Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

It is so hard for me to catch Megan doing something cute on video. Most of the time she stops the moment she sees the camera. So, this time, I tried to hide as I videoed her dancing, but it didn't work out too well. She still saw me, and I made a fuzzy video.

Ah well. Enjoy a cutie Christmas Dance.

Merry Christmas, ya'll!

Monday, December 20, 2010

because I can't resist

My good friend Tami snapped a few pictures at a church party this weekend and kindly sent them my way. I just can't resist posting them.

No smiles, but Evie & Megan are just the cutest little buggers:

Again, no smile, but who can resist that beautiful face?


Saturday, December 18, 2010

deep conversation

A couple days ago I took a walk with Megan and bumped into one of my old piano students. She walked with us, and in her 9-year-old concern, we had the following conversation:

9er: I feel so sad for Megan's real mom

Me: you mean her birthmom?

9er: yeah, her birthmom. I just feel sad cause she had Megan and now you have her. I bet she misses Megan and she's really sad.

Me: Yep, I'm sure she does miss Megan.

9er: Why isn't she with her birthmom?

Megan's birthmom couldn't take care of her. She had no home, no money, no job, and she didn't want to have Megan living in poverty. So, she gave Megan to us because we could take care of her.

Does Megan have brothers or sisters? I bet they miss her too.

Yep, she does. And they probably do.

And I feel so sad for you, too. I feel so sad for you that you didn't grow Megan in your tummy. I bet you're really sad.

But I'm not sad! I'm so happy because I get to still be a mommy!

but still... my mom must be happier than you because she grew us her her own tummy.

well, I am just as happy as your mom. I love Megan just as much as your mommy loves you. Megan grew in my heart instead of my tummy.

but I grew in my mommy's tummy AND in her heart

yep, you're right. you did.


So... I always thought that one of the things I'd say to Megan was that she grew in my heart instead of in my tummy. But, according to a 9-yr-old's logic, that just isn't good enough. I guess I'll have to come up with something else.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

bathroom breakthrough

This morning we had a breakthrough.

It wasn't really that big a deal, but it's something.

The breakthrough? Megan didn't scream her head off while I was taking a shower! She went and got some toys from her bedroom, sat in the bathroom, and just played!

I was so proud.

This picture has nothing to do with the bathroom, but it's cute:

That is all.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Chicken Yummy inMaTummy

So, I could not decide what I wanted to eat for my birthday dinner. One of my favorite restaurants in the whole world is this place called Bombay House. Mmmmmm. The Indian food there makes me so happy. However, when weighing my decision of where to go out for my birthday, I decided against going to Bombay House. The reason? I can make it myself (kinda).

I decided to make this scrum-diddly-umptious dish the night before my birthday (Wednesday). I have made Chicken Tikka Masala a few times before. Each time, I have had to tweak the recipe. I still don't have it perfect, but it's pretty dang good.

Here's my recipe, in case you're drooling after looking at that picture.

Chicken Tikka Masala


1 cup yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

2 tablespoon butter
2 clove garlic, minced
4 teaspoons ground cumin
4 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons garam masala spice
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 (16 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Marinade: In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2. Preheat a grill for high heat.
3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side. (or broil on broil pan in oven... about 4-5 minutes)
4. Sauce: Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic for 1 minute. Season with cumin, paprika, garam masala, and salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro.


1.) I used to cook this meal with
Basmati Rice. However, I decided that it's too much work to do it this way. Now I just do regular white rice, and, honestly, I can't tell that much of a difference.

2.) Next time I make this I will double the sauce.

3.) This recipe is very non-spicy. If you want it spicier, you can sautee a bit of jalapeno with the garlic, or just add more paprika.

4.) In the picture, I forgot to add cilantro. The cilantro adds a lot of flavor.

5.) The naan you see in the picture is naan that I bought (from Wal-mart)! I then added olive oil and
Za'-atar (which my sister brought me from her home in Bahrain) and warmed it in the oven. Holy Yummsters.

6.) I realize this is the second post in a row about food. Let's just be honest. I like food.

Best thing of all: I got to eat one of my favorite meals for a fraction of the price! Yippeeee!


Monday, December 6, 2010

The Great Food Search

Around 8 1/2 years ago, my husband Jared returned from a church mission to Ecuador. While there, his taste buds grew accustomed to new foods which he loved. Since then, we have tried to find restaurants which serve Ecuadorian food.

We have lived in Utah for all 7 years (this month) of marriage. Unfortuantely, we have no knowledge of any Ecuadorian restaurants in the state. Back in 2004 we went to New York City. We were sure that, of all the cities in the United States, there would surely be an Ecuadorian restaurant there. We were were shocked when we found nothing.

Finally, a couple weeks ago, we decided to take the problem on ourselves. Jared found a recipe online, the key ingredient at a nearby ethnic food store, and we went to work. We had fun cooking together, and even more fun enjoying the grub.

Here is the finished dish: Arroz con Menestra de lentejas y carne asada. The lentils (menestra) have yummy ingredients like red onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, garlic cloves, cumin, achiote (the special ingredient), and cilantro. The rice was cooked with onions & garlic.

Was it good? You be the judge.

Jared said that he still wants to try another recipe of menestra (this one was good, but a little less flavorful than for what he was hoping). We also have plans to try another different Ecuadorian dish.

The best thing of all? The whole meal was healthy. I felt so good after eating something in which ALL the ingredients were fresh & healthy. If only I could make food like this every day...

... maybe we should just move to Ecuador.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Foster Care

As you may remember, I mentioned that we're doing Foster Care. We started the process in early July and finally were approved at the beginning of November. Luckily, it wasn't as invasive as adoption is, though it took just as much time for them to tell us we're good enough to be parents. Gosh, I'm so releived. Now I have two different groups of people who agree that we're not criminals.

Since we first discussed adoption years ago, we felt prompted to do Foster Care at some time in the future. The time has not been right until now. One reason we waited was that we felt we needed a permanent child before we could endure the heartache of giving back child after child after child. Now that we have Megan, we feel we can handle it.

Honestly, the only thing I worry about (besides the inital shock of having more children in an instant) is that I won't love them the same as I love Megan. I know how much I love her, and I don't see how I could possibly love somebody else's child the same way. And, these children in Foster Care need the same love as any other child. That scares me just a little. But, I have to remember that this is the Lord's plan for us right now. He will 'qualify us' for the work. I guess I shouldn't worry.

So, maybe you're a bit curious as to how Foster Care will work? I'll break it down for you.

1.) We told Foster Care that we only want children ages 0-2ish (we might have said 3... I don't remember). Let's be honest, we wouldn't know what to do with a 7-year-old! Plus, the younger they are, the less problems they typically come to us with.

2.) Foster Care may call us at any time with a placement. We are approved to have 3 more children in our home. We are hoping for a sibling group. Interestingly, sibling groups tend to be adopted more often than single children.

3.) The whole purpose of Foster Care is to reunite children with their birthfamilies. So, we will work with the birthparents in a plan for their children to return home. This is where the emotions get involved, because I'm sure we will love many of these children who will end up leaving us after several months.

4). After about 8 months or a year (depending upon the age of the child) plans will be be made for adoption if the birthparents haven't stepped up to the plate and done the things they needed to do to get their children back. If nobody from the birthparents' extended family wants to adopt the child(ren), then we are next in line to adopt them.

That's pretty much it: get a placement, work with birthparents toward reunification, and if reunification doesn't happen, we're second in line to adopt the kids. I'm sure it will take quite some time before we adopt any children through Foster Care, but that just comes with the territory. Right now we wait. But, luckily, we know how to wait. That's pretty much been our lives, so we're ready for it.

Now, please don't go on telling me how wonderful we are for taking in Foster children. I don't need to hear that we are saints or whatever for doing this. People always would say those things to us about adoption, but that's not how we felt. We need more children and this is just a way to do that.

Random interesting factoid: In the past, pictures of foster children could not be posted on the internet at all (meaning, you couldn't put pictures of them on your blog). Now you can have their pictures on the blog, but you can't state on the blog that they are foster children. So, if you ever randomly see pictures of other kids on this blog, and they live with us- those will probably be the foster kids. Just a heads up.

Have a great day, everyone.