Sunday, December 5, 2010

Rolo Turtles

This is another goodie I am putting on our Christmas plates. These are so easy that I think Owen can even help. Thanks to my co-worker James for this idea.

courtsey RecipeRhapsody
  • Pretzels, Mini or Square
  • Rolos
  • Pecans, Whole (M&Ms, Almonds or Cashews work too)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a cookie sheet with foil.
  • Place the pretzels on the cookie sheet and top with one Rolo each.
  • Bake for three minutes (not any longer or you'll have a mess).
  • While the Rolo is still warm, press a pecan or nut on top.
  • Let cool.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Oreo Balls

I thought it would be fun to share the recipes for some of the goodies I am making for our Christmas plates we give to our friends and neighbors. My sister-in-law Amanda made these Oreo Balls a couple years ago and they are so divine!!

  • 1 package Oreos
  • 1 pkg cream cheese, warm or room temp.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate (baking bar or chips)
  • White chocolate (baking bar or chips)
  • 1 large zip-lock bag
  • 1 small zip-lock bag
  • Place wax paper on jelly roll pan (baking sheet with sides).
  • In a large bag, crush most of the oreos. Pour into large mixing bowl. Mix in cream cheese.
  • Melt chocolate in separate bowls using a microwave or double boiler technique. For microwave, place chocolate into bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave for 15 seconds. Stir. Repeat 15 second microwave and stir until chocolate is smooth and melted.
  • Form a small ball and dip in semi-sweet chocolate using a spoon and set on wax paper. You can also dip in the white chocolate and then drizzle with the semi-sweet chocolate.
  • Pour white chocolate in small zip-lock bag to be used as a drizzle.
  • Cut a small hole in one corner of the zip-lock bag and drizzle the white chocolate over the dipped balls.
  • Let cool. To speed up cooling time, place in refrigerator (outside during a cold winter day) to set chocolate.

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Adoption Button

I just wanted to point our new adoption button for those still using our old button. If you use the code provided, the button will automatically change whenever I update it. Thank you so much for placing our button on your blog in the first place. I look at our statistics often and know many of our hits have come from your blogs. Thank you again and again!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

An Experience of a Birthmother

This is the second part of my sister-in-laws look at adoption. It's simply a wonderful interview with a birthmother who placed 9 years ago. I loved the things she shared and opened my eyes as an adoptive mom.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

From God's Arms, To My Arms, To Yours

I don't think National Adoption Awareness Month would be complete without sharing this special song. This is the song Owen's birthmother used to tell us she had chosen us to be his parents. I get teary every time I hear it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Our Experience as an Adoptive Family

In light of National Adoption Awareness Month, my sister-in-law Amanda decided to spotlight an adoptive family, birth parent, and adoptee. Our family has lots of experience with adoption having all three in this triad. She wanted to interview me so here is a link to my interview on her blog.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lullaby For a Birthmom

My heart is really full after listening to this song. So beautiful! It really moved me and I want to share this as a tribute to Owen's birthmom.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born

I bought this book after Owen was a few months old. It's the story of a young girl who asks her parents to recount the night she was born but this is no ordinary story because she was adopted at birth.

The story is a near-perfect match to Owen's birth and adoption story (he was not born at night and we was local). I read it to him for the first time a couple nights ago after deciding he is finally old enough to start learning about his adoption story. He was so quiet and attentive so I know he liked it.

Tell me again how you couldn't grow a baby in your tummy, so another woman who was too young to take care of me was growing me and she would be my birth mother, and you would adopt me and be my parents.

Tell me again about the first time you held me in your arms and called me your baby sweet.

Tell me again how you cried happy tears.

November is National Adoption Month!

The month of November is National Adoption Month. Obviously having Owen join our family through adoption makes this month very special to us. One of my favorite adoption blogs issued a challenge to post about adoption everyday in November to increase awareness and dispel misconceptions. Though I won't be posting everyday I'd like to post a couple times about adoption.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Buzz Lightyear calling Space Command!

We started our Halloween celebrations on Monday with carving pumpkins. I found a Thomas template on the Thomas & Friends web site so we decided to try it out. It turned out alright but next year we'll have to buy some pumpkin carving tools to make it easier.

Friday night I had a blast passing out candy at the Families Supporting Adoption booth as part of Idaho Falls Boo the Zoo. Barry was going to bring Owen while I was there but the line was huge and he couldn't find parking. I found out that Owen's pediatric group pre-sales tickets so if I volunteer next year we will make sure to pre-buy them.

Owen as Buzz Lightyear

Barry came down with a cold/flu Saturday afternoon so I took Owen trick-or-treating around our subdivision. He loved it! His favorite part was ringing the doorbell so I'd lift him up each time. I didn't want Owen to get cold so we went around at 5PM which was probably a bit too early as we didn't get an answer at a lot of doors. I'd have to prompt him to say trick-or-treat but he did say it.

Hope you had a fun & safe Halloween as well!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Silly, Silly Owen

So Owen loves to run around naked. One day last week he had once again stripped himself bare naked. I was doing some housework while he was watching a show. I brought back some of my shirts from the laundry room to hang up later while I finished cleaning somewhere else. I came back to find Owen wearing one of my shirts. I had to take a picture.


I took it off him and he started watching his show again laying on his tummy with his hands up on his face. I thought it was so cute that I took another picture.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I'm a Big Kid Now!

Ask me a couple weeks ago if I thought Owen would be almost completely potty trained during the day any time soon and I would have told you absolutely not. For months he has wanted nothing to do with the potty. It was wrestle-mania just to get him to sit on the potty for a second. He would scream and cry. At his wellness visit I described this behavior to the doctor and he told me to stop and try again in a few months.

A couple months passed and my defense that the doctor told me to wait started to weaken. So after a disagreement with Barry, I decided the next day I'd try again. I let Owen run around without a diaper or pull up since he just wets/soils it instead telling me. Later on he started doing the potty dance and asked for a diaper. He was acting scared so I sat down next to his froggy potty and got him to sit down. I read to him and gave him a sheet of stickers to play with. Anyway, I went to go to get him some clothes since we had a play date coming over and came back to find he'd pooped! We cheered and celebrated. I gave him his Hiro train (from Thomas and Friends) that I'd been holding on to for months hoping it would be an incentive.

It's been 2 weeks and he is accident free. Now every time he goes he gets so excited and says, "I did it." So proud of him!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Capistrano Beach, CA

Saturday our second day in California was spent at Capistrano Beach right next to the city of Dana Point. Barry and I actually spent part of our honeymoon at Dana Point so it was so fun reminiscing where we stayed and such. The new memories we made with Owen there makes it even more special in our hearts. This was Owen's 1st time at the ocean and the beach. It was fairly windy and a little cold. Owen loved getting his feet wet by the waves and nearly pulled our arms out of their sockets trying to get farther in.

Owen loves his sandbox at home so he was in 7th heaven at the beach. Earlier we went over to Target and got him a little sand bucket and shovel. He also loved looking for shells and rocks with Barry and putting them in his bucket.

Toes in the sand!

Barry treated us to an boat ride to watch for some ocean life. The water was so choppy. I'm really glad we all took some motion sickness pills before. We didn't see one whale but we saw lots of dolphins and a couple sea lions. The tour guide said they had seen whales 2 days in a row just the day before and the wind was probably the culprit in their disappearance.

Ocean Life Boat Tour


Sea Lions


Barry treated our family with a getaway trip to Disneyland. Allegiant Air in Idaho Falls had tickets to LAX for only $120 round trip. We flew out Thursday and came back Sunday. Friday we spent the day at Disneyland and Saturday at Capistranio beach (see my next post). We so needed a fun getaway even if it was only a few days.

Owen had such a fun time. His favorite ride was Gadget's Go-Go Roller-coaster in Toon Town. So crazy, I would have been so scared at his age to ride a rollercoaster even if it was only lasted 40 seconds.

He liked Winnie the Pooh, Dumbo, and Buzz Lightyear rides as well. He couldn't go on the "mountain" rides or Indiana Jones because he's not tall enough. But get this, he is only 2.5" inches from being able to ride those. He is growing so tall! He got a little scared on Pirates but the Haunted Mansion didn't phase him a bit.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tender Mercies

For those who don't know, we were matched with a birthmother due in only a month and it fell through last week. This is the second time in two years that we were going to adopt a baby girl and had the adoption fail. It's crazy how my frequent experience with loss has affected the grieving this time. I've felt very frustrated with the loss after loss we have faced and continue to face trying to grow our family. I just want the grieving to be over and to move on. I've felt lost and unsure about what we should do next. Looking over the options again just makes me feel more unsure and frustrated and this has been voiced in my prayers.

Anyway, I decided today to return some of the clothes I bought for baby girl at Walmart. As much as I dreaded the feelings this would cause, I dreaded more what I would say when the returns cashier asked for my reason for returning them. I planned on just responding no when they asked about them being defective and then staying quiet. Well that didn't work. After asking if they were defective, she asked if they just didn't work out and I said yes. Then she commented about how cute they were and how it was a shame they didn't work out. She asked if I was pregnant. After saying no, she asked if they had been for a friend. After a second no, I quietly told her how we were supposed to adopt but it fell through. She said how sorry she was for my loss. She went on about how she'd been off her mission for two months now and how lately she’s felt badly about not being married. She told me about a talk she'd heard about Sarah of the bible and how it had helped her. She quickly recounted how Sarah was married to Abraham and they had no children. That God promised Abraham that Abraham's posterity would number as many as the stars. So with Sarah being infertile, Sarah gave Abraham the permission to marry her handmaiden Hagar and Hagar conceived a son. But Sarah eventually did bear Isaac.

I know what the cashier had to say next was Heavenly Father answering my prayers. She said "just think if Sarah would have waited and not rushed things by making her own decision." Only at the Rexburg Walmart…God does answer prayers.

Monday, May 31, 2010

All in Bloom!

Sorry I haven't been very good with updating our blog. So here comes a couple posts.

It's been a quiet Memorial Day weekend for us. The weather wouldn't be so bad if the wind and some of the clouds would clear out. Everything is finally in bloom at our house. I thought I'd do some bragging about Barry's talent by sharing some pictures. Isn't everything soooo beautiful! I'd have to say Spring has to be tied with Fall for my favorite season.

Memorial Day Weekend

Yesterday was our 7th anniversary. We celebrated Saturday and used my gift card for Olive Garden I still had from my birthday (thank you Steve & Allison). Earlier that day I talked to my Grandpa Olsen and he reminded me that 7 is a lucky number. With our birthmother due in July, it does look like this will be a lucky year for us. In all reality, I know luck had nothing to do with it but that all things come from God. I am really blessed to have my two boys. Last night I found a card on my pillow from Barry. It was so thoughtful of him. I appreciate all he does to provide for our family and how he cares for us. Friday night he went to the urgent care center and found out the bumps on his legs are from a staph infection. Hopefully the antibiotics 4x a day will kick it and he starts feeling better.

Yesterday we visited the graves of Barry's great grandparents and one set of mine. We visit the graves of my mom, grandmother, and brother on Mother's Day. I just find it much more private then instead of Memorial Day where it gets so busy. Anyway, when I went nearly every headstone had bird poo on it. Made me so mad! So I cleaned off their gravestones and my cousins gravestone the best I could with a rag Barry had in his truck. Next time I'll have to remember to bring a spray bottle with some water. It wouldn't be that hard for the sexton to power wash the gravestones when every one of them has poo on them. Have some respect for the dead would ya! Sorry I regress.

Barry's parents stopped on their way home from visiting graves. I had to share this super cute picture of Grandma with Owen.

Owen enjoying his new swingset.

Today I cleaned the interior of my car. I think I'm going to ban eating and drinking in my car for now on (yeah right). Barry finally got to planting flowers in my Mother's Day pots since it has stopped freezing at night.

This afternoon we are putting up chair rail in the baby's room when Barry gets back from watering the nursery. I'll post pictures of the room next week when it's all decorated.

Owen's New Dresser

We needed a new dresser for Owen since the one we bought for him as a baby is too small. We looked at a lot of places and even online but every thing seemed so high priced for the particle board and laminate you get. Barry's parents left this dresser for us to use at the little house in Ririe after they moved out. Since they still don't have a need for it, we decided to repaint it and use it for Owen. It's pure wood without a bit of particle board so even being 30 or more years old it still is in good shap.

I worked on it in the garage. I used a product called Citristrip (citrus based stripper with low fumes and safe to use indoors) to get through the 2 layers of paint and layer of polyurethane on it. I wish I had before pictures but just imagine this being painted dark chocolate brown with chucks of wood broken off its edges and drawers. I had to apply the stripper 2 times to get all of it off. Then I used wood putty to fill in all the holes and sanded to get the primer to adhere well. I had some left over primer from the train table I made for Owen so I had the hardware store put some black in it so I'd only have to use one coat of black. Here are the results.

The drawer knobs are suppose to be here Thursday so I used a couple spare ones we had from our craft room project. They are antique brass which will really complete the look :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Owen's Birthday Party

Saturday we had Owen's birthday party. Barry's sister and her family came up from Utah for the event. Her little girl is exactly one week younger than Owen so we decided to combine their parties this year. I made two mini-cakes for each of them and then two sets of cupcakes. Thanks to Melanie from our ward for helping me with the frosting of them :) They turned out great! Owen really loved his presents. I'm so grateful because it's kept him happy even though we've been couped inside since it's been too cold to play outside. Nasty wind!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Happy Birthday My Sweet Boy!

Three years ago the best day of my life happened (tied with the day I married your daddy). You have brought such joy to my life and everyday you teach me that nothing is more important than you and your daddy. My how you've grown this past year. You are so tall and talking so well. I can hardly believe you already know your alphabet, numbers, and colors. I realize now that waiting those long, hard 5 years for you molded me into the mama worthy of you. I thank Heavenly Father and your sweet birth mother everyday that you are my son. Always remember how much your daddy and I love you and want you to find true happiness. Happy Birthday my sweet Owen!

Love always, your Mama

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Pictures

With Easter falling on Conference, we had Owen wear his Easter outfit last Sunday. It's from the Children's Place (my favorite clothing store for Owen). Barry said he looked like a leprechaun. Well even if he does, we could definitely use a little luck right now. Looking at this picture I just can't get over how grown up Owen looks. He will be 3 at the end of April and I still can't believe how fast the time has seemed to pass by. Doesn't seem so long ago that his wonderful birthmom placed him in our arms.

Barry setup the tripod and took some pictures of our family. My hair looks awful. We have 9:00 AM church and I don't always get a chance to fix it nice and it's got split end problems. I just got it trimmed yesterday. Maybe some Photoshop magic is in order. LOL.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

More Crafts

I found some instructions on the Internet how to make leg warmers for 0-6 month old babies. I got these socks at a discount store for a buck a piece. You take a women's crew sock and cut the heel and toe. Then you sew the remaining two pieces using a medium size zig-sag stitch.


I bought Sesame Street and Pixar character underwear for Owen's birthday this April. Apparently I didn't hide it well enough. I was at work when I got this picture on my phone. Don't you know that underwear goes on our arms and not our bottoms!!! LOL!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Crazy but Fun Owen

Everyday is an adventure with Owen it seems. Of course we wouldn't change that for all the rice in China. LOL.

Owen loves to take baths especially in our big jacuzzi tub with Daddy. Barry got the water started and walked away for a second (it takes a couple minutes to fill the tub.) He came back to find Owen still completely dressed in the bath tub. I love this picture with the look on Owen's face that just says "Yep, I've been caught."

We are also trying to get Owen excited to potty train. He'll be 3 in a couple months. We brought home this little potty that Barry's parents let us have. I left it on the kitchen counter over night and Owen found it the next morning. He was so excited and kept saying "potty, potty." So we got it down for him and let him sit in it. Then he decided to move it on Daddy's recliner and sit on it. It was so stinkin' funny. Needless to say he hasn't done anything with it since. I know eventually he'll be ready

Craft Time

I've had some fun with a couple projects this past month. First I made a matching wipe case for my diaper bag. All it took was a wipe case, fabric, batting, ribbon, and some hot glue. For being my first time making one, I think it turned out really well.

I've also been redecorating my kitchen bit by bit. I've decided on a farm theme. I printed out some clip art of some farm animals on photo paper. Then I painted some 4x4 blocks and mod podged the prints onto them. I got the stacked pigs and tin star for so cheap at a wonderful home decor store called Real Deals. It's only open 2 days a week. I was doing some rummaging here at home and found the glass candle holders that we had gotten for a wedding present years ago. I just got the candles for them today.