Thursday, February 26, 2009

Check this out....

Click on the heart to see the pictures in more detail
and check out this website to make your very own photo Collage
My good friend from the other side of the world Ruth had it on her blog and I had to make one of my very own...I just did a random folder of pictures from a day at the park.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

Here we are again an other Monday and an other meal plan. Don't forget to check out I'm an Organizing Junkie . She has lots of great tips and links to some great menu plans. We have been doing really well sticking to the meal plan. The days sometimes get moved around but we have been eating out WAY less then we did before. In fact I can't tell you the last time we ate out, well when we were not asked out by someone that is.Last week we did have some juggling and adjusting of the menu Thursday was Daddy and Daughter night so Riz took Sophia to McD's for a fish sandwich and then to the park to play while Mommy had some girl bonding time with her befriend, Lisa. I did not eat dinner that night I just was not hungry after all the coffee :) (Hey that sounds like a diet i could live with). Friday night I made home made Pizza from this recipe it is yummy.....It will be on our meal plan again. The Steak was moved to Sunday because my mom treated us to dinner on Saturday night (Thanks Mom). So all that being said the Pork Chops are going to be dinner tonight..

*Monday - Shake and Bake pork chops (Riz favorite), Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes and of course Apple sauce.

*Tuesday - Chicken and Rice Casserole (Moved from last Thursday night). Grandpa watches Sophia for us on Tuesdays and sticks around for a visit when we get home from work so this is always an easy meal after he leaves.

Wednesday - Lasagna (It is Italian days at *Publix so everything Italian is BYGO free), Salad and Garlic bread. * there will be enough of this to freeze for an other meal. A true BYGO free meal LOL

Thursday - Left overs/Pot luck

Friday - Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper ( I know so bad for you but I love it and it is quick and easy)

Saturday - We will be eating out with friends from out of town

Sunday - Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Spicy Italian sausage (this is the 3rd week I have moved this up. I have everything we need to make this dish but time LOL. I want to cook this when we can really enjoy it so we will see if that will be this Sunday or not..

PUBLIX TIP: Kraft Parmesan Cheese 2 for $6 they are on a stand in the front of the store that has a tare pad of coupons for $1 off a can. Take 2 coupons and they will take each coupon off the $6 price so you get 2 cans for $4 a GREAT deal. Also there is a coupon in the Smart Source insert of the Sunday paper that give you a verity of $1 store coupons that you can use in conjunction with a manufactures coupon do give you more savings.

*UPDATE: We already have altered this weeks meal plan LOL. Monday night we did not have Pork Chops I though Riz took them out her thought I took them out they are still in the freezer.. A flaw in our plan LOL.. It was OK though neither of us felt like having them anyway so we had Pancakes, Bacon and OJ for dinner in celebration of Pancake Day today... And this morning my FIL came to watch Sophia and brought us a meatloaf with all the trimmings for dinner. So we don't have to cook anything just pop it in the oven. Thanks Mom and Dad for the meatloaf...So Pork Chops get moved to next week and the Chicken and Rice will be moved to next week as well...

Friday, February 20, 2009

what I have been up to

almost immediately after receiving our referral for Sophia I began to scour the Internet to find out every detail about where my daughter was. I wanted to know all about the place (both the city and the Social Welfare institute) where she had spent 14 months of her life before us. I wanted to talk to families who had traveled there before us and who had children from there. I was looking for families who had recently adopted from there and found only one Jamie and Stephanie from Loving Life with Lily. Stephanie and Jamie had just adopted their daughter Lily in March and had walked in the places we were about to in a few short months.We began to talk with them and they shared lots of great information about their daughter Lily with us.We have since met them in person and Sophia and Lily hit is off so well. We call them "Wanzai Sisters" now. We also found the Wanzai Yahoo Group They were great in giving us details about Wanzai and a glimpse into our future. See most of the members have children that are a bit older. I loved talking with them and seeing pictures of their children. It let us see what we had to look forward to with Sophia. Somehow it is never enough information to ease your mind while you are waiting to travel tho. I was left wanting more details, more information. I am sure many who read my blog can relate to that feeling of not having enough information about the place your child was in before you. I decided then that I wanted to create a place that would gather information about Wanzai, The Wanzai County Social Welfare Institute and of course our family stories. I wanted to do this so that we could connect to other families who had children from Wanzai (a small rural city with a small international adoption program). So that our children could have a connection to each other and so that as they grow they could stay connected to people who have a common bond of not only their adoption experience but that are from the same city in China. I have been scouring the Internet again trying to find families who have children from Wanzai and have been somewhat successful. Stephanie and I have now contacted 8 other families who have adopted within the last 5 years. We are still looking for more and for families that may have older children as well. I am putting a request out there that if you know anyone who has adopted from Wanzai that you please pass along this info to them or ask them to e-mail me for more information. I am in the process of creating a blog for the Wanzai families with the hopes that we can share stories of our journey to our children. Share information about Wanzai and the Wanzai County Social Welfare Institute so that others who will be adopting from there may find comfort in our details. The goal is to stay connected to each other for the sake of our children and by the common bond we share, our children...

Monday, February 16, 2009


In an effort to make life easier and save some money we "Bundled" our Cable, Internet and Phone service. It was quick easy and will save us about $45 a month or a savings of $540 a year, WOW who knew. I love that we get to keep our same phone number and all the same services as we had before for less. I also went paperless with all of our bills to eliminate clutter from the house and save a bit of money on stamps (they are going up again just in case you have not heard from 42 cents to 44 cents) and envelopes. Our City water gives us a discount for being on automated payment each month and it is nice to not have to worry about that bill being mailed anymore. I also removed the camper we sold last month from our auto policy finally and that will save us a bit more each month on the auto policy. Now if I could get motivated to start selling stuff on EBay and have a garage sale I would be doing good. I HATE to have a garage sale but it needs to be done. Just how does so much stuff accumulate so quickly??

Meal Plan Monday

Not that you all care but I am feeling 100% better then last week, Thank god. I am still not up to planning meals that require a recipe that I have not tried before so this weeks meals are simple and easy to do.


Monday - Rigatoni with Roasted Garlic tomato sauce and meatballs and Salad.

Tuesday - Sloppy Joes , Tater Tots and Salad

Wednesday - Leftovers (this is my coffee night with my best friend)

Thursday - Chicken and Rice casserole with veggies

Friday - Steak on the grill, Crashed potatoes, and roasted brussel sprouts

Saturday - Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Spicy Italian sausage

Sunday - Shake and Bake pork chops (Riz favorite), Green Beans, Mashed Potatoes and of course Apple sauce.

Don't forget to check out I'm and Organizing Junkie for a list of great meal plans and tips.

PUBLIX has some great BOGO free deals this week......
and a call out where is the cheapest place to buy Diapers?????

Monday, February 09, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

Well our meal Plan for last week went pretty well until Sunday when it was quickly derailed by illness. I was suddenly hit with the stomach crud and was in bed all day. Riz and Sophia managed on their own just fine and both ate but me I have not even had an appetite since Sat. I am feeling somewhat better now but still not up to cooking so this weeks meal plan is going to be easy and simple..

Monday - Grilled cheese and tomato soup

Tuesday - Scrabbled eggs and toast

Wednesday - Italian Chicken, Potatoes, green beans (defrosted from previous meal )

Thursday - Pasta with tomato sauce--

Friday - Chicken and Rice casserole

Saturday - Pizza

Sunday - Dinner at my in-laws

After writing this I am not sure how much of this I will be able to eat or feel like eating but it is all stuff that Sophia and Riz can manage on their own if I am still down with the crud...
don't forget to check out I'm an Organizing Junkie
for all of her great tips and links to great meal plans...

Monday, February 02, 2009


Saturday we spent the morning at Disney Hollywood Studios. They have a Playhouse Disney show that we have been wanting to take Sophia to see. For those of you who don't know she LOVES Handy Manny and when I say love I mean like real swooning kind of love. She is to cute and wants to watch his show whenever she can. We just knew she would love the Playhouse Disney show and we were right. She LOVED it. IT was so exciting to see her face when Handy Manny came out on stage. She was standing up clapping and dancing her little heart out. So sweet...We did a few other things there like the Great movie Ride and the Little Mermaid show. We left early because Mommy has been wanting to go to IKEA . I had never been and Orlando was lucky enough to get one last year. Let me just say we spent 3 hours in there and I could have spent all day. What a great store....I love the fact that they do not have plastic bags and that they are 100% using reusable bags. I want to go back with a list and measurements..LOL... Really if our house ever sells we are going to start fresh with everything and a big shopping trip to IKEA. After looking at their 375 square foot home I almost convinced myself I could live in it LOL... NOT!!! but WOW! what a great use of space. We had a snack (lunch really) in the Cafe Swedish meatballs of course. LOL....

Meal Plan Monday #2

Update on last week.... as I said in the post last week before we even got started we had a change of plans. We moved everything up one night and eliminated one meal (chicken curry) from the plan. We did not have our leftover night last week. I was lucky enough to have enough of each meal to freeze for a future meal. I was much less stressed about dinner and we had more family time each evening (my real goal here)..Over all I would say my first week was a success.

click on the words in green for the recipes

Monday - Homemade Beef Barley Soup-Crusty bread- Green Salad ( the soup has been in my freezer for some time)
Tuesday - Ham and Cheese Casserole (leftover from last Sunday.I did not feel like cooking the pasta meal on Sunday last week. This was already made for today so we had some for dinner on Sunday and the rest tonight)
Wednesday - Pork Chops- Green beans- Mashed Potatoes- apple sauce
Thursday - Left overs/pot luck
Friday -John's firehouse Tortellini soup - crusty bread - Green salad
Saturday - We will be attending a Chinese New Year event with dinner being served
Sunday - Sunday gravy and macaroni - garlic bread- salad

Baking: I also baked Chocolate Chip cookies and Walnut fudge brownies over the weekend.

and don't forget to check out all the great meal plans and recipes over at
I am an organizing junkie
Meal plan Monday