Saturday, August 28, 2010

5 years ago...

I will start this post by saying that I love New Orleans. I grew up in south Louisiana and lived there until I was 16 years old. My dad and stepmom live in a suburb of New Orleans and I love going to visit. I love the culture and the accents and the food there.

Five years ago, Hurricane Katrina hit. Here is my blog from the time. I can't get it to link tonight. This has been a popular news topic in the last week. I'm so glad that it's still on people's minds. I'm glad that it's not something that has been forgotten.

However, I can't watch the news coverage of it.

A week before Hurricane Katrina hit, my house was struck by lightning and burned down. It was such a shocking experience and while we were still living in at my mom's house before the insurance adjuster put us in a hotel, Katrina hit.

Even right after it happened, I couldn't watch the news coverage of it. It was so awful to watch people dealing with the loss of everything that they owned. We were dealing with it, but we had insurance to replace it all. I felt guilty. I was going to get all of my "stuff" back.

It was just such a mix of emotions. I was dealing with my own journey of grief/loss/thankfulness and I couldn't deal with the emotions of what others were dealing with at the same time.

Our home was completely rebuilt and it ended up being a blessing for our family. I'm so sorry for the people who lost everything and are still fighting to get it replaced.

Have any of you ever dealt with a disaster hitting you at the same time that something tragic happened in the world? How did you deal with it?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Steven!

Tomorrow is my husband's birthday. I was trying to think of a cute blog title and I kept remembering the nickname that my brother gave him before I even knew him. When Jonathan was a senior in high school, he got a new youth minister at his church. Jonathan really liked Anton, the last youth minister and thought that this new guy was kind of annoying.

So, he called him "Steve Cole, the fruit bowl".

I'm sure it was a term of endearment.

He brought "the fruit bowl" home one afternoon after church and this guy even helped me fix my computer.

11 years later, I'm married to that guy and he's still fixing everything that we break around the house.

I don't want to get too mushy on this blog. But, I'm amazed by all that he does and how well he does it. He's setting up for a Back to School night right now at Maggie's school. We'll join him after I pick up Maggie.

He's going camping this weekend and I'm afraid that because of our crazy week that we won't be able to truly celebrate him. He's not as big on birthdays as I am, but I think that we are going to take him out for breakfast before school tomorrow.

I love you, Steven, and I'm so glad that we get to celebrate you a little bit tomorrow.

P.S. I hope next year's blog has a big ol' picture of you and Patrick and Maggie!

Monday, August 23, 2010


Maggie begged for Biscuit for her Christmas present in 2008. It was ridiculously expensive, but Santa decided to get it for her and not get her much else for Christmas. She was so excited and loved him for about 10 minutes on Christmas morning. She made him a cute pink collar.

In case you don't know, Biscuit is a robotic dog that you can give commands to eat, sit and lay down. Biscuit looks A LOT like Willie.

After the first day of playing with him, Maggie decided that she was TERRIFIED of Biscuit. Like, she couldn't be in the same room with Biscuit. UGH. Stupid dog was at least 100 dollars.

So, Biscuit was shut in a room and didn't get to come out to play. I asked her if we should give her to Emma, so that Biscuit would get played with. She would start crying and tell me how much she loved Biscuit! I just kept him in Patrick's room in a corner.

Yesterday, out of the blue, Maggie asked us to get Biscuit out to play with him. 18 months after she got him for Christmas.

Biscuit happily came out to play on the living room floor. Maggie played with him and petted him and seemed to enjoy him.

Then, Patrick woke up from his nap. WoW! A new puppy on the floor. This was awesome!! He tackled Biscuit and petted him and played with him all afternoon.

Yea, Biscuit is finally being played with. Before Patrick left this morning, he ran to Biscuit and gave him a big hug around his neck. Then, he patted Biscuit's back.

Santa feels like the present was finally worth it.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Three things

Here are three things that Patrick is doing right now:

1. Maggie HATES Dora. She can't stand her and can't handle the way that she screams every word that she says. I suspect that she is really just still scared of Swiper, but she labels it as a baby show and there is nothing worse than a baby show. Last week, it was just Patrick and me at home. Dora came on tv and we snuggled for a minute on the sofa. Patrick looked at the tv when the theme song came on. He pointed at that blasted show and shouted "DORA" at the tv.

2. He is huge. He regularly is assumed to be an 18 month old by strangers in the grocery store. He has ginormous hands, too. Maggie's handprints (when she was 2.5 years old) are on the wall in a frame in the hallway. Tonight, after his bath, I put Patrick's hands on top of the handprints in the frame. His 13 month old hands are the same size as Maggie's in the frame.

3. He loves to "count". He will take any object and put it above his hand and say, "ooohhhnnn, oooooooo, eeeeeeeeeee" and throw the object on the ground. He's so smart.

He has also stopped squealing quite as much. I feel like a switch has gone off in his brain and he is able to communicate just a little bit more so he is not as frustrated with our lack of understanding him.

And, he is sleeping and I miss that guy!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tomato Basil Soup

I tried out a new recipe today. I used a recipe that I found online and tweaked it a little bit. It was very good and I thought I should share it with ya'll (and remember it myself).

Tomato Basil Soup

* 4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (I used a mixture of the tomatoes in my garden. It was about 15 tomatoes of different sizes)
* 1 onion, sliced
* 1 tablespoon of dried basil
* 4 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
* 2 cups chicken broth
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons cinnamon (the original called for sugar, but I like cinnamon!)

In a stockpot, over medium heat, combine the tomatoes, onion, basil, cloves of garlic and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and run the mixture through a food processor or use your mixer. Leave the mixture in the food processor or mixer while you get the roux ready.

In the stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour until it thickens, cooking until medium brown like a roux. Gradually whisk in a bit of the tomato mixture, so that no lumps form, then stir in the rest. Season with cinnamon (or sugar) and salt.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A circus

Today, we had to sit outside of the courtroom and wait for our case to be called. It was quite an interesting scene.

There were lots of cases all being heard at the exact same time in the same court room. I don't understand the logic, but it means that you sit out on hard benches with a bunch of other people. You wonder if somehow they are related to your case or just there for another case. You hear a lot as you wait on the benches.

There was another normal looking couple there. Blonde, young. I figured they were foster parents for another case. But, they kept staring at us. Not just politely checking us out. Staring at us. Like boring holes in us. It was creepy. Patrick's grandma started to become concerned that they were related to our case and they were a surprise witness who would want to take our kids away from us. I told her that they were just paranoid that we were surprises witnesses who wanted to take their kids away from them.

Then, there was a dad who came in from prison. He was handcuffed and wearing a bright orange suit. When he came into the area, a police officer yelled for everyone to get out of the way. He was there for his children's case and had to be escorted in to a side door. Then, he came out and the officer yelled for us to get out of the way. That didn't feel very safe, to say the least.

Then, a younger woman came in for her case. She was talking to her friend about some program that she was being forced to enter. She learned from her friend that you get fed there and can bring a DVD player, but if you want snacks that you have to pay for them with your own money.

This was shocking to the young woman. Pay for your own snacks?

She literally kept saying this over and over. She said, "So, we have to pay for our food with our cash? With our own money? We have to pay for our own snacks?".

When her wise, experienced friend told her that it was true that she would have to pay for her own snacks, she was shocked. She told him that she would get back on her food stamps, but she couldn't even believe that she "had to pay for her food with cash".

While we didn't get the outcome that we wanted, we received quite an education today. The most important lesson I learned was that sometimes you gotta pay for your own food with cash.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


On Wednesday, we have a court hearing for Patrick. It's a hearing regarding his mom's rights. If the judge decides to terminate her rights, we could proceed with adopting him and he could be "officially" ours by the end of this year. What will probably happen is that the judge will continue our case and we will wait for the next hearing before a real decision is made.

I feel more at peace about this court hearing than I have ever felt before. I don't really mind if it's continued, because I feel like it's just a waiting game now. However, it would be really awesome, if the judge ruled in our favor on Wednesday.

Termination of rights sounds painful, doesn't it? I feel bad for his biological mother. She has had a rough time and doesn't really have a fighting chance of getting these boys back. That doesn't make me want to give up my Pat Pat at all,but I do feel bad for her.

We spoke to a foster class on Saturday. All of the parents there were so cute and excited and I hope we didn't scare them away from the process of fostering. They asked us if we would consider fostering again. We stuttered and ummmmm'ed our way to "we don't know".

It's been a relatively easy roller coaster ride and there are so many more babies out there who need homes. But, who knows what God has in store for us next? Maybe a break? Maybe more? I don't know. Steven is getting pretty old! :)

I'm so grateful for our Patrick. He's a mess and crazy and so active and I couldn't love him more than a baby that I carried for 9 months.

So, please pray for our judge on Wednesday. I'm praying for a fast, easy ruling and a HUGE celebration for Patrick becoming part of our family.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lunch ideas

Maggie starts school in about a week and a half. This is the first year that she will be taking her lunch to school everyday. I need help!

She is not a huge fan of sandwiches. So, I need some creative ideas about what to fix for lunch. My mom used to put soup and spaghetti in my Strawberry Shortcake thermos, so we bought a cute short thermos for hot foods.

What are some things that are good for lunch? I'm trying to get it organized before school starts.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bananas on my feet

Patrick is obsessed with bananas. He would like to eat about 3 of them a day. I have to ration his consumption to about 1 or 2 a day. Cause, you know, I believe in moderation.

He eats them in his high chair in the kitchen. He has also recently discovered the fun of feeding Willie from his high chair. Patrick throws down a piece of cheese or meat from his chair and Willie gobbles it up. Willie thinks this is an awesome new game and Patrick laughs and laughs!

Patrick usually has 1 or 2 chunks of banana left on his high chair tray. He tries to throw it down to Willie, but Willie's not a big fan of bananas. So, they sit under the high chair.

So, about 2 times a day, I step on a piece of gooey banana. It's a disgusting feeling. You would think that I would clean up the banana off the floor as soon as I saw it. But, I forget. I forget that there is banana on the floor and I'm moving the high chair to get to the living room and I do it again.

Stupid bananas on my feet.