Thursday, September 29, 2011

A mother's birthday wish

Yes today is my birthday.  There has been a wonderful out pouring of facebook happy birthday messages today. My husbands is in 7 days, but he will be older than me hee hee.

It is difficult to be very happy today.  I have loads and loads of reasons to be grateful and I am indeed.  However, when we first committed to Jeremy it seemed that by the time our birthdays rolled around we would be traveling to get him.  I had it in my head that on my birthday I'd be hugging him for the first time. 

There is a drawing in my head I wish I could put to paper.  It's a desperate person in an arena battered and torn running around gathering supplies which are little bags with a $ on them.  In the foreground is a large section of people cheering the battered person on.  Their scale in size is nothing in comparison to the few huge vultures that are eyeing the contender.  Written across the chest of the vultures is the word failure. This makes me think of David writing Psalms 23.

See the reason I try to pass on that picture is we know the vultures that are just waiting on the side lines, just waiting for us to fail.  If you are one of those vultures and are reading this, why do you bother.  Why and how are you getting pleasure in your scrutiny? Realize we aren't really truly talking about money here, we are talking about the life of a little boy and his future.

Then I stand back and cry out in a rebuking prayer to rid my soul of the burden of the evil entities.  He can deliver us from all.  Then, I open my heart to allow the peace of God perfect timing fill my raw spirit.  In my spirit and objectively I know this journey isn't in our hands.  The human fleshly side wants to lash out in anger at those who seem to find pleasure in our dire circumstances, but alas

"Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall." Psalms 55:22 NIV

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

So as a birthday wish, I not only ask you to donate to the tax deductible grant every dollar counts, but to please share our blog on whatever social media you use.  Also, please in you passing tell people not only about us, but the many other Reece's Rainbow families.  My heart tells me there's people out there who can and want to help, we just need to find them.

Thank you!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!
One of my new favorite blogs-Heavenly Homemakers asks that on Tuesday you post what you are most thankful for today.  Wow, how hard is that to pick when you have so much to be thankful for.  I guess today I will pick the refinancing we were able to do today.  In about an hour, we did a major overhaul of interest rates and loan life.  I wish it meant that we just automatically got enough to bring Jeremy home, but it doesn't, but it is one step in a better direction.

I am also thankful for getting to go out to eat today!  Wow, what a treat! Thanks to a nice coupon, we allowed ourselves to go out prior to the kids dentist appt.  On a sour note, one of our little ones has a cavity.  We had been doing flouride treatments and were able to stave it off of needing repaired for a whole year, but the time has come.  :(

Thanks to those of you who read this, please pick one of your favorite posts and post it on your facebook, twitter, or blogs.  We need new traffic as the number to the left hasn't moved in quite some time.

We are eternally grateful to those of who have stepped up to the plate and threw out a little $ to give a boy on the other side of the world a family.  It's still sad to think that just because you are special needs, your mommy and daddy don't take you home.  I hope and pray that when we get to Jeremy we find out that he is a true orphan and not an abandoned child for his sake.


Monday, September 26, 2011

The Price of Adoption

What a pleasant surprise we received in the mail!

Inside was a $150 check for our adoption and the following verses and story.  I just don't know how it could have been said better.

2 Corinthians 12:9 "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: For my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

The Price of Adoption by Amy Adair

"How much did she cost?" the cashier at the grocery store asked, pointing to my daughter.

I nervously shifted Evie, on my hip and swiped my credit card.  My husband and I had just gotten home from Bejing, China, with our new daughter and I wasn't prepared for prying questions from strangers.

"How much did you pay for your car?" I shot back.

She wrinkled her forehead, frowned, and was obviously offended by my question.

"I'd just heard that it was $100,000 to adopt from China" she hissed.

"It's not $100,000," I sighed.  "She didn't cost a penny.  We did however, pay a social worker and an agency to help facilitate the adoption."

As I headed back to my car, I had a sinking feeling that more people would ask the same question.  I was right.  The first week Evie was home, my dentist, a neighbor, and a stranger at the park al wanted to know: How much?

It is true adoption isn't cheap.  There are a lot of fees that add up quickly.  We paid for a home study, visas, passports, immigration papers, plane tickets, and hotels.  Quite honestly, it is a financial sacrifice.  But so are other things that people don't question, like sending your child to college.  People find a way to do it.  much like financing a college education, there are grants, loans, and federal tax credits available to adoptive parents.

I wonder, though, what's the cost of not adopting?  It was never God's intention for children to grow up in an orphanage without the love of a mother and father.  Clearly God weeps for those who suffer, especially the fatherles.  In fact, in Matthew 19:14, Jesus berates his disciples for turning children away from him.  Jesus invites the children to stay and declare that the kingdom of Heaven belongs not to the grownups but to the kids.  It is one of the many beautiful pictures in the Bible that illustrates God as our Abba or Father.

It is also a call to action.  Just as Jesus welcomed the children, he asks us to reach out the the neediest to the least of these.

How well written and how true.  We are applying for grants, but time is of the essence.  We need to have funds prior to leaving.  What Jeremy needs to have a family is such a small drop in the bucket in the big picture.  By donating you can know that 100% of your donation is going towards this little boy.  How many charities out there have that sort of return rate?  So many have such high over head costs that only a very small percentage of you dollar ever makes it to the cause you are supporting.  A donation to his grant is tax deductible and be assured 100%! goes to bringing Jeremy home.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

White chili and strawberry bread

Home made yogurt
I just can't help but pretty!

Today was a white chili sort of day.  We had had plans to have supper with some friends tonight so I made A LOT!  Well, dinner plans fell through and after we ate there was a one and half crockpots full of white chili.  So good thing it was good, cuz we'll be having it again and again....thank goodness for freezers.

One of the quart jars of yogurt became strawberry today.  Some of the other strawberries became strawberry applesauce bread and some became a strawberry kiwi smoothie.  Since we have been eating more whole foods it's amazing how much our taste buds have adapted and things like stawberries, yams, and squash taste sweet without piles of sugar.  Amazing!

Trying so hard not to be discouraged, our grant hasn't moved in about a month.  We have depleted our own savings.  I just wonder what will happen when we get a travel date.  Trying very hard to keep our chins up and smile when our kids ask when their brother is coming home. 

Please consider how much a small piece of your wants vs needs budget can mean. 

If any one has any odd jobs that could be accomplished by myself or handyman/mechanic hubby, please let us know. 


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Make ahead cooking on the flip around day.

Today is what I call a 'flip around day'.  Day or Night which is it?

What that translates to is, I worked a 12 hour night shift so want to only sleep as much as necessary to function so that I can go to bed tonight and be back on a "normal" person schedule tomorrow.  What it also means and that it is generally a practically wasted day as I am so tired and only want to sleep let alone be productive. But, thanks to my great husband I got a good solid 4.5 hours of sleep and woke up feeling like I could accomplish a few things.  Since I work a few nights next week, I thought I would cook some make ahead, get better as they sit in the fridge meals, so that next week I don't have to spend much time on cooking.  The other motivation is I have been following this blog and this blog lately and have been trying hard to be a better cook.  As part of that came the reality of our new $115/week grocery budget.  It was another corner that could be shaved down to try and get Jeremy home.  So again, I plead if you would please consider giving even just a meal out worth of $20 to give Jeremy a home and not an institution please please do.

So here's what I've made so far today

Butter for the dishes I have made today.  As a side perk, buttermilk which will be used to make corn bread later in the week.  Also, here's a little tip when making mashed potatoes use buttermilk in place of the butter and milk and you will end up with luscious smooth mashed potatoes that are naturally low fat!   Try it! It's amazing, I haven't made them with margarine and milk since.  So the butter cost-$1.88 for 2 big pots of food, but you could say free in our budget since it was purchased last week.

With the Des Moines trip for fingerprints, our grocery budget was $85 this week. In case you haven't noticed, gas is like expensive LOL!  The cool thing is we have been able to redeem quite a few points over the last week or so and have made a lot of head way by using the gift cards.  This week's grocery budget is thanks to the "safety bucks" my husband saved up at work.

Yogurt Made a gallon of yogurt for let's say $6, it's probably less, but who knows.  Again all the supplies were purchased on last week's budget, so $0.  Why do I bother making my own yogurt?  Well because it's A. cheaper B.Healthier, I control the amount of sugar, etc. C. Better for our Earth that we were given, yogurt containers aren't recyclable here and plus its just more waste.  We'll make peach yogurt with the homemade peach jam I made last week from our peach tree.

Black eyed peas and rice
Used a cup of rice I had on hand, 1/2 can coconut milk that I had on hand, and a can of black eyed peas that a friend gave us, some of the butter I made and a little garlic salt.  So really, I say it was free.  We had it with home made cranberry sauce from last Thanksgiving.  It was delicious! And we have left overs for later in the week. I did use it as a side dish to our steak and egg plant on the grill supper too.

Luscious Lima Bean soup was made with all stuff I had on hand.  Pretty sure the dry lima beans had been around for awhile.  It will provide a meal for all four of us, plus two work lunches.  So a pretty much free meal.  The broth was made from scraps of another meal.

In the pot now is Curried butternut pear soup.  It did cost me some chicken broth $2 since I haven't been making my own broth/stock for long enough yet to have adequate reserves.  The squash I had left over from last week, or the week before, and then I just used some of the pear sauce I made last week.  It will get better with time in the fridge.

Great Northern beans are soaking for white chili tomorrow.  I will also make red chili using left over enchilada sauce from our enchilada fund raiser.  Pretty much all stuff on hand with a few dollars in groceries. I was going to buy canned beans, but the price difference swayed me to just cook them myself.  Less sodium for less $ and less waste. 

The laundry is only part done.....but tomorrow is a new day.  Pretty happy with the progress on a usual "wasted" day. 

A beautiful day.  The kids played with their friends and I cooked.  We even played a little basketball.....but now they want to go see The Hawkeyes play.  Let's see if we can swing that soon!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

A VERY early morning tomorrow!

That's right tomorrow we are getting up at 4am and will be out the door by 5am to go to our USCIS fingerprinting session! Then, we will drive the 2.5 hours back and do some tag team sleeping before we both work an overnight 12 hours shift tomorrow!  Thank you to Ms. thejoyofwhatis, our littles will be entertained and spoiled while we work.  Not sure what we would do without this fellow Reece's Rainbow mom.  She and her family have been so helpful in our journey.

Now $$$$$ we need lots of you and soon!  It is keeping us from our son! 

I received a wonderful adoption gift and poem in the mail a few days ago.  It will soon be part of this blog.  But for now.....


Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Recently I have been doing a lot of reading about to eat healthy and even organic on a tight budget.  Tonight I stumbled across Heavenly Homemakers.  It's nice to know that there are others out there who share my faith and my passion for the Earth the Lord gave us to steward.  One particularly cool thing is the Heavenly Homemakers will be the host of an awesome give away, a Nutrimill grain grinder, a pricey piece of essential equipment for a kitchen that prepares real food.  So if that trips your trigger as much as it does mine check it out here.

There is a book out there called Learning to Cook, I was soooo tempted to buy it for a certain reader :) 

Check out  Here you can see how to eat healthy organic meals and feed a family of 4 for under $100 a week. 

What really started my reading was  This family took a pledge to feed their family only real food for 100 days and then another challenge to feed their family real food on a food budget less than food stamps in their area.  Very interesting.

On another note, please pray for us to find a solution to our child care needs.  We have a wonderful friend 35 miles from us who is always willing to watch our little people, but it is a less than ideal solution with the drive as you can imagine.  I truly have it in my heart as the days go by to be a mostly at home mom.  There are some real big prayers to be answered in order for that to happen.  This week I don't really feel like a mom, I feel more like the lady that arranges for transportation and the like.  This week shall end. But, I must reiterate how thankful I am that we have a overly adequate roof, good vehicles, plenty of food, health insurance, and no overdue bills.  There are so many out there right now that are struggling and we really aren't one of them.  We have all our needs met. 

The adoption is an odd spot right now.  Some of our paper work is fixing to expire.  We have been told to get all of our ducks in a row and finished up because when its go time its go right now time.  It's a faith tester because the money isn't there and its hard to be motivated to run as fast as we can to the finish line when all we see is a cliff.  Well, I'm not really sure what to do with that.

I took care of a little boy the other day who looked sooooo much like Jeremy.  It was sorta hard.  I picture him wearing the pajamas that are sitting on the dresser, I picture him at the table with his brother and sister.  We have given this to God, HE is the only one who can make this happen. 

While watching the show "The Business of Being Born" one of the ladies said labor became so much easier after she just gave in to the pain and that it wasn't going to end.  In some ways, that's how I feel, I've given it to God.  I will keep doing my part, but I'm going to quit fighting with some of the emotions.  It's all in His timing and His perfect plan.  We surely don't have all the answers other than there is a little boy on the other side of the world who has a seat at our table.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Yard Sale

The yard sale netted around $500.  So some closer!  Waiting on HIS timing to make this happen.  Trying to not get anxious.