Sunday, January 31, 2010

Americans Arrested While Taking Children From Haiti

Americans Arrested While Taking Children From Haiti


I'm sorry, but you can't take minors across state lines legally in the states without permission....why would you think loading up a bus of POSSIBLE orphans and taking them to another country would be legal???? Without ever contacting the government of the country the children belong to????

Sorry. I'm a Christian and believe in helping. I'm an adoptive parent and believe in adopting.

These people need to go to jail.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dear Bethy

I sat down to write a response to your comment on the Statement on Haiti and it turned into a novel. And alot of this is feelings I should probably share with others. So, this turned into a blog post.

he big thing about Haiti is that "whites" are trying to walk in and take the kids while not following any of the Hague conventions which are put into place to stop trafficking and such. So many countries are guilty of trafficking...and it will always be present. That's evil human nature. Because it is so rampant, we should not fast track any adoptions....especially in a disaster situations. Too many times it is later found out there are relatives looking for the kids that wanted them. Their own relative, in their own country. And maybe its not a relative...but someone else in their community. They should never have been removed from their birth culture. That, I think, is the big thing and the reason the statement is made. This story has played out over and over. Thousands of internationally adopted people have done their searches and found out the were wanted in their birth country. They have a reason to be mad. The stance is that the richer nations have no business walking into another country and taking their children because they think their way of life is so much better that the benefits outweigh this happening.

Most of these people are not totally anti-adoption...they are against the way it is now and the loop holes that exist. Some are anti-adoption because they know there will never be a system that is not corrupt. Most actually believe in older child adoption .... just not infant adoption.

I personally believe in adoption.

But I agree that infant adoption leads to many many trafficking and baby buying schemes. You have to coerce babies away from moms in order to sell/adopt them out. Many promises are made to mothers that would never have given the baby up otherwise - better standard of living, college, they are just staying with the other couple until they are educated. That's just sad. But it will always be. And where true orphans are concerned, many times there are people in their own community that would happily take them if there wasn't so much red tape or financial roadblocks. It would serve the child better to be placed within its own country so these blocks should not be there. But our money is bigger than their money so who gets the child? The richer nations. That is NOT what is absolutely best for the CHILD.

Don't let the negative stop your adoption plans. But do go into it with eyes wide open. There will be people that think you are the worst kind person for doing it. Know they are out there. Make sure you are dealing with a company that has not been accused of any fraud...unfortunately there are alot of them that have been lately....and rightly so. An adoption agency only stays in business if they are placing babies...which can lead to abuses. They are not going to fill you in on the busted baby buying rings or other things that are happening all the time...its not in their best interest.

This is a really hard issue. But there are SO many voices of adoptees out there protesting the way things are done that we need to listen. I listen and its hard. I don't want to hear that China is not the bright shiny uncorrupted system it was sold to me as. And yet they are finding all kinds of trafficking rings and busting the orphanages for buying babies, etc. I feel like I was lied to. But in the end, it doesn't matter...because if I hadn't adopted MM, someone else would have. She existed in the broken system already and my not adopting her would not have changed her fate. She would be in another international home.

What I feel I have learned is that the adoptees have every right to feel and express their pain. We shouldn't tell them they should be grateful for what they have here that they wouldn't have had in their birth country. The benefits are subjective and its their right to morn not growing up in their own country/culture with their own people. ESPECIALLY all the ones that are finding out parents or relatives searched for them (baby drop operations) or mothers who gave up the babies only because they needed a surgery they couldn't afford.

Sometime go check out

This is an adult that was adopted. She did her search and found her parents. Her blog is not about bashing adoption as a whole, but her story is so sad. Half her stuff is protected and you can't read it...but the stuff she does share is so very educational from an adopted parent standpoint. It's a blog from the heart. I follow this one and the posts can be hard to read because of her anguish but I feel I've learned alot about ways to support my daughter during her down times.

And as you are someone that is a positive thinker, you really really need to read everything you can on anniversary grief and such so you are more able to support during those times in adoptees lives when they just can't wade through the pain of being a "throw-away" or feel like they've been "stolen". Trying to talk them out of feeling and expressing the pain is the worst thing you can do -- that is what so many of the "angry" adoptees are trying to tell us. They have a right to grieve because they have lost BIG not matter what they have gained. We need to stop telling them otherwise. WE aren't the ones that lost...we are the ones that gained. Their entire life starts with loss.

So friend, I hope I didn't give the impression that I am anti-adoption -- I am very definitely not. I am against the way it is currently being handled in many places. I'm for the adoptive parents being better educated in how the grown adoptees feel and why. I'm for a zero tolerance death penalty for traffickers. I'm for doing everything possible to place a child in its own country first....not just some notice in a newspaper and lip service.

What I don't have is answers to how we make it better. And I don't feel we need to stop adoptions. There will always be orphans. There will always be children that need a home. And I'm sorry, I still do not feel that an orphanage or institution in a birth country is better than a home in another.

And for my other friend that asked.....I'm really not sure how I feel about the Haiti children that had their adoptions fast-tracked that were already in process. Not enough info. What still needed to be done? We don't have those answers. If its was just a judges stamp finalizing something....then its just red tape in the way and it ended as it should. Without knowing what exactly wasn't complete yet, I can't give a yes I am for it or no I'm against it answer. What I do feel is that they were already established as orphans, already in the process of being adopted, already matched with parents....and we already stepped in and took its a moot point for those kids. It's done. And, it does have the benefit of freeing up some space and supplies for the new orphans. Except people are so desperate they are robbing the orphanages because they know they are getting the support.

These kids just can't win.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Adoptees of Color Roundtable Statement on Haiti

Posting the Statement on Haiti by the Adoptees of Color Roundtable. I agree with this whole-heartedly. Many adoptive parents I know don't agree with me, but I think too many abuses, fraud and downright trafficking cases are coming to light in international adoption to ignore it. And yes, I have benefited from International Adoption, but honestly, knowing what I know now, I'm not 100% sure I would have adopted if I had this information sooner. (The flip side of that is I'm not 100% I wouldn't have either.) It has definitely shut down any plans for adopting a second.



This statement reflects the position of an international community of adoptees of color who wish to pose a critical intervention in the discourse and actions affecting the child victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti. We are domestic and international adoptees with many years of research and both personal and professional experience in adoption studies and activism. We are a community of scholars, activists, professors, artists, lawyers, social workers and health care workers who speak with the knowledge that North Americans and Europeans are lining up to adopt the “orphaned children” of the Haitian earthquake, and who feel compelled to voice our opinion about what it means to be “saved” or “rescued” through adoption.

We understand that in a time of crisis there is a tendency to want to act quickly to support those considered the most vulnerable and directly affected, including children. However, we urge caution in determining how best to help. We have arrived at a time when the licenses of adoption agencies in various countries are being reviewed for the widespread practice of misrepresenting the social histories of children. There is evidence of the production of documents stating that a child is “available for adoption” based on a legal “paper” and not literal orphaning as seen in recent cases of intercountry adoption of children from Malawi, Guatemala, South Korea and China. We bear testimony to the ways in which the intercountry adoption industry has profited from and reinforced neo-liberal structural adjustment policies, aid dependency, population control policies, unsustainable development, corruption, and child trafficking.

For more than fifty years “orphaned children” have been shipped from areas of war, natural disasters, and poverty to supposedly better lives in Europe and North America. Our adoptions from Vietnam, South Korea, Guatemala and many other countries are no different from what is happening to the children of Haiti today. Like us, these “disaster orphans” will grow into adulthood and begin to grasp the magnitude of the abuse, fraud, negligence, suffering, and deprivation of human rights involved in their displacements.

We uphold that Haitian children have a right to a family and a history that is their own and that Haitians themselves have a right to determine what happens to their own children. We resist the racist, colonialist mentality that positions the Western nuclear family as superior to other conceptions of family, and we seek to challenge those who abuse the phrase “Every child deserves a family” to rethink how this phrase is used to justify the removal of children from Haiti for the fulfillment of their own needs and desires. Western and Northern desire for ownership of Haitian children directly contributes to the destruction of existing family and community structures in Haiti. This individualistic desire is supported by the historical and global anti-African sentiment which negates the validity of black mothers and fathers and condones the separation of black children from their families, cultures, and countries of origin.

As adoptees of color many of us have inherited a history of dubious adoptions. We are dismayed to hear that Haitian adoptions may be “fast-tracked” due to the massive destruction of buildings in Haiti that hold important records and documents. We oppose this plan and argue that the loss of records requires slowing down of the processes of adoption while important information is gathered and re-documented for these children. Removing children from Haiti without proper documentation and without proper reunification efforts is a violation of their basic human rights and leaves any family members who may be searching for them with no recourse. We insist on the absolute necessity of taking the time required to conduct a thorough search, and we support an expanded set of methods for creating these records, including recording oral histories.

We urge the international community to remember that the children in question have suffered the overwhelming trauma of the earthquake and separation from their loved ones. We have learned first-hand that adoption (domestic or intercountry) itself as a process forces children to negate their true feelings of grief, anger, pain or loss, and to assimilate to meet the desires and expectations of strangers. Immediate removal of traumatized children for adoption—including children whose adoptions were finalized prior to the quake— compounds their trauma, and denies their right to mourn and heal with the support of their community.

We affirm the spirit of Cultural Sovereignty, Sovereignty and Self-determination embodied as rights for all peoples to determine their own economic, social and cultural development included in the Convention on the Rights of the Child; the Charter of the United Nations; the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The mobilization of European and North American courts, legislative bodies, and social work practices to implement forced removal through intercountry adoption is a direct challenge to cultural sovereignty. We support the legal and policy application of cultural rights such as rights to language, rights to ways of being/religion, collective existence, and a representation of Haiti’s histories and existence using Haiti’s own terms.

We offer this statement in solidarity with the people of Haiti and with all those who are seeking ways to intentionally support the long-term sustainability and self-determination of the Haitian people. As adoptees of color we bear a unique understanding of the trauma, and the sense of loss and abandonment that are part of the adoptee experience, and we demand that our voices be heard. All adoptions from Haiti must be stopped and all efforts to help children be refocused on giving aid to organizations working toward family reunification and caring for children in their own communities. We urge you to join us in supporting Haitian children’s rights to life, survival, and development within their own families and communities.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010



As love falls down from the sky,
It lands on the wings of a butterfly.
The butterfly sings it's songs and rhymes,
And flies through the air, No concept of time.
It is the messenger of patience and change,
From flower to flower, it's odd and it's strange.
The butterfly can transform it's world.
And give way to new beginnings, unfurled,
It is the keeper of transformation,
And flies on faith and imagination.
The butterfly as no fear of change,
It bravely escapes it's homemade cage.
To change, it knows is necessary,
For all the burdens we need not carry.
The butterfly soars, and merrily sings,
For, without change, it could never grow wings.

Heather Reneé Adamkiewicz

Friday, January 22, 2010

Food Class Friday

Food Class is canceled for this week as Hubs is out of town and "I ain't cookin nothin'!"

Should pull out of the sugar and junk food coma by Monday.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Helping Haiti on a Zero Dollar Budget

You can't turn on the tv and not see the horrible pictures of Haiti. I don't even have words. Technology only gets us so far on the ground. It doesn't matter how much you want to help when the roads are all covered in boulders. Mother nature sure knows how to slow us down when we most need to hurry up.

And the scams? The frauds? I'm sure there is a special place in hell for those people.

We don't have much to pull from with a zero dollar budget and a heavy debt load. That makes giving a little harder. Love the phone number you call to have the $10 added to your cell phone bill. More people than not have a cell here in the states. That's an easy one.

I did want to share two other charities that are working for me.

I had a couple of pair of new shoes that I really didn't need. One pair was given to me, and the other I bought as disposables for a trip out to a strip mine in the mud. It was too muddy to go while on our vacation so I had a pair of keds that I wont even wear.

Soles4Souls is a charity that will ship new and slightly used shoes to countries in need. Obviously Haiti is currently at the top of the list. They even have a list of local drop-off sites. We happen to have a Runners World in Dayton that has a drop box. So my next trip over to that part of town I have a few pairs of shoes to take.

The other site I can easily donate to is Clean The World. They take soap and shampoo and send it to areas in need...which right now happens to be Haiti. I heard about them from a post by Amy at Great Cakes Soapworks. They are trying to get the handmade soap makers to send their less than perfect bars. Most of their stuff comes from hotels.

Yes!!! You mean I can get rid of all those bars of soap Hubs brings home from his travels???? They are doing me a favor!!!! I'm so glad to learn about this site as we end up with bags of hotel stuff that I never know what to do with. I now have a new thing to do once every six months...send out a box to this organization!

I hope for others that are on a budget without much wiggle room, you too have been able to come up with one or two creative ways you can help out.

I'd love to hear about them if you have! Please share!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Dumping Ground

When we moved here, we qualified for a 4 bedroom house since Bones is in college and still counts as a dependent. Well, since he doesn't actually live with us, it means we got an office/craft/sewing room! How cool is that??

Hubs has been taking college classes very heavy since we arrived also. This means he has very little time for extra's. Which also means the office has never been set up or organized. It has become "that room". You know, the one with all the unpacked boxes. The one with all the stuff we haven't found a spot for yet. The one that has stuff all over the place because nothing in the office has even been set up.

Now lets throw my stuff in there. A scrap area that takes up one whole corner...and its not all put together because I can't organize until the rest of the room is organized. And then there is my sewing table (can you call something the size of a skateboard an actual table??) that won't fit anywhere except in the middle of the very small floor. Yikes.

Has anyone else had one of these rooms? I can't be alone here.

Throw in the DVD dresser and all the CD holders and it looks something like this...


And that's without showing you the whole corner with Hubs desk and mess. I'm not going to be THAT transparent!

One good thing did come of this. I learned I like my sewing table to be open on the back side. It makes it much easier to work on a big item like a quilt.

The bad thing was...I never wanted to go into that room. Thankfully I had the baby quilt come up that I wanted done ASAP. This forced me to go in there and work, which really brought home to me that this is just not a workable situation. And it can't wait until March to be fixed.

So I brainstormed. The scrapbook stuff had to go. I have not been scrapping for years. I am half way into my adoption book...but I just can't stay motivated to get it done. (MM's lifebook is complete, its my books that aren't done.) So I decided that having it all out and available was no longer a priority. I'm not ready to get rid of it yet...but it can be stored in a different manner. Out it came.

I also need a bigger sewing surface. I tried to use the scrap table (it has many different leg heights) but it bounces when I sew. Nope. Not a workable solution.

I remember an idea from our last IKEA trip. And decided I was doing it.

So MM, Hubs and I went to Cincinnati on Monday and picked up my solution. Have I mentioned lately how much I love Hubs?? Yes, I took snowball money that should have gone on the credit card bill (this is excess above and beyond the monthly payment) and spent it on a sewing space instead.

Dave Ramsey would be ashamed.

But I am besides myself.

Thank you IKEA. Not only does this desk match the bookcases in the living room (in case they end up in the same area some day), I have a surface AND shelves to work with. AND I can actually get into the room now.

Come March, this room will be so much easier to finish now.

Which is good -- because the garage is gonna take all summer.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More Than Just A China Cabinet

Over at Tonggu Mamma's site... Our Little Tongginator... TM decided to do a China related post. Then, she made the mistake of asking her readers about their treasured pieces. So TM, this post is all your fault.

First...let me say I am totally envious of your file cabinet TM. LOVE it! And I'm not going to bother showing mine or MM's bookshelves. You don't need to know how ate up I am. (How's that for a blast from the past 80's term for you??)

So, like TM, our social workers and adoption facilitators asked us if we had anything already in the home that supported our interest in things Asian. Hah. We looked at each other and laughed. And the funny thing is that when we began our adoption process, we had no interest in the Asian countries at all. That is its own story. That we ended up adopting from China is rather a fluke.

Back to all things Asian.

My grandfather was stationed in Japan way back my mother lived over there at one point in her life. Love hearing the stories. I always saw oriental pieces in my grandmothers home, and in ours also. Mimi would get tired of something and pass it on to mom. And with my dad being military and being stationed in Vietnam and Thailand, mom had cool new things to add to the Japanese pieces. Although I would not consider mom's or Mimi's decor as Asian/Oriental, it definitely was present.

So I grew up with a love of these things. My mom has a saki set that I am just biding my time on. Plus some carved wooden statues from Thailand.

When I got married I started adding little pieces that I could find here and there. Not near as exciting as I was finding them stateside. Then hubs got orders to Korea for a year. And as time went on and he changed career fields and spent all his time gone...he went to many, many Asian countries and brought me back little treasures.

So, to answer the social workers question....yes. Not only will you find Asian will find we make our own Asian dishes also. But, at this point I had no actual knowledge of any of these countries. After we choose China I began collecting and reading EVERYTHING I could get my hands on about the actual country. In the process I learned things about Korea and Japan and a few other countries also.

In China we bought LOTS of stuff. We have a bin full of stuff especially for MM, and we brought home things for ourselves also.

Since returning home I still pick up pieces here and there. I had no real plan to end up with an Asian decor...but its pretty much morphed into in by sheer volume. LOL!

So...on to the pictures. And as I said....blame TM.

Pre-Mighty Mouse:
A piece that belonged to my grandmother, that she brought home from Japan.
My grandmothers Japanese lamp. The movers shredded the shade this time and I haven't found a decent replacement.
Antique Mall find. Love the blue.
I can't remember if this was something Hubs brought me or if it was a gift from my sister or if I found it at a military BX. I believe it pre-dates all my children.
A set of 4 Japanese plates....they are the 4 different seasons. My uncle had these and passed them on to me. They are awsome in the super dark china cabinet.

The Korea and traveling years.....
Hubs brought me many cool vases from Korea. He also got this cool one with mother-of-pearl inlay for my grandmother (she loved him). After she passed away I was able to get my hands on it.
My only actual painting from Korea to survive the years. I love the carved frame on this one. It has been damaged and fixed almost every move over the last 20 years.
I have serval small pieces that have their own special glassed in "shadow boxes". They don't have a home yet but need to be hung soon. The tv we bought now covers the spot they were supposed to go. (Not complaining.)
Hubs mother-of-pearl dragons. He brought home lots of dragons.
Dragon book end. I could be wrong but I think he's the only survivor of the set.
The jewelry box hubs bought me. One day, long after recieving, I noticed what the cranes were doing.
Can't remember if he brought me these from Korea or Okinawa...I think Korea.
My Fu Dogs and dragon from Okinawa.

Brought home from China.....
I LOVE snuff bottles...especially the reverse painted ones like these. The middle two are the only ones I bought in China. I'd like to say I collect these but I don't know that 4 counts. But I always keep my eyes open for more.
More of the reverse painting.
MM's hometown is known for their ceramics. We bought two cool pieces for ourselves and one for MM. Its very hard not to steal MM's.
Hubs coasters.....looking like Chinese coins. He loves these.
My dinning room silk runner...very much like TM's.
We have an extreme amount of the Chinese Folk Paintings. I know I've done at least 2k in framing costs alone. I won't bore you with all of them.
One of MM's shelfs with her lion slippers and minority doll from China.
Painting collage in MM's room. We just changed her colors so these need to me redone. They are just in album frames and on poster board so its an easy fix...I just need to remember to pull them down and do it.

Post China....
Target rocks. Love the Tang horses...but couldn't afford any of the ones I liked in China.
Ebay is good for cool little things. That's where two of my snuff bottles have come from also.
Had to dig this Ebay find out from behing the Christmas tree. If I was a perfectionist...I would have dusted it. Hah!
Dollar General provided me with a set of 4 different coins for $2.
Burlington Coat Factory has provided me with many cool finds. I got about 6 of these soldiers for a buck a piece.
And this last week...look what my sister sent me in the mail. I guess she found this clock at an antque mall. Fun. MM loves it!

And I will be merciful and leave it at that. I could add Greek, African, German and other country treasures to the mix but I'm sure you are more than tired of reading.

Thanks TM!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Girl Scout Fail

Mighty Mouse has expressed an interest in Girl Scouts. This isn't surprising since she was sisters troops mascot for a few years. As co-leader with a husband gone so much, she was a part of many GS meetings. I'm big on any activity that has kids focus on social issues and serving their community...which is what scouts is all about.

So, I finally got hooked up with a troop. It all came together while I was out of town. All my contact was by email. Friday night was her first meeting. And since we don't have all the paperwork sorted out I have to stay with her currently. I didn't bother to tell the leader that I couldn't have left if I wanted to. LOL.

So. First time. MM was excited for the last three days. And to make it even better, first meeting was a field trip to Maggie Moos. Bonus! Ice cream on the first time! This is lookin' good!

We headed out to the appointed church and found it with not much trouble. I was having a time driving with my night blindness and a dirty windshield...and a broken washer motor.

We arrived and went in. This is a big troop of all ages that breaks down into smaller groups. Pretty cool. But I didn't think about what that means really. How about chaos? And to make it worse it is the beginning of cookie sales so the moms are having to come in and pick up packets and sign paper, etc. Noisy and crowded.

MM went into immediate shell shock. She refused to respond to the leader or speak to anyone. Yes, it was really embarrassing and rude. But all the leaders and mom's were wonderful and pretty much just smiled to try to make her feel welcome but gave her space and left her alone. Perfect. Kudos to all of them.

Every single WHITE one of them. Crap. It's Girl Scouts. Where is the diversity???? I did not even stop to think to ask about racial make-up of the group before joining. It's such a diverse area it never occurred to me it would be all white. I'm starting to feel uncomfortable.

The Brownies and Daisies combined for this trip. So we jumped into the carivan and I was very glad to be driving just her and myself to give her a quick break. Plus, I never thought about it before but with MM being so small she is still in a LARGE booster...while these other girls are carrying those small ones to put in the car they were riding in. Note to self...pick up little booster for GS field trips or drive every time. The carivan was a little hairy with my vision problem and rush hour traffic...and not knowing where we were going. If that wasn't hard enough...I had to follow a van with an Obama sticker. (Yes, that is a joke, for those that don't know me!)

Upon arriving we found a very small store. 14 girls, plus some extra siblings plus a ton of adults. MM is velcroed to my leg. I send her to stand in line with the others for the tour and I bring up the rear. Of course MM is not paying any attention and is just giving herself whiplash to make sure I haven't left her. (What is that? It's not like I've ever run out on her before!!Ok! Ok! It's called anxious attachment. But she's 5!!)

We get to the back and the guy tells us that we will have to pay for each person, including adults, that go on the tour. I bail.

So I'm waiting with the other moms and we hear the girls screaming and having a good time. And then out where I am they start using serious blenders that are very loud.

Oh no. Poor leader has no idea about MM and noises. But I ignore it. More screaming from the back. Hope MM doesn't freak.

So when it gets really loud, I stick my head around the back and get the leaders attention and warn her about MM and noises...and she knows where to find me in case of a meltdown. Crisis averted as MM spots me and visibly relaxes.

So, the kids get to the end of the tour and they each get to pick their ice cream. MM won't speak. She does point out the chocolate ice cream but won't pick a topping and is starting to get the freak out look. So I yell to the guy to just give her the ice cream and move on to the next girl. MM comes out to sit with me.

Now she goes into how she wants to be white.

Crap. I knew this was going to bite me. She tells me how she wants a new face. We go over how we cannot change our faces. We go over how God created us all specially. I finally get tired of it and break it down to her. You. Will. Always. Be. Chinese.

Now she tells me she doesn't like Girl Scouts and she doesn't want to do it anymore. (Sure, now that you've eaten the ice cream!) I try to draw her out on what she doesn't like. I let her know this is not how it usually is. After a bit she is done. She just wants to go home.

So I go to tell the leader we are leaving. When MM is distracted and a bit away from me I lay it on the table. I'm not sure if we will stay with this troop. Are there any other children that aren't white in the Daisy troop? She has to think and comes up with one. Yes...just one. She thinks. maybe the other doesn't come often? Not sure.

She lets me know that next meeting they are painting. Bring a large shirt. She also tells me they break down into their own room and there are only 7 or 8 girls in Daisies. She is very wonderful and supportive even though I'm unsure if this is the best place for MM.

So on the way out to the car MM tells me she didn't like it. (Right.) I then inform her that its too bad since they are painting next meeting. I LOVE PAINTING!!! Suddenly its all better and she can't wait until next meeting. You know how Wylie E. Coyote looks after the Roadrunner buzzes by him?? That's how I felt.

So I get lost on the way home. Not really lost but turned around -- and with night blindness that is not a good feeling. I did have the GPS in my purse if I had needed it. The problem was I kept missing my turns because I couldn't see them in time. BUT! I did get frustrated and try the window washer...and it worked! It was just frozen and not a car repair after all!

And all of this came on the back of a day full of several phone calls from friends and family with issues or needing to talk. Plus a work crisis for hubs...while he's on leave. Plus a few other things.

Yes. I was in bed before 10. Totally. Worn. Out.

And once again I face a dilemma. What do I do? Keep going to the same troop for a bit to see how it works out? I'm not big on giving up immediately so this is the natural inclination.

Or do I call the council and see if they can't find me an actual diverse troop to support my child's racial identity? And does that teach her to walk away from new situations instead of sticking to things? I don't want to raise a "runner". That makes for a terrible life.

Who would have thought that something as simple as joining scouts could turn out so complicated?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Food Class Friday

Are we ready to try our hands at a meat dish?

At least I think its meat.

Today, will are making Liver and Bacon with Bananas!
Break out the family silver and polish it up! This is a dish for the best china only! I guarantee you won't find it on the table of your common friends!

These succulent, sauteed calf livers are browned nicely and served with bacon rolls! Yes, bacon rolls! Flat bacon is for the masses! Line the platter with bananas baked in butter and then crumb coated. This slightly sweet addition is a delicious complement to the liver. Serve it all on a fluffy bed of rice.

For that extra decoration punch, don't forget to lay it all out on your best Berber carpet!

According to hubs, this masterpiece is to be filed under the "What the flip? Over." category.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

She Loves the Snow, Hates Her Face, A Return of Night Terrors and Leg Pains

Maybe. Just maybe. It's not worth it to go out of town for a week.

Which isn't to say I didn't have the best time ever...because I did. How can you go wrong with 11 of your closest friends at an amazing lake house? Really?

But I had to return to the snow. And I don't like snow.

Mighty Mouse, on the other hand, loves the snow. I'm getting a big kick out of how much she really loves playing out in the snow. She has never wanted to be outside so much as now. I have to call her in sometimes because she has been out in it so long. Crazy stuff.

Unfortunately, while I was gone, she began expressing a dislike for her face.

We were prepared for this by the racial identity reading we had to do along with the adoption books we have read. It still was a surprise. I mean really, we are in a more diverse area than we have ever been. She see's many more colors/ethnicitys than ever since we brought her home. I guess it doesn't matter when those other faces aren't Asian.

So we have had 2 conversations in 2 days already about how she wants to change her face. (That she started....I was being a chicken.)

In our first conversation, I asked her what kind of face she would like to have (keeping it low-key). Her answer? A cartoon face. Alrighty then! It will go good with the super power she told her daddy she wants (thanks to a new fascination with X-men). Yes, my daughter wants the super power of shooting flames out her bottom. Explosive farts.

You don't think I could just make that up on my own do you? Geeeesh.

In our second conversation she told me she wants yellow hair. And she doesn't like her black eyes. And she wants a nose. And, mommy, I want to look like you.

Ouch. Guess I'll be spending the next few months trying to figure out how to incorporate more Asian faces in our lives and daily routines. Kind of at a loss at the moment. The FCC here doesn't seem overly active. Not that I think thats the answer...but its a beginning most places.

And for the final cherry on top -- the night terrors are back. With a vengeance. We had to shake her awake just to get her to stop shrieking. For a kid that doesn't like loud noises, she can really belt it out.

And I also have something going on with her that I am at a loss on how to handle. Maybe one of my friends has some advice. MM complains about one specific leg hurting alot. I mean REALLY hurting. Crying. Not being able to go to sleep. Mostly the complaints are later in the day/evening. Its on the side of her shin, not the front or the calf. I had the ped look at her but they were clueless also. We have started feeding her bananna's (especially on gym day), bought good gym shoes and are trying to find some common event or day that it happens with no luck.

Can a 5 year old be experiencing serious growing pains? Could that be it? I can't figure it out. Right now I'm giving her motrin or tylenol right before bed (on the days she complains) but I HATE that.

Suggestions anyone???

Monday, January 11, 2010

Out Of This World!

I'm hoping that this has arrived safely at its new home and I'm not spoiling a surprise.

Last summer I made a quilt for a special little guy who's mother I absolutely adore. This left me with an abundance of leftover fabric in bright, little boy patterns.

Since I am just getting into quilting, I am trying to build a stash...but I have to be picky as we have so little space in our current home.

So I was delighted when a friend was able to sucessfully get pregnant....and found out it is a boy.

So here is what I came up with to use up as much of those scraps as I could. Completely different from the original quilt.

I love this Robert Kaufman planet fabric. The colors are amazing.
I used some larger pieces on the back and pieced it also.
Slowly but surely I am teaching myself how to do this. I have found a quilt shop in the area that does classes so I'm sure I'll be taking one as soon as I can. The actual quilting of the layers together is giving me fits.

Enjoy Heather!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Food Class Friday

How did those congealed salads go? Anybody have some pictures or stories to share? Cooking can be so rewarding!

Today, we will be adding a soup recipe to our books. A soup that would go soooo well with last weeks salad. Matchy matchy is always fun!

How about some FRESH Potato Swirl Soup? Yummy, yummy!!

Now, its important to remember to use FRESH potatoes for this recipe. You won't get the same creamy effect from the old potatoes at the bottom of the cellar pile. And those canned potatoes? A big no-no! Can you believe I did not even know there was such a thing as canned potatoes until I was an adult and shopping for myself??? Yes, sad for me, I grew up in a household that though those fresh potatoes were not only better for you, but tasted better. Talk about old fashioned.

You have your regular onion, celery and chicken broth in here. Easy enough to get your hands on. But the real punch comes from that grassy green colored swirl! What a visual delight!! I know the color green in food I'm not expecting it in ALWAYS catches my eye and turns my head!

And no worries! Its just watercress and parsley making up this pureed swirl of green goodness. Both should be rather easy to find at your local market. At the last minute prior to serving, the watercress mixture is gently swirled through the potato mixture to add that amazing contrast in both color AND flavor.

For that extra touch of sophistication, drag out that mega-huge sangria glass from Don Pablo's to serve your soup in! Talk about making use out of what you have! Now that's classy and frugal all at the same time! And for that extra pop, find yourself a green doily or decorative mat to set the sangria glass on!

Watch out Martha Stewart!

Girls, you are really cooking now!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I'm Out Of Here!

I'm off to play with my Texas friends! They were able to schedule another lake house weekend getaway. Thought I'd take the time to check in on Bones and catch up with some other family and friends. See you in a week!

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Aland Islands

As much as I complain about the cold....I really loved our two years in Iceland. (Honestly, Nebraska was colder than Iceland and I saw way more snow there.) Iceland was amazing...which made me want to check out some of the colder locations in the world. Brave, huh?

Today lets take a look at the Aland Islands. They are a province of Finland that lies about 25 miles off the Swedish coast in the Baltic Sea.
It has an interesting history. When Sweden gave up Finland to Russia in 1809 they took the Aland Islands also. The Russians built a submarine base on the main island during WWI. Finland then broke aware from Russia and took Aland with it. The Alanders did not want to be a territory of Finland as about 90% of the islanders were of Swedish descent. They were afraid their culture would be assimilated. In 1921 the matter was taken to The League Of Nations, which ruled in favor of Finland even though most of the islands wanted to be under Swedish control if they could not be independent. It was pointed out that Aland was actually a continuous archipelago that joins it with Finland while there was deep sea separating the islands from Sweden.

Today the Aland Islands are under Finland, but are pretty much left alone to govern themselves. Their people are exempt from serving in Finlands military.

Most of their money comes from Shipping and tourism.
The culture is pretty much Swiss.
They have a neat Viking Fest Village that draws many people.
The Åland food culture is all about carbs! Two of their most famous foods are the robust black bread with a taste of both malt and syrup and an everyday bread that is great with a thick slice of Kastelholm cheese....
And the Åland pancake with prune jam and whip cream!(Hope I can get mine without the prunes thank you.)

I do believe you are going to find me wandering around with a camera mostly. Like so many islands, there are some great shots to be had.

We can wander around in town.
Or maybe take a sail.
And we can visit the local church.
And the historical Castle.
This will have to be a summer trip. Maybe in the middle of July or early August....when we are frying eggs on the sidewalks here in the states. Sounds like the perfect way to beat the heat.