Meet Robert

In my email, I often receive articles from adoption agencies, periodical emails from such agencies many of which I signed up for back when we were still looking for kids who’d be a good fit and every now and then emails featuring individual kids in need of a forever home. Two days ago this special delivery arrived.

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Here’s a naturally curious and thoughtful kid, with an interest in nearly everything. Despite his rough start in life and the challenges he faces, as a result, Robert remains a hopeful 12-year-old. In fact, he’s so determined to find a forever family, he requested copies of his Heart Gallery photo so he could pass them out to nice people he meets. He’s open to any kind of parent and would benefit from a nurturing family patient with his shy and quiet demeanor. Please help Robert in his quest to find a family and share his Heart Gallery profile with your friends- and anyone nice you meet!

“I love building things.” says Robert.

Robert has a real talent for working with his hands. He takes pride in making things for the people he loves the most and thinks it would be cool to be a craftsman when he grows up. He’s a naturally curious and thoughtful kid, with an interest in nearly everything. Just like every boy his age, he loves playing outside too. Despite Robert’s rough start in life and the challenges he faces, as a result, Robert remains a hopeful 12-year-old.

Robert is open to any kind of parent and would benefit from a nurturing family who will be patient with his shy and quiet demeanor. Robert wants to succeed in all he does and hopes to find a forever family who will encourage him to do just that.

https://heartgallerytampa.org/our-kids/robert/

Did you catch that? In fact, he’s so determined to find a forever family, he requested copies of his Heart Gallery photo so he could pass them out to nice people he meets. I have a 13 and 12-year-old and I can’t imagine them passing out photos to nice people. If things were a bit different in our home life, we would totally inquire about this young man. It was God who put the desire to adopt in my heart. God who changed Hubby’s heart. God who brought our four into our lives. And while we think we are done, I always say it will have to be God to tell us to adopt again. I have felt the urge to add another child every now and then, but for the most part, we fell done, (overwhelmed to be more accurate). But I remain open to God’s will. Who knows?

For now, we are on hold. BUT how about you? Do you have room in your home and heart for this young man? Can you at least spread the word about Robert?

An Epiphany

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I have been working on a post about how we do chores. It is written and finished, BUT it is so very long. So while I am figuring out how to shorten it I want to share this something with you all.

We have pulled a Donald Trump and fired our 9-year-old. For the sake of the emotional well-being of our home, we fired him from the dishes. You see while he is very capable of doing them he gets so deregulated that he really isn’t capable of doing them. While he did just great last year, this year is a completely different story.

99% of the time when it is his turn to do the dishes he gets so emotional that it isn’t worth it. He gets upset, mom gets upset, dad gets upset, etc. The older kids had no problem taking over his slot.

No regulating tricks have work, no strategies have worked, no “just suck it up and do the dishes” have worked. So for now, maybe for awhile, he isn’t doing the dishes.

The epiphany…physical or even cognitive capability isn’t what we need to measure. The ability to be emotionally capable is.

Yummy Flashback

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(Me, outside of Cafe de Monde, maybe 6 years ago. Our two oldest and one of our nephews are in the background.)

At a recent grocery trip I literally almost walked passed a sweet find. We went to New Orleans, oh golly, maybe 5-6 years ago with our East Coast family for Christmas. It was a wonderful experience. Our country is so uniquely different with each passing state. Driving from New Mexico through Texas into Louisana was great. From dry, dusty desert to water, swamps, and water everywhere. Our travel got green and green with every mile.

Like good tourists, we spent our fair share of time in the French Quater. One of the famous places there is Cafe de Monde. A historic coffee and beignet shop. Of course, we had to try. Now if you’ve never tried or heard of beignets here’s the Wikipedia definition: Beignet, synonymous with the English “fritter”, is the French term for a pastry made from deep-fried choux pastry. Beignets may also be made from other types of dough, including yeast dough. So, what a nice treat to stumble upon a mix of these nice treats.

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Will have to make these real soon before two of our East Coast family heads back.

 

The Best Muffins

Okay, I know everyone claims to have the recipe for the best muffins, but these are really SOOO yummy and pretty healthy for you. All but one of our kids love them. That one doesn’t like chocolate. If you don’t like chocolate you will not like these either. Whether you are vegan, or just love chocolate, these are great for you.

Double Chocolate Avocado Muffins…Yeap!! Doubly rich, thick and fudgy dark chocolate.IMG_1759

Ingredients

1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 medium-sized ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
2/3 c. pure maple syrup
3/4 c. unsweetened plain soymilk
1/3 c. coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 c. vegan chocolate chips

Tips

Start checking for doneness at around 17 min – ovens vary. An ice cream scoop is great for filling your muffin cups. The protein content of pastry flour falls somewhere in between that of cake flour (lowest) and all-purpose flour (mid-range among flours). Whole wheat pastry flour is a relatively low protein flour, high in starch because it’s made with whole grains. It’s a great compromise between increasing nutritional content while still getting a delicate final product. If you can’t find whole wheat pastry flour, a mixture of equal parts cake flour and whole wheat flour could be used. This way you get the best of both worlds.
Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with paper liners if desired.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a food processor or powerful blender puree the avocado, maple syrup, soymilk, oil and vanilla extract until smooth.

Add the avocado puree to the dry ingredients until all the flour is combined. If the mixture is too dry, stir in additional milk. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Fill muffin cups and bake for about 22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out with just a few crumbs. Cool.

Serving Size: 1 muffin

I have made these a number of times, varying the recipe a few times. I have used honey instead of syrup and both together, pecans instead of walnuts and no nuts at all, real milk instead of soy. I have made it Keto worthy. (It did fall in the middle though.) This time I did a mix of almond flour and whole wheat flour and I mixed coconut oil and coconut butter. I even added chia seeds. I made some in mini muffin tins which are perfect for toddlers but dangerous for self-control. They are so addictive you will want to eat and eat but they are filling at the same time.

If you make them, let me know.

 

 

Mama Broke

So, a couple of weeks ago, I snapped. I blew up. Let me set the stage.

I woke from a fitful afternoon nap to find Hubby, Nana, and Mr. Bubblewrap at the kitchen counter. Hubby casually said something to Mr. Bubblewrap about putting away the camera. That is when I half woke up. Woke up in a fit of such frustration that I lost it. I didn’t throw things or hit anyone. But my words…ouch! I really wish I could take them back. But like toothpaste, once it is out you can’t put it back in.

You see, our eldest daughter just gave me the camera (this is not a point and shoot camera either) the night before. I had set it on the far end of the counter to check it out myself and then put away when I got a minute. BUT my trigger got tripped. Ever since our ninos came they have been learning personal space. They knew no boundaries. Everything was fair game. I have even had feminine needs pulled out of my purse by one of the children. Mr. Bubblewrap is also nine and is not the most gentle of persons when handling items.

My tolerance levels had been building and building, or should I say filling and filling. I do NOT like to micromanage at all. It stresses me out more than most things. For me, trying to find a way to raise kids with as little micromanaging as possible has been a task ever since I became a mom. Getting kids from foster care amplifies that need to micromanage, to teach, to get them caught up. It seems at times it is teaching, redirecting, disciplining, more redirecting, etc. non-stop. This was one of those seasons. And something had to give. Unfortunately, it was me that broke. Broke in a wrong way.

One of the main sources of micromanaging had become the chores. For our ninos, chores were something they were not raised with. (That could be a whole other post.) I was constantly reminding them to do their chores, asking them if they did this or that. Each time met with an eye roll at best. Then there’s checking to make sure the job was done right. Times that by at least three kids and it gets taxing.

After cooling off and asking for forgiveness, especially with Hubby, Hubby and I had a private meeting in our bathroom. I tell you our bathroom has been a sanctuary for me, a place for meetings, etc. It is really a great place. LOL! Anyway, we came up with a new chore system. It goes along with our “tic mark” system. More on these systems in a later post.

So far the new system has helped. We also had a family meeting to lay out some more guidelines and remind the kids of some we already had in place. I also, besides praying, opened up to a sister in church about my outbursts. We briefly talked and it helped just to be open with someone, another mom, who knew me and could understand.

As always, when I replay the situations in my head I react better. In this case, I could’ve/probably should’ve done this: Upon hearing and seeing son with the camera kindly taken it from him and told him in a calm voice, “You know I feel really disrespected, violated (whatever adjective fit) right now. But for the sack of our relationship, I am going to choose to let this one go.” Then walk away with my camera in hand. Then in private talk to Hubby about how the whole thing affected me.

Whether or not that would’ve worked I don’t know, but I would’ve felt better about myself.

 

What Do You Write?

What do you write when you are ending three months of so many appointments? Seriously, thank God I am a “stay-at-home” mom. No job would keep me with as many appointments as I have had these last three months!! Feb.-19, Mar.-17, and this month 22!! Just got one added literally as I type. Thankfully some of these I can drop off the General for. But what can one do in a 30 min span of time?!

Sitting at doctor’s offices, physical therapy, the lab, etc…all for the kids, was not in my plans, but…

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And that is what I am on. A very long detour. One in which I have met some very helpful, kind, and caring people.

Please, tell me what has kept you busy the last three months?

Podcast Love

*I am getting over a bit of a cold, so I am keeping it light for you.*

Once I loved talk radio. Now I LOVE podcasts. I tell you they are my new addiction. They are my escape. They help keep my mind fresh. They cover the sometimes too loud kid noises.

On my podcast list right now are: Stuff You Should Know-funny guys who talk about tornadoes, gender pay gap, naming continents, bonsai trees, and everything in between. This American Life-True stories about people and events you don’t often think about. To be honest I do skip over some of the topics covered. Stuff You Missed in History Class-You will see history a bit differently after listening to these ladies. For my christain readers, history is not covered from a biblical viewpoint at all. Some of these I skip as well due to the nature of the topic. Family Talk-From Focus on the Family and James Dobson. Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast-If you are familiar with their radio show then you know what this is all about. Back Story-I much less biased view on history. The older ones are great. I have a number of writing podcast Grammar Girl being one of my faves. The Way I heard it with Mike Rowe-Another sort of history one. If you’ve ever heard Paul Harvey’s The Rest of the Story then Mike Rowe’s podcast will sound familiar. Good Job, Brain-This is one of my favorites of all!! I would so love to have a group of friends to do this with. So nerdy, so fun! Brain Stuff-How’s and Why’s of things in life most under 10 minutes. The Offical Adventures in Odyssey Podcast-If you love AIO you will like this behind the scenes podcast. God Centered Mom Podcast, Marriage More Podcast, The Jep and Jess Show-Yes Jep and Jess from Duck Dynasty. How I built This-Very interesting podcast, that tells you from the owner how companies like AOL, Power Rangers, Airbnb, etc. got started. It is motivating to listen to. And finally, two of my newest ones…Both parenting podcasts, This Glorious Mess-Yes, everything sounds better with a British accent, even parenting. Funny as well. Parent Savers-You have got to listen to the Misbehaving Toddlers if you have toddlers anywhere around you. ***I totally have to come and edit this post. My little blog has been mentioned here on the New Mommy Media site. How cool is that?!? Thank you, Sunny for the thoughtful shout out. You made my day, heck my week!***

Yes, I do have that many podcasts on my phone…actually there’s more. I haven’t listened to them yet so I can’t tell you if they are even worth a shout out or not.

Making my own podcast, maybe even with Hubby, is one of those things on my mental bucket list.