Friday, March 27, 2015

Snippets





I went to see Cinderella with my girlfriends.  The little girls are still too little to sit down and watch full movie at the movie theater.  I loved all the actors and even liked some of the new additions to the story-line, but it wasn't my favorite movie this year.  I could have probably waited to see it on DVD.

Spring finally arrived to Atlanta this past weekend and it is gorgeous here and can I just say again that I love not having to wear a coat.  My allergies are better too!

I am currently trying a meal preparation service called Blue Apron.  They deliver all the ingredients for two meals each week to my home with a step by step direction on how to prepare it.  The kids not so thrilled with the service, but they are at least trying what is being made.  I made a chicken with mushroom, and dumplings, a seared salmon with faro and cauliflower salad, a lamb tangine, and chicken with bok choy in an adobe sauce over wild rice.  I love that everything is measured exactly for you and that we are trying things we would never have otherwise tried.

I am addicted to Dry Bar a place that blows your hair out for you!!!!

I took Winston on a date to see Insurgent! We loved it and can't wait for the third movie to come out.

I sent out invitations for my husbands 50th birthday and Georgetown Cupcakes opened in Buckhead. Grandpa took the kids there last weekend after we ate lunch at Shake Shack.  The kids were super happy.

Addy has an awesome German teacher.  Last week she threw a birthday party for all the kids in her class.  The kids thought it was brilliant.

On St. Patrick's we dressed up and for dinner with had corned beef , cabbage, and potatoes.

It recently snowed here, but not enough to build a snowman.

Sadly a good friend of our family died this week of colon cancer.  I am getting sick and tired of watching those I love battle against cancer. She was only 51 and left behind 5 children of which two are still at home.  She was such a lovely person.  Just doesn't seem fair.  (friend not picture for the privacy of her family.)  Finding strength in this scripture this week 1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

My Mother-in-law and nephew arrive on Saturday from Germany and we are then on our way to Florida.  The children are so excited!!!!

Did you see Lady Gaga's performance on the Oscars.  I thought it was pretty brilliant!  Can you believe it has been 50 years since they made the Sound of Music.  I love this movie.  I can't wait to show it to the girls.  The real Von Trapp family.

I think I am going to read this book.  It is called Simplicity Parenting.  Premise of the book is that we are stealing our children's childhood.  What do you think?  More school or More play?

Well, I better go pack our suitcases.  Do you have any fun trips planned this spring?  Have a great weekend!  

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Imagination "Corner View"

I have to say that I am not a very imaginative person.  I am pretty practical and a task orientated person.  It can sometimes be a fault as once I start something I like to get it done.  This ranges from feeding the kids hot dogs for dinner and staying up till midnight to finish reading a book to sometimes forgetting to play with my children or spend time with my spouse because I want to get all the laundry folded. I am great at executing ideas from say Pinterest, but I am never the one inventing those ideas.  In collage creative writing was torture for me, but I totally excelled in newspaper style reporting.  This doesn't mean I can't dream.  I am great at dreaming up the next vacation.  Anyway, onto today's corner view. 16 years ago, I gave birth to a little boy who cried all the time.  He cried so much I could never take a shower.  He sure was cute.  He had the whitest hair that you could almost not see it on his head and he had the biggest dimples. As a toddler, he was always getting into something.  One time my mom was visiting us, I thought she was watching Harris and she thought I was watching him and in the time we thought the other was watching him he had managed to cover himself from head to toe in diaper cream.  It was everywhere!  I knew at around 18 months that he wasn't your average child when one day he lost a ball behind our Armour, and instead of crying or coming to me to get the ball Harris fetched himself a large serving spoon out of the kitchen drawer and scooped out the ball himself.  In elementary school, the phone was always ringing off the hook as the teacher never knew what to do with him.  I wouldn't say he was naughty; however, he had a hard time sitting at a school desk.  Motivating him sometimes to do task he doesn't want to do is not always easy; however, when he really likes something he does it 100%.  This weekend Harris had the opportunity to participate in a statewide competition for a club called Future Business Leaders of America.  He presented an Electronic Business Profile.  He won third place, and in a few months will travel to Chicago to present it at the national level.  We couldn't be more proud.  At times, I have to say it was hard to imagine something like this ever being a possibility.  If I could go back to my younger self as a mother, I would tell her to relax, and just love the boy because everything will turn out OK.  Congratulations Harris!  We love you so much and are so proud of you!




Saturday, March 21, 2015

Places to visit outside the city of Portland

.
My memories of living in Portland are filled with walks along the river, roses and parades, blackberry picking, hiking, visits to the ocean, and skiing.  While we couldn't possibly do all of these things this visit we did take a drive out to Cannon Beach. Located just 90 minutes out of the city of Portland getting to Cannon Beach is virtually an easy drive on Hwy 26 an extra bonus is driving through picturesque farmland, Vineyards, and a forest with trees so high they touch the sky.  Sadly the weather wasn't going to cooperate with us, but it was just fun to walk along the beach and have lunch. We ate at the Driftwood.  Frank enjoyed a cup of clam chowder and a plate of salmon and I had an bacon burger.  The decor is a little tired, but the food was good.




Had we more time to visit, Here is where I would go:  Multnomha Falls (a short 1 hour drive out of the city to the east),  Than not to far from there is the Vista House which offers amazing views of the Columbia River.  A visit to Mt. Hood even in summer is so worth the drive.  If you like architechture, than you will enjoy the lodge and my children love going alpine sliding.  Wild flowers cover the mountain all summer long and trails of blackberries will line you way if you want to enjoy and afternoon hike.  Inside the city the Japanese Botanical Gardens, the children's museum is worth a visit if you are traveling with children, and if you plan right you may have the opportunity to enjoy a concert under the stars at the Portland Zoo.  Now can you see why I love this city.  I feel blessed to have called this city my home for 4 years.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Where to eat in Portland

Remember I told you Portland has some amazing restaurants.  I am not kidding! You won't go hungry in this city. You know I love dessert, so lets begin there.  Papa Haydn has the most amazing desserts.  Everything from chocolate to lemon.  You don't want to miss this restaurant.  They have two locations, but I love the 23rd street location.  They know how to fill ones belly.  Where to start?  I best because it is sohe mood for ice cream try Salt and Straw.  Who can resist with flavors like Spicy  fun to walk along this street once your belly is full.   So many fun shops.  If you are more in tMonkey and Lumber Jack Stack.  Yum!



  


One can't live off of dessert alone, so my next favorite is a restaurant located in the suburbs just 10
minutes from downtown called Swagat.  If you love Indian you will not be disappointed.  I can't get enough of the Chicken Makhani, and one can't forget to have some naan and samosa's.  Frank likes the Chicken Curry and Mango Lassi's


Noble Rot was a new restaurant for me!  The food was fantastic and many of their garden items are grown on site.  The views of the city are fantastic too!  I had the fettuccine with pork shoulder.  The fettuccine was so delicate the noodles practically melted in your mouth

Other favorites that I like to go to, but didn't have time to visit this trip are Voodoo Donuts where picking just one donut is hard to do!  Don't be surprised by the line!  Worth waiting in if you like donuts.Chez Jose their salsa is not your typical salsa; however, so yummy. I love the Chimichangas.  Chart House also offers stunning views of the city and the steaks are fantastic!  The brown bread is amazing too! Wanting something less fancy and can't be bothered with a sit down dinner well than Portland is your city too as they have many great food trucks  Mama Chow's has great Chinese and I am sure you can't go wrong with any of the others.  Here is how you can find them.

Before I finish though I have to share with you one last favorite, a restaurant called Mother's Bistro. Frank and I ate breakfast there before heading home.  I doubt you could go wrong with anything you choose off the menu, but I had the french toast covered in cornflakes. Wish I could hop on a plane right now for some. Frank had the stuffed frittata.  He loved it and said it filled him up for the whole day.  He also loved their orange juice.




Really I don''t think you can go wrong in Portland.  The city offers a wide varitey of foods from all over the world made to the highest quality using fresh ingredients.  It really is something Portland prides itself on and therefore as a traveler visiting the city you can only reap the rewards.  I hope if you visit Portland you will find this to be the case too.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Looking Up "Corner View"



Things are looking up in the weather department as today was 83 degrees. It was so heavenly! Love not wearing a coat! However, on a sad note my allergies are going crazy and I am having a hard time breathing. Ugh! Those pretty flowers and trees! What is a girl to do? Well, I hope things are looking up in your corner of the world. Have a great day!

  Corner View is a weekly gathering - each Wednesday - created by Jane of Spain Daily, where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. If you'd like to join in, please leave a link to your Corner View post in the comments below, and be sure to visit other participants too.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Big Little City Portland, Oregon



Hi!  I am home!  I had such a fantastic weekend in Portland. 48 hours was not nearly long enough, but I am still grateful that my husband and I had the opportunity to get away. Being back in Portland was like being home.  I love this city.  It is probably one of my favorite places in the United States. The city is truely perfect. I love the old architechture, the restaurants are amazing (more on that later), it is easy to get around (the public transportations system is amazing), and it is close to the ocean and the mountains.  We flew in on Friday afternoon.  As we flew in, we had a perfect view of  Mt. Saint Helens, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Adams. So gorgeous!  We checked into the hotel and from there headed to the Temple (more on that later) which is where we were married and then finished the evening off by having dinner with a friend of ours who lives there!  I love. love, love, this city!    How was your weekend!  Well it is sunny here and I am off to have lunch with a friend of mine to share with her my weekend.  Have a great day!  

Friday, March 13, 2015

Created 4 Care Retreat


Hi!  I am going to make this quick as I am about to leave for the airport.  My husband and I are on our way to Portland, Oregon for the weekend.  Portland was where we were married and we haven't been there since after our first son was born and we moved to the east coast.  Anyway, I mentioned that last weekend I went to the Created 4 Care Retreat.  It was so much fun!  I spent 2 1/2 days with 450 woman from all over the United States who are adoptive mothers like me.  The conference aim is to not only educate mother and families, but to support and lift them up spiritually as adopting a child isn't always rainbow and unicorns.  Don't get me wrong.  Adoption is wonderful and amazing, but at the same time a child may experience trauma and that can be difficult sometimes not just on the parents, but for the whole family.  The conference gives you tools to help your child.  Well, I gotta go!  I can't wait to tell you all about Portland.  I am so excited.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Something Difficult "Corner View"


This weekend I had the opportunity to attend a conference for mothers who have adopted children (more on that later), and while speaking to another mother she asked me if I had read a book titled Messages from and Unknown Chinese Mother.  I had not read it!  The reason why she asked me if I had read the book was I told her I didn't think about Avery's birth mother that much.  If I am being honest, I don't think of her that often.  Not because I am afraid that by thinking about her or talking about her Avery will somehow love me less, but because I can not put a picture to her face.  I do not know if she is old or young. Was Avery her first child or was Avery a second child?  Were her parents married or was she conceived out of a one night stand or to a prostitute. Is she short or tall? Does Avery look like her or her father?  The list of unknowns goes on!   I do not have an answer to any of these questions and it is likely Avery never will either as it is extremely hard for adoptees from China to find their birth parents.  I text ed my husband and asked him to purchase the book via Amazon for me and the book arrived on Monday.  It is a difficult book to read.  So heart wrenching at the same time I am grateful to have had the opportunity to have read it.  It has given me a broader education as to why mothers are abandoning their children all over China.  Today over a 120,000 children from China are living in over 27 countries.  That is a lot of children.  They are the lucky ones as so many more were killed.  Before going to China I had heard stories that some children were drowned in rivers like kittens.  In my narrow understanding I thought many of these children who are mostly girls were simply killed because they were girls.  It is more complex than that!  It is even more complex that the China's One Child Policy rule.  The issue goes even deeper of beliefs that having a girl first will bring ill will on ones household and laws that do not even count woman therefore when farmers go to aquire land they are not allowed to get land unless they have a boy child thus causing a family to suffer from lack of food.  In the book the author accounts one story of a man she had met who had abandoned his daughter.  When she questioned him on why he told her his story of being on the run.  He and his wife left their village so that no one would know that they had a daughter.  His parents had begged them to leave.  In the time they were on the run he had abandoned 4 children with his wife being pregnant with the 5th.  If the 5th was a boy, he and his wife could go home to their family and if it was a girl she would meet the same fate as until he had a boy he could not return home.  He would loose all his families property if they did not have a boy.  Obviously, all girls are not abandoned and you can even adopt boys from China.  Some children are abandoned because of their medical issues simply because they were born into a medical system that will not treat you unless you have the money upfront.  After addressing the why, the book goes on to tell the grief of these mother.  Did you know that has the largest suicide rate of woman?  The book tells a story of a woman who was forced to do away with two of her daughters.  Her husband leaves her and her in-laws treat her badly.  The woman tries to move on with her life, but one day while she is working at her new job in a restaurant the grief of her losing her daughter is to much to bare when she see a family celebrating a little girls birthday. The woman tries to kill herself.  When questioned why she tried to kill hers?elf the woman stated,"Why couldn't my daughters have lived? Why did I have to kill my daughter? I wish my daughter could have a mouthful of delicious birthday cake, just one mouthful! If only they could have put on those pretty clothes, just for one day!"  My heart aches for this mother and all those mothers all over china who have either watched their children be murdered or who have had to give them away.  I will hold my daughter a little tighter each and every day for the sacrifice and heartache her mother has made.  If you have gotten this far, I appreciate you taking the time to read these words as I know they are not easy to read.
Corner View is a weekly gathering - each Wednesday - created by Jane of Spain Daily, where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. If you'd like to join in, please leave a link to your Corner View post in the comments below, and be sure to visit other participants too.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Butterzoph

While the weekend was beautiful, today we woke up with grey skies again.  I am so done with winter!  I am so ready for spring.  I know it is on it's way as I can tell from the hard time I am having breathingbecause of  all the pollen in the air. I am praying the allergy medication kicks in soon.  I am ready for warmer weather, sunny days, being barefoot, picnics, fireflies, crickets chirping, and watermelon. We have some great adventures planned for this summer, but right now I am missing Europe.  It's my second home!  I feel just at much at home there as I do here in the states.  Last week I made some Butterzoph which is very similar to Challah.  It was so good!  The smell of the bread lasted all evening in the house.  It was heavenly and for the few moments I enjoyed this bread it was like being back in Switzerland.

Butterzoph
I cup of warm milk
I Tablespoon of dry yeast
1 teaspoon of sugar
Warm milk and add yeast and sugar. Once the yeast is add in 1 whisked egg, 4 Tablespoons of melted Butter. and a couple Tablespoons of honey.
Then add 1 teaspoon of salt
1 Tablespoon of lemon zest
1/4 cup of golden raisins (optional)
and 3 3/4 cups of bread flour.
Need the dough until smooth, but don't over knead as you will make the bread tough.  Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for about 2 hour.  When dough has doubled in size divide the dough into three balls and roll out into ropes.  Braid the ropes  Again allow the bread to rise about 30 minutes to and hour.  It should be double in size! Preheat oven to as hot as you can get your oven too.  This step is important as it will help give your bread the lift it needs. Now brush with and egg wash made of one egg and a splash of water!   Now it is time for the bread to go into the oven. Reduce the oven tempature to 375 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.  Bread should be golden brown.  Allow bread to cool and enjoy!




  

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Cuddly "Corner View"


This entourage of dogs goes everywhere with us!
Avery loves her dogs!


Corner View is a weekly gathering - each Wednesday - created by Jane of Spain Daily, where bloggers from all corners of the world share their view on a pre-arranged theme. If you'd like to join in, please leave a link to your Corner View post in the comments below, and be sure to visit other participants too.