Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!!


G. K. Chesterton ~ "The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul."


Have to do it, sorry - here it is - a hidden secret for the New Year - one of my all-time favorite groups - ABBA!!!!



Happy New Year
By ABBA
BestAudioCodes.com

Snickerdoodles

See - our mom does bake sometimes - IF we HELP!!!!

Notice we are still missing some eyelashes!

Chloe's job - making the balls - which usually ended up being snakes!! The boys' job - reshaping Chloe's snakes!!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Photo Challenge at Double Happiness

Double Happiness has done it again - she has another photo challenge called "Then and Now" - I wanted to take part but I struggled to find a picture that matched Chloe's referral photo - for the challenge you were supposed to match color of clothes, etc. but we have no light yellow in Chloe's wardrobe, I would be hard pressed to get that hair to stick up anymore, AND she smiles all the time - so it's tough to get a serious pose!! But here's my try!!

14 Years

Well Today's the BIG DAY - we celebrate 14 years of marital bliss!!! (Ok - MOST of the time it's bliss!!) Just had to share a few pics - they're at least good for a hearty laugh - or to scare the mice away - you choose!!!


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Look What Santa Brought

This had to be the best present we got this Christmas - Thanks to Santa DeJong - aka Mr. Brian!!

And if this doesn't ring any bells - go here.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

My First Attempt

I do not claim to be a hollywood director OR producer but I did have fun messing around with this new computer program. So - I attempted to make a Christmas video out of some of our pictures from this past few days - Enjoy!!! (oh - one more thing - sorry about the pictures being not so clear - I think that is the nature of video over the internet - but if anyone knows more info - I'd take it!! Like I said - I'm all new to this!!)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Fun

Grandpa and Grandma Wagner are here - Chloe has been waiting for this for over a week now. You should have seen here when she spied them at the hockey rink on Saturday - she about broke her neck running to see them and hasn't let go of them yet!! She is just loving this - I'm already wondering what will happen when they leave and life goes back to normal - Chloe's going to go through massive withdrawals!!So we were sitting around last night and Chloe can not keep her hands off of the presents with the Dora wrapping paper - she is sure that they are hers!!! (Wonder what gave her that thought?!?!) So she looks up at Grandpa and Grandma and very sweetly asks, "Chloe open 1 present??" Oh, the priceless look she gave them and I bet you'll never guess what they said!! Yes, Chloe opened one present last night (ok - the boys did too!!). She opened a talking Dora and we heard squeals like I've never heard before!! She screamed in a very high-pitched voice, "My Dora, Oh, I LOVE my Dora!!!" Wish I would have taped what happened when Dora said, "Hi Chloe." It was priceless!! I'll tuck some pictures in for you to enjoy - hope you all have a Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Mystery Gift

Chloe got the neatest CD today in the mail - it has her name on the CD and they use it over and over in the songs on the CD. She just loves it - we listened to it for the first time and it said, "Hi Chloe" and she answered back, "Hi - hey, that's me!!!" So - to whomever sent it our way - she LOVES it - thanks so much. There was no name on the envelope and Joe thinks I bought it - someone step forward so I can prove my innocence!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Favorite Photo Friday

As you'll remember, Joe took some Christmas pictures last Sunday - I think I said it was hard to even get ONE good one - here's why.....Somebody was being goofy!!!

Merry Christmas to Chloe

Ho, Ho, Ho - Christmas came early to Chloe. I brought in the box and told her it was for her and she said, "It's beautiful!!" She just sat and looked at it - we all were prompting her to open it. We finally got her to open it and she said, looking lovingly at her new baby, "I love her Vewy Much." (That's "Very" for all of you that need translation!) So thank you to our dear friends - she is delighted - that was so thoughtful!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

DTC!!!!

We are DTC (Dossier to China) as of TODAY!!! For those that are not as familiar with adoption terms - this is a BIG deal!! As of today, our dossier - all of our papers and HOURS OF WORK - hit China soil!! Our next big date will be our LID (Log in Date) when China officially gives us a date where they mark our papers as ready to move through the system. So, one milestone today!! So begins our BIG WAIT!!!

Mr. Happy

I got Mr. Happy over here!!!! (The only problem is you have to have me in it too!! Just get a good photo editing problem and you'll be set!!) Refer to Stef's blog if this is all very strange!!
Ok Stef - I better win BIG with this one!!! For everyone else - this was our "loveable" doorman in Changsha - I think besides our girls - he was the best part of Changsha!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Our Day

It's been A DAY and sometimes it just helps to share it! (Maybe that will keep me from crying over here!!) We are so busy right now - trying to do way too much before Christmas. It was all going pretty smoothly until Joe called me this morning and said that because of the "Big Storm" coming in tonight - they were having to leave today - instead of tomorrow - to head out on a trip. Well - that took some juggling - kids to hockey practice, mom at work, etc. BUT - the worst is still to come. We had been practicing a Christmas program with some friends and Chloe came in crying -she had cut her eyelid (on something - I know, bad mom - I just don't have a clue what she did!). I tried to wipe the blood off and noticed her eyelashes were gone on part of her eye - and I do mean GONE - no trace - not just cut, but gone from the roots. She cried a lot of the way home from our friends and when we got home her eye was extremely swollen. Joe and I both thought she should be seen - of course, the clinic was closed - so we had to go to the emergency room - (at 5 when I needed to be at work and Joe was leaving any minute for his trip - and three boys needed to eat because their ride for hockey was coming a little before 6 - get my point?!?!?!). Chloe and I headed to the emergency room - the doctor said it looked ok - he does feel it was a branch on a tree that cut her lid and scratched up her face - and we are thinking that since it was evergreens she was near - that maybe the sticky branches just tugged enough on her lashes to pull them out. The silver lining??? The doctor said - less than 1 centimeter more - and it would have been her eye that was cut - right across the pupil. I am praising God for that!

Now - I have to get to work, I have kids going to hockey, and a little girl with missing eyelashes and a swollen eye. Someone tell me how we make it through these years and still maintain sanity?!?!?!

ABC Tag

Nikki tagged me so here goes:

A is for Age.
I am 36! Ugh- too close to 40!!
B is for beer.
Never had it - Joe says it's gross, I'll take his word.
C is for career.
Taught elementary school for a few years before we had kids - now am a part time children's librarian and full time MOM!! I also homeschool my kids.
D is for dog's name.
We used to have two - Dutch and Bandit.
E is for Essential item I use every day.
My laptop, of course! Gotta agree, Nikki!!
F is for favorite TV show
Not much of a TV watcher - but it used to be Alf!
G is for favorite game
LOVE Dutch Blitz!
H is for hometown
Cedar Falls
I is for Instruments I play
Well - some piano - mind you, I said SOME!!
J is for favorite juice
Cran-raspberry
K is for whose butt I like to kick
Naughty kids in the library - but I won't!!
L is for last place I ate
Out? was Olive Garden for my birthday and it was delicious.
M is for marriage
Yep, I'm for it! Going on 14 years with the same guy - not too bad!
N is for my name
Rebecca, but I'm glad my parents opted for Becky
O is for overnight hospital stay
I've had a few - three babies and a cyst removed in High School.
P is for People I was with today
Hmmm - the kids and Joe, fellow co-workers and friends later today.
Q is for quote
"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet,regardless of time, place, or circumstance.The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break."--- An ancient Chinese belief.
R is for biggest regret
Wishing I had enjoyed my babies more and not felt so overwhelmed!
S is for sport
If you know me you are laughing - I HATE SPORTS that I have to play!! I love to watch hockey when my boys are playing!
T is for time I woke up today
7:30 - now just don't ask when Joe got up!
U is for current underwear
Ok - these are getting mighty personal - but love my Victoria's Secret!!
V is for vegetable you love
I love vegetables - you name it - EXCEPT lima beans!!
W is for worst habit
Gosh, there are so many to choose from. Probably worrying!
X is for x-rays I've had
Many - - -
Y is for Yummy food you ate today
Creme Brulee Latte - heavenly!!
Z is for zodiac
I am a Sagitarius (I think), although I don't follow all that junk.
Ok - now waiting to see what you all have on your ABC List. Leave me a comment if you do so I can check out YOUR ABC's. Mr. Brian -you're tagged too!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Pigtails!!

Donna over at Double Happiness has a weekly photo challenge - this week I took the plunge!(It's my first attempt with this new photo program so give me some time - I'll get better!!)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Holiday Happenings

Whew - I survived my birthday - thanks for all of the well-wishes! I felt loved!!!! :)

Today our kids had their Christmas program at church - how fun!! Caleb sang his first SOLO debut - and Micah and Caleb both had speaking parts. And to top it off - they also all spoke this morning in church as our family did the advent lighting. Wow - we have been busy - lots to get nervous about (as the boys say) but are they ever shining!!! We are proud of those guys!!

Then, since we were all in our finery - Dad thought he'd capture some photos - well - or at least he tried!!!It's hard to get four kids looking relatively happy at one time!!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Ok - here's my birthday plan:

8:00 - Go pick up Posh from vet

9:30 - Christmas Program Practice

10:45 - Aaron's Hockey Practice

12:00 - Caleb's Hockey Game

1:30 - Micah's Hockey Game

4:00 - Leave for Sioux City for Joe's Work Christmas Dinner

Hmmm - can I move my birthday to another day?!?!?!? Just kidding!! It's just another day anyway - think I'll choose not to move up a year this year - getting TOO close to 30 anyway!!! :) Yes, I said 30 - "it's my party and I'll lie if I want to"!!!! By the way - thanks for all of those well wishes yesterday -how'd you know it was me??? I know, the towel gave me away!!

I'll share one last "Becky as a young'un photo". Don't worry - I don't have any more left!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Favorite Photo Friday

This cute kid's getting ready to celebrate a birthday - if you want to wish her a Happy Birthday one day early - I'll pass on the condolences!!!! :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Few of My Favorite Things....

A dear friend, but new blogger, Nikki, started this tag - then Stefanie tagged me again - I have to take part, so here goes:
A Few of My Favorite Things:
1) My Family - ALL of them!!
2) BOOKS, BOOKS, and More BOOKS!
3) Apple Cinnamon Tea
4) Caribou Coffee
5) A GOOD Blizzard!!! Haven't had one in some time!
6) Lots of SNOW!!
7) Hugs from my kids
8) A Manicure but Pedicures are good too!
9) Music and singing (in a group - NO SOLOS!!!)
10) Sleeping when it's storming outside - weird, but I love it!!
**********************************************************************
Some of Chloe's Favorite Things:
1) DORA
2) Her brothers
3) Princess Pull ups (couldn't resist!!)
4) Poshie (our new cat that would have to say that Chloe is one of her favorite things too!!)
5) Juice
6) VEGETABLES - Broccoli, Corn, Peas, Beans, you name it - yes, she ate Lima Beans today!
7) Coloring AND stickers
8) Chocolate (in this, she differs greatly from her mother!!)
9) BOOKS - yeah, could it be any other in this house?!?!?
10) Music and her instruments - she's a one-girl band!
Ok - now I tag anyone else that wants to play - feel free to steal our clip art and play along!!

Princess Pull-Ups

Am I ever grateful for Princess Pull-Ups - well, so far, anyway!! We have tried Dora panties, fancy panties- ok whatever else is out there too - and to this point, she seems to always miss the potty - she goes and then tells me she has to go!! We decided to try Pull Ups - I don't think we used them with any of our boys, but it's always worth a try! So we went out and bought Princess Pull Ups - yesterday - she stayed dry all day and today so far as well!!!! She told me this morning after being in her diaper all night - and you must picture a fervent 2 yr. old saying this, "Oh Mommy - my princess pants - I missed them SO much!! I LUV my princess pants!!" Hey, if they work, I don't care how corny they are! We just don't want to get the princess wet!!!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tuesday Tidbits

Today is a hodge podge day:
**Our friends from Michigan are in China right now and got their little Caleigh yesterday. Oh man, Gotcha Day's make me so teary!!! I just LOVE it!! So go see them here. Once you get there, click on Public Journals (at the top) and then type in Caleigh. Once you click on it - you will be at their journal. Yesterday was Gotcha Day so you may have to click on the Previous Tab to see yesterday. It's all good though - read it all!! I just got an email from Jody this morning too - she said it is so hard to see Caleigh grieving so much. We can relate!!! It is so hard to see these little ones struggling when we get them - just keep praying for them~those are fun, but tough days.

**Remember that Third Day "Merry Christmas" song I told you about?? Well - someone made a video to go with it - Fair warning here -get the Kleenex!! Watch it here.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Photo Monday

Joe really thinks I should post this - I don't know - NOT a fan of photos where I am in them. There is a story behind this one though - we had our family photos taken this Fall and when we were all done Joe said he wished Chloe and I would have done one together. SO - when we got them back, he "doctored" them all up and made exactly what he wanted. Gotta hand it to him - he's pretty good with this whole computer technology!! (Good thing that's his job!!!)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Slumber Party or Bucket Brigade??

Well - this was what I had been waiting for - wondering when it would happen - the stomach flu!! Chloe got the stomach flu last night. She had said before she went to bed that her tummy hurt, so I laid a towel down under her but when she sat up at 2 am and "tossed her cookies" it wasn't on the towel - no, it was on her BRAND NEW BEDSPREAD!! Joe took to scubbing, cleaning, and gagging :) and I sat with a shivering Chloe - stripped her down, washed her off, and began the task of teaching a two year old to throw up in a bucket! Oh how I remember this task from years ago - NOT FUN!! She was SO sick - we would clean out the bucket just in time to use it again. Joe looked at me and said, "I don't think this is a one-man job." So we both ended up "sleeping" in the living room on comforters and towels with the necessities - Chloe's baby, her blankie (second one - the first one was in the laundry) and THREE buckets around us - not kidding here!!! I say "Sleeping" with quotes because any parent knows listening for the next cough or heave is NOT SLEEPING!! Finally, about 5 am, she turned to me - I was laying right beside her on the floor - and she said, "Mommy, I need you." She rolled over and promptly closed her eyes and went to sleep. What you wouldn't do for these sick little pumpkins - yep, I wouldn't leave her side - my back was killing me on the floor, my neck was stiff, and she could have puked in my hair at any moment, but I couldn't even think of rolling over when I heard those words. I think we slept better after 5 - now it's just tears because she can't drink and eat as much as she'd like - but I'll take that as a good sign. I am thankful it didn't happen Friday night when I was gone ~ there's never a great time for the flu, but this is better than some. Now we're just cuddling together on the comforters and towels - oh yeah, that's why I titled this the way I did - the boys came out this morning and asked, "Hey, how come we missed out on the slumber party??" :)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Hockey Mom

Whew - I'm Back!!! I left Friday afternoon to head to Sioux Falls for a full weekend of hockey. Caleb and I went and stayed overnight while Joe and the rest of the kids stayed at home to get our other two guys to their hockey practices on Saturday. I know, I know, I had it rough - one kid - but it was a fun time for Caleb and I - we rarely get much one-on-one with our kids so it was a treat!!! Their team played HARD - it was a tough weekend. We are a relatively new hockey association so it is tough to play teams that have been playing for YEARS, but we did win our last game and the boys were THRILLED - 11 to 1 - I might add!!!! They deserve a win every now and then - they play hard and we parents keep saying - "At least they know how to lose gracefully!!"

GO TORNADOES!!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Favorite Photo Friday

I do not honestly know what she is trying to be when she does this but we all love it!! Here she comes around the corner - binoculars up with one hand, whistle in her mouth with the other hand - and you hear a VERY LOUD whistling going on!! When she started this routine the other day Micah was taking a drink of water - when she walked around the corner, Micah's water sprayed everywhere he was laughing so hard!!! It is rather comical!!!

Soup Recipes

A friend, Teresa, sent me all of these recipes via email since she doesn't have a blog---YET!!! This is what she said:
"I couldn't resist sharing TWO of my favorite soup recipes. One is
super-quick and easy (Southwest Chicken soup) and the other is a bit labor-intensive at first, but the soup freezes well in batches and is a wonderful warm-weather soup (Golden Squash soup). The chicken soup is a recipe my mother-in-law found and the squash soup is from Taste of Home too. The cornbread casserole goes very well with the chicken soup."
So I wanted to add them so you all can try them out too - you guys are good - these are great soup recipes!!

Southwest Chicken Soup

2 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz skinned and bones chicken breast cut into ½” cubes
¼ cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp salt
½ tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1 can (14 ½ oz chicken broth)
1 can 15 ¼ oz corn (undrained)
1 can 15 oz black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can 14 ½ oz Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
Heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring until opaque. Stir in onion, garlic, cumin, salt, chili powder, and red pepper. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently until garlic and spices are fragrant. Stir in broth, undrained corn, black beans, and stewed tomatoes. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Stir cilantro into soup and serve. Makes 6 servings.

CORNBREAD CASSEROLE
Category
: Side Dish
Ingredients:

1 Box Jiffy Cornbread Mix
1 Can Whole Kernel corn, drained (14 1/2 oz)
1 Can Cream Style Corn (14 1/2 oz)
1 Cup Sour Cream
½ cup butter (1 stick) melted

3 Eggs (large or extra large) beaten
1 Tsp. Sugar

Instructions:
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour mixture into a 9x13 Casserole dish. Bake at 350ยบ for about 40 minutes.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Pizza Soup

This is humbling, but I'll admit it ~ since I flunked cooking school :) our sitter has started having each of the boys prepare lunch on Tuesdays. (I'm afraid she thinks they will end up like their mother!!! Just kidding - actually it is a huge treat for us AND the boys love it too!!) This week was Micah's turn and he chose Pizza Soup. It was a hit in our house and so I wanted to post the recipe!!

1 pound ground beef
2 cans (26 oz each) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
6 1/2 C water
1 Jar (28 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 T Italian Seasoning
2 C (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
Additional shredded cheddar cheese, optional

In a soup kettle or Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add the soup, water, spaghetti sauce and Italian seasoning; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered, for 15 minutes.
Add cheese; cook and stir until melted. Garnish with additional cheese if desired. Yield: 16 servings (4 quarts)

Taken from: Taste of Home's Big Book of Soup

Side Note: Micah added pepperoni's cut into 1/4's and some cooked ground sausage - it was wonderful!!!!

NOW - thought it would be fun for all of us to share a favorite soup recipe - so today's the day - just add your name to the linky below followed by your blog address on the second line and then on your blog post your recipe - it's that easy!!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Nap Time


Yes, it's supposed to be naptime but this is what I am hearing, "Hey boys, look at me." "Boys, I'm over here." "Help, I stuck." "I want to play too." Chloe is supposed to be napping but instead she is standing in her bed watching the boys outside play football. Even though it's been almost an hour and half and still no nap and I should be irritated - it is still cute that she thinks they can hear her yelling!! Ugh - gotta go - she just fell off the bed trying to get their attention!!!!! Motherhood!!!!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Egress Window

You know sometimes it is funny to post things like the "Tuna" incident but I have to say that my husband is THE BEST!!!! He works long hours for us all day long at work and then also gives much time to church commitments and making sure our boys are at every hockey practice, game, etc. And really, he does it all without complaining - I'm not kidding!!

Then, he sits and plans and reads to learn how to install an egress window in our basement and DOES IT!!! I'm just so proud of him - yes, he had help installing it but the caulking, trimming, staining ~ that's all been his!! It looks great and the boys are so excited to get to use their new room. He works every extra minute down there - we are so thankful that he can even do things like that - I never could!!! So - one room down - now he wants to build an adjoining room for the boys and finish off that end of the basement - he's a go-getter, that's for sure!!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Proud Hockey Mom

Another hockey weekend over - we had a game last night, one had practice today and another had two games today!! Keeps us hopping but we have fun! Even Chloe with her "Chix with Stix" sweatshirt gets into the action. Today she kept yelling, "Caleb, see me???" (from way up in the stands - doubt he saw her but it was cute!!


All of them play hard and we love to see that! (Hey, what else would we do with all that testosterone over here?!?!?) Last night Micah even made a goal - must say we were proud - it's fun to see them do something they really enjoy and THEN do well at it!!!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Creamed Tuna????

This is my chuckle for today: Joe came home with large cans of chicken for lunch. An Orange City specialty is cans of chicken mixed with Cream of Chicken Soup and served over buns. So - that is what we were making - Joe opened both of the Large cans and dumped them in a pan with a can of soup. He kept mixing and mixing and they sure seemed runnier than usual. I remember thinking, "Wow, sure smells like Tuna." But I knew he bought chicken so I put it out of my mind. While we were eating the boys kept saying things like, "Are you sure you aren't tricking us - this sure smells like Tuna???" "It even tastes like Tuna." "Wow, chicken sure smells like Tuna." It didn't hit me until I was going to recycle the cans that - INDEED - he did buy Tuna!!! So we had Tuna and Cream of Chicken Soup for lunch - don't all rush right out and buy it for dinner tonight - not sure I'd stomach it if I knew what it was!!! I just had to share what Joe learned today - ALWAYS READ THE LABEL and don't be deceived by "Chicken of the Sea"!! (I will give him credit though - we never buy Tuna in those large cans - didn't even know they made it - I thought the large cans would be chicken too!!!) Oh, and the best part - I put all of the leftovers up in the freezer for another day - hmmm, who wants to come right over for that meal????

Now I'm wondering - do we tell the boys?????

Favorite Photo Friday

Well - wasn't sure what I was going to post until about 10 minutes ago - I knew it had been awfully quiet - I was cleaning so industriously and I went into the living room and here was Chloe......

Hmmm, she found the presents - yes, it was hers too but don't worry Grandma - she never got the box open!!!! I told her I had to get the camera to show Dad how she was naughty - well, what else could I say - I couldn't tell her it was so funny I had to take a picture!!!!
UGH - my least favorite part about Christmas - wrapping presents - looks like I'll have extra chances to get even better!!!
When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring in a bundle of grain from your field, don't go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans and widows. Then the LORD your God will bless you in all you do.
~Deuteronomy 24:19

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