Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wicked Weekend

When Snow is in the forecast here, it's like everything stops. Maybe it's like that everywhere but since we only get one or two good snows a season we just don't know or maybe it's because historically, 30 miles north of us is like a snowy winter wonderland when our town gets slammed with sleet and ice, I just don't know. But you say the word snow and people loose their minds here. Friday morning the sky was crystal clear, but clients called me all day long "Should I still come in this morning?!!?" "Will I get stuck in the bad weather if I'm suppose to be there at 2:00pm?" Ok people~ if Jack Roper doesn't know (our local weather guy) THEN I DON'T KNOW EITHER!! If it's snowing, don't come. It's really ok.
But I'll admit. I started to get the same way around 3:00pm on Friday. You see we had tickets to go see WICKED with some friends. (Thanks Joe and Debbie!) I've been looking forward to going for several months. When you called the box office they say "The show will go on-snow or shine!" No refunds. Our friends driving down from North Carolina got to the NC/SC border and ran into a blizzard. They decided to turn around and go home not to risk being snowed in here. We knew it was on the way. But, the show must go on. Snow was falling in the surrounding county, but for some reason we were still dry. We set out for Greenville. The show was FANTASTIC. It exceeded our expectations. Other than the world's stinkiest man sitting by me, I loved every minute of it. He smelled like rotten cabbage. I am NOT making this up.
So we drive home and are home by midnight. On the way in, it's starting to sleet. When Chad walks the dogs at 2:00am it's POURING ice. He said it was the weirdest thing. I am taking his word for it because I was in the bed, sleeping off the cabbage smell. So, by Saturday am we have a inch or so sheet of ice with about a half inch of deceptively beautiful snow on top of that by noon on Saturday. Our cul-de-sac looks like an ice rink. We are stuck. We said a prayer of thanks that we never lost power. Ice is so much more heavy and dangerous than snow, it snaps power lines, it freezes pipes. Ice is not cool. (Well it is, but you know what I mean.)
Fast forward to Sunday. Church is canceled. Here we sit again. Good news=every article of clothing, sheet, and towel in my house is cleaned and ironed. I have slept like 12 out of the 24 hours of the day. The other 12 have been spent watching movies, eating, and reading. I am rested and relaxed. Ahhhh.....I love a good snow day.

Annie does not. Imagine that scene in Bambi when Bambi is learning to ice skate. Great Danes look just like that.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Plate Raffle!

We are raising visa money! When we get the call (hopefully soon) we will have approximately 10 days to get our little buns over to meet our future son or daughter. That means a rush on a lot of things and if you have traveled anywhere~ when you HAVE to be somewhere FAST, the airlines, hotels, visa folks KNOW you are in a crunch and quick travel arrangements come at a premium. Expedited visas cost approximately $350.
So.....If you've been to my house and seen them, I have collected these beautiful plates for years. I started out getting a plate here, a plate there. Then one year Chad stumbled upon the entire "Snowmaiden" collection from Russian artist Devyatkin Kholui. We snatched it right up, now I have a few duplicates. So I bring you our FIRST ONLINE RAFFLE!
Just use the chip in widget to buy a chance to win for $1. Then post a comment on this blogpost. I will choose a number at random from the comment section on February 28th and announce the winner on March 1st. Remember- if you "Chip-In" more than $1, please leave the number in your comment, so I can assign you additional numbers.
Sarah says "Pick Me! Pick Me!" I entered 3 times.
Now Sarah is Raffle ticket #1,2, and 3. You'll also need to leave me your e-mail address or blog site so that I can find you if you win! If you don't want to do that, then make sure you check back on March 1st. If the prize is not claimed by March 5th we will pick again.

Here is the information I could find on the plate:

"The Snowmaiden and Her Parents"
Diameter: 7.5"
Bradex Number: 60-K24-1.2
22-karat gold trim
Artist: Devyatkin (Kholui)

The tale of Snegurochka, or The Snow Maiden, is often beautifully depicted on hand-painted Russian crafts. This Snegurochka is the daughter of Spring and Winter who appears to a childless couple as a winter blessing. Unable or forbidden to love, Snegurochka remains indoors with her human parents until the pull of the outdoors and the urge to be with her peers becomes unbearable. When she falls in love with a human boy, she melts.
The story of Snegurochka has been adapted into plays, movies, and an opera by Rimsky-Korsakov.

Happy Raffling!!! I hope you win!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

My Old Navy Adventure (a.k.a. how love turned to hate for an umbrella in 43 minutes)

So, picture it: Sunday- It’s pouring rain. I mean like we are under a flash flood warning in our county. I braved the weather and went to early service and was out of church before 10:00am. Unfortunately, the weekends are my only time to run errands and take care of business, so rain, sleet, or snow I do my grocery shopping, errand running, house cleaning on the weekend, usually on Sunday because after church, I am alone all day with Chad’s church obligations.

So, 10:00am. I have something to take back to Old Navy. So I drive to Old Navy (this will be known as trip #1) and realize I have left my umbrella at church since it was only a drizzle when I left, but now has picked back up to a torrential downpour. I get to the door only to realize it doesn’t open until 11:00am on Sunday. That’s o.k. because I had to take something of Chad’s back to Academy Sports, so I leave and run through the rain to take that back.

I arrive back to Old Navy (trip #2) to make my return. I am pretty wet at this point. For some reason you can only get a store credit on out of stock items purchased online. So I look around the store and there is nothing worth having but, AN UMBRELLA! Perfect! So I purchase a cute little black and white umbrella with a red wooden hook handle. I bring it outside and open it up. I notice one of the metal arms is not working properly. I’m sure I can take a better look at it once in a dry location. So I leave to take care of yet another store return. (I swear these things have been in accumulating in my car for a month and I am going to take them back- TODAY!)

So, arrive at store #3 and go to open the umbrella and POP! The wooden handle breaks in half in my hand. The broken arm is now drooping and all the rain is pouring into my little bubble of supposed safety. I also notice that the handle of the umbrella has dyed my hand red. Worthless. So BACK to Old Navy (Trip #3) as I now understand the meaning of the phrase “mad as a wet hen”.

I slap the wet umbrella down onto the counter where I stood less than 45 minutes ago buying the stupid thing in the first place. The girl asks me if I want to exchange it for another umbrella. I look at her with mascara running down my face, my hand dyed a bright red, and my hair matted to my head. I just say “REALLY?!?!?” She quickly replies “Here is your $11.42 back, sorry about all that.”
It’s o.k. to laugh, it wasn’t funny then, but I’ve moved on and I think it’s pretty funny. Now if this dye would just come out of my hand.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Moldy Meatballs

Just kidding- It's Moldavian Meatballs. And it's the third Russian dish in our exciting cook off (see: Amy and I have gotten back on the rotation of cooking recipes from "Please to the Table"
Well, all I can say about Mold.Meatballs is, if you LOVE chopping things- have I got a dish for you.
Meatballs: Mush together 1 1/4 lb ground pork, 8 oz ground beef, 1 medium grated onion, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 c. ice-cold milk, 1 large beaten egg, 3 T. bread crumbs, and 3 T. finely chopped fresh parsley. Cover and put in the Fridge as you get ready for the chop-a-paloza sauce.
4 cloves garlic, peeled and 1 red bell pepper, minced together in food processor.
3 T Veg. oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 leek (white plus 1 inch of green, well rinsed) and chopped
1 med carrot, peeled and julienned
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 1/2 t. flour
1 c. beef stock
1/4 cup dry red wine (at this point you can have a glass for yourself after all the chopping)
1 c. canned Italian plum tomatoes. Drain, seed and you guessed it: CHOPPED
2 T. tomato paste
1/4 t. sugar
1 t. hot paprika
1 t. sweet paprika (In South Carolina we only have ONE kind of paprika so I just used 2 t. of it!)
Salt and Pepper
Flour for sprinkling on the meat.

Ok- If you hopefully have all your fingers after drinking that wine and chopping like an iron chef- this is the part where you start cooking.

Saute the garlic and red pepper in the hot oil for 5 minutes. Add the leek, carrot, and celery, saute for 10 min. Add the peppers and garlic, saute for 3 more minutes.
Have another glass of wine.
Sprinkle flour over the veggies add stock, wine, tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, paprika, and salt and pepper. Stir well and take down to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 more minutes.
While that is cooking shape your meatballs into 1 1/2 inch balls. Sprinkle with flour. Melt butter in skillet. Brown the meatballs lightly on all sides.

Add the browned meatballs to the sauce and simmer for another 15 minutes.
Finish off the rest of the wine.
Let stand for 5 minutes. Serve over noodles, rice, or polenta. Top with sour cream (I forgot that!) and fresh herbs (more chopping- yay!!!)Enjoy! This was a pretty good one. Left overs today were even better!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Orphans of Haiti.....

Orphans of Haiti.....
Is your heart as broken as mine is? I have been crying every night at 6:00, 7:00, and if I am still awake 11:00. The news just tears me up. Last night the local news featured a couple from our hometown that are desperately trying to get their son home. You can read the story here. You mention the word Haiti and I break out into tears. Those little children that were already orphans and now sleeping on the streets with no food or water. Thousands of new children were made orphans in an instant.
We can all support agencies and business that are helping Haiti. Not just big guys like the Red Cross but local businesses like, you know, the company that sells ADOPTION scrapbooking gear and beautiful Russian designs? They are matching every $10 donated.
Here is another way to help, a big huge way that needs to bathed in prayer, but needs to be considered, QUICKLY! Kids in Distress are creating a database to match Haitian Orphans with potential adoptive parents. E-Mail Tiffani if you need more information or would like to go ahead and be added to the database in case a loophole opens that would allow families to temporarily foster/adopt these precious children.

Kids In Distress


Email she sent a fellow yahoo group member…
At this point, we are collecting information from every interested party
and submitting that information to the State of Florida. If you are
interested in being included in this database, please let me know:...
City/State/County you reside in
Creole speaking? French?
Do you need financial assistance?
Stay at home mother?
Foster Parent? If so, with what agency?
I look forward to hearing from you and THANK YOU for your dedication to
Kids in Distress!!!

Tiffani Dhooge
Director of Community Outreach
Kids in Distress
(954) 390-7654, 1335
(954) 567-5515 FAX
819 NE 26 Street, Wilton Manors, FL 33305

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Don't get your hopes up.....

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. –Hebrews 11:1

What should you do when someone tells you “Don’t get your hopes up”.* I guess that depends on the context in which it is spoken.

For example: “I really wish I could loose 35 pounds and not make any changes to my diet.”

Response: “Don’t get your hopes up”

Translation: “Put that Twinkie down you mo-ron

But let’s just say, it happens more like this…..

“I was wondering if you have heard anything positive about our case”

Response: “Don’t get your hopes up….but…..

Translation: "Could something be on the horizon for us? Like soon?!?!?"

So what do we make of that? There are so many nuances in the English language. Really the secret lies with the word “but” . It’s like a little disclaimer saying “I don’t want you to get upset if this is a false alarm, BUT, I think something good is just around the corner, BUT I’m not at liberty to discuss any details because, well, I don’t want you to get your hopes up.” So is it really better NOT to get your hopes up? Or is that like saying “Oh my gosh, smell this! It’s the worst smell you have ever smelt?” Whadda ya do? You smell it of course! You just can't help yourself. You jump right in with reckless abandon. I mean with the word "but" you may be disappointed if say TWO WEEKS goes by and your hopes are dashed, but isn’t it better to hope than to never hoped at all?

“Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark” - George Iles

So hear we are, holding out our hands in the dark.

*Disclaimer: This blog contains cryptic messages. You can take as little or as much away from it as your imagination allows.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


You may remember this post from October 15, my fortune cookie stating I should remember three months from this date because "good things are in store" for me.
Well, January 15th came and went. Don't get me wrong- it was a perfectly normal day- but nothing that warranted a special promise inside a tiny cookie. I got up, went to work, and went to lunch with Chad. Jana, Emma, and Brittany came over for girls night in dinner and Jana highlighted my hair. I watched the premiere Project Runway I missed on Wednesday night, read a bit, and went to bed. Like I said- fine, but not mystical, magical, or referral filled. Very disappointing.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Top of the pile.....

Please say a prayer for us as things start moving again in Russia following the winter break. It’s my understanding that by January 15th things should be in full operation again. Our motto has been “Top of the pile” meaning that whatever crazy system is in place that we don’t understand, we are hoping that when things start moving again our paperwork is on the top of the pile. I didn’t think we would be in danger of things expiring before we got Baby Deetz home, but our window is starting to narrow. Chad’s passport expires in December, which is like it expiring in June since it has to be good within six months. When we started this process December 2010 seemed like an eternity away. Other documents will start to expire in early Summer as well.

Some good news: We’ve started to receive “overage” checks from our agency. That means that when you give towards our family builder’s fund through C.W.A. it’s still tax deductible for you, but the money is sent directly to our personal savings fund for the adoption. That way we can offset the huge travel expense (times 2) that is looming in the hopefully near future. When I get a check for $25 I think “That’s a meal in Russia!” When we get $100, I think “That’s a night in a hotel!”. I am so thankful for your generous gifts. You have been so good to us. Those little amounts are chipping away at such an unknown source of stress for us. “How much will all these flights, trains, hotels, visas, tips, and food cost?”

We’ve also been collecting little gifties for the orphans and workers so that’s one less thing I have to worry about when we go. I’ve had a few offers from church groups to fill couple of suitcases full of baby clothes, shoes, and tiny toys for the children and small feminine items for the workers (perfume, jewelry, scarves, make-up) to take with us. I would rather bring less clothes for me to bring more things for them! When we make our first trip we will just need to give $250 in financial aid to the orphanage, but I would like to also take as much stuff as possible when we go too, especially for the children. Then on the second trip, I guess is suppose to be our big “gift” trip~ bringing things for the workers.

So, here we are. Please say a little prayer for us this week. Repeat after me: “Top of the pile…..Top of the pile…..”

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Ten years ago today I married my best friend. I know a lot of people say that, but it’s really true. Chad is THE most kind, caring, patient, and loving husband I could have ever asked for. He radiates an amazing compassion to everyone he meets. He is a mighty man of God. He makes me laugh at least once everyday. He can change light bulbs without a step stool. He can cook, he can clean, he makes you feel like you are the only person in a room. He listens to me rant, rave, cry, pout, mope and yell. He doesn’t pick fights, he wants me to have friends and hobbies, and succeed in life. He lets me steal all of the covers. He walks the dogs when it’s raining, snowing, sleeting, and dark outside. He doesn’t mind my shopping habit. He never asks “How much did that cost?” or “Do you really need that?” He always says “whatever makes you happy!” and really means it.
He is the most amazing, perfect husband and soon he is going to be the World’s most amazing, perfect dad.
I love you, Chad. Happy Anniversary.

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010: A Space Odyssey

Ms. Smallwood is very upset right now. She was my 5th grade teacher at Lakeview Elementary School and I distinctly remember the theme paper: "What will the world be like in 2010?" I think the entire class (including myself) wrote about hoover boards, teleportation devises, flying cars, and living on mars. I am very sad to announce that nothing I anticipated as a 11 year old has come true: no automatic food cookers, closets that pick out your clothes, or robot dogs.
I hope your New Year is full of promise, full of hope, and full of new adventure. Maybe not to Mars, but somewhere just as exciting ;0)
Maybe like to Russia?