies from a new recipe. I found the link to the recipe on a friend's blog and followed it because she posted 3 things that she made that were new to her and wrote that if one can make only one of the 3 things, then to make the cookies, so we did. It was the first time I ever made chocolate chip cookies that stayed soft and chewy and thick. All my cookies in the past got very flat no matter what I did. Click HERE to get to the recipe if you want to try them.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

First Photos of 2016

The WeeHoo from United Way is GREAT! Apple is comfortable and it's easy for me to pull with my bike. We took our first family bike ride of the year through the neighborhood.

Jie Jie likes taking her doll, Bao Bao, with her. The basket My Firefighter gave her last year for her birthday is perfect for holding just about anything.

Speaking of My Firefighter, he's finally over his pneumonia. I STILL don't have the pictures from our Half Dome Climb, last October, but at least we finally took a selfie together in the matching Made It To the Top shirts that we bought year-before-last.

I've been insisting that the girls start using some of the games and toys we have around here or I'm going to donate them, so they took out Twister and had some fun.

Jie Jie is a cat magnet. Henry, of course, is a total Velcro kitty and never wants to be put down.

Last Photos of 2015

Hanging her candycane from Sunday school on the tree.

We received this gingerbread house as a gift. It had so much beautiful detail! I was a little sad when I had to break it so we could eat it, but our Home Teacher, who had made it, assured us that it was meant to be eaten and it was super good!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Post-Adoption Learning Center

A commenter left me this link today and whoever, I am eternally grateful! I'm just starting to read the various articles, but it's exactly, EXACTLY pertinent to my girls' situations!

Post-Adoption Learning Center

Here are some examples of the articles on this site:

Transition Planning for Internationally Adopted Adolescents with Educational Handicapping Conditions

Tempo {temper} Tantrums in Adopted Children

Cumulative Cognitive Deficit in international adoptees: its origin, indicators, and means of remediation

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy Birthday & Happy New Year

The past few days have been a great ending to 2015 and a wonderful start to 2016. A few days ago, My Firefighter returned from out-of-town, where he spent the holidays with his daughter and her husband. He asked us all to meet him in the terminal, not just pull up to the curb. It was a great idea since my own anticipation of his arrival, and the girls' excitement, was very fun. I admit we got to the airport quite early. One of the local culinary academies made a display of Gingerbread Houses Around the World, so we had a lot to look at while we waited and a video to watch on how the gingerbread village was created.

I'd warned the girls that they can't run and meet him until he passed the secure area, but Apple didn't get it and shot toward him and straight into his arms just a couple feet inside the demarcated area. It was darling! The guards must have thought so, too, they smiled at me and didn't say anything (they'd seen me point out to the girls the no trespass area).

On my birthday, which is on New Year's Eve, My Firefighter took me out to my favorite restaurant, a Brazilian place with a fantastic buffet and a never-ending flow of delicious meat, chicken and poultry on long skewers that is served to one's table, followed by cinnamon pineapple also cooked on a long skewer. We'd gone there a year ago mid-way through December and I looked forward all year to going again. Then, we did what only nerds do and went to see Star Wars AGAIN in the same month! It was just as good, if not better, the second time because we noticed more details and My Firefighter had just given me the soundtrack and we'd been listening to it in the car.

We ushered in the New Year at home, not because we are nerds or "old" but because we wanted to. My firefighter has been healing from pneumonia for over a month, hence his tired appearance in recent pictures, and it's just gosh darn nice having some quiet time together. Midnight came and we stood outside, in a safe place, as idiots around the neighborhood shot guns into the air, multiple rounds at a time. It truly sounded like a war zone outside. Then we went inside and relished our quiet time, saying good-bye to 2015 and welcoming in 2016 and all that it may bring.