Sunday, April 24, 2011

I Heart Faces Challenge- Pets

I love this photo of Klondike. You would think with a name like that and being a husky that she could handle some snow. She was willing to brave the snow for a snack (which is what is in her mouth), but notice she closes her eyes on the way back. Can you tell we live in Texas? Too funny. She is one of the sweetest dogs I have ever been around!

For more great photos, check out I Heart Faces

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mom Tried It Photo Challenge- Family

Flowers have the sun, Children have their mothers

Fabulous Friday Challenge

I am so excited! Getting this notification made my week! My first challenge to make it in the top 5. Woohoo!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Why the Day AFTER my Birthday is just as Special...

I am so fortunate to be in a family that cherishes birthdays! Growing up an only child, my birthday was always very special to my parents. They still play the same old "My name is Zoom, and I live on the Moon- Hey Heather it's your birthday"cassette tape. I imagine there is no stopping them at this point. I have lived through high school with my friends hearing this childish song, through meeting my husband and him hearing this childish song, and now my school age children are learning the Zoom song. It really is a lot of fun.

Not only does my nuclear family cherish birthdays, but my extended family celebrates monthly for all birthdays that occurred within that month. You can count on good food, good desserts, lots of children running around (most adopted through the foster care system-which I love), and the most OFF-Tune Birthday song you have ever heard. I have some family members that love to sing and have beautiful voices. We all sing our own version at the same time. It's great to watch new family members arrive and watch their faces as they hear the most OFF-Tune Birthday song ever. It's almost a right-of-passage into our family.

This year I am reminded that April 18th is just as special as April 17th for me. On this day, I had my first date with my husband of 11 1/2 years (you learn to report time in this manner when you have a 6 1/2 and 7 1/2 year old). I still remember him coming to pick me up for our first date to the theatre. After 11 years, it is easy to forget what attracted you to each other. It is easy to let the stress of children and life become a barrier into your relationship. Each year, I ask one favor of Ben on our anniversary and my birthday. I want him to shave whatever facial hair he has grown, so I can remember the man I married. For those of you that don't know my husband, he has a talent with growing facial hair overnight, and he likes a wide variety of designs of facial fur. It's quite unique! 
On this day, I am cherishing the man I married in 1999~

Uh, oh...the cherished man just realized his picture was taken. Quick, where is my daughter??? No, honey, really just taking a picture of the flowers you just planted. By the way, that look says "I love you, and you are crazy!"

NOT ONLY did I connect with my husband on April 18th, but Annie was placed in our home on April 18th. We had met Annie before this day, but it took awhile before our home study and placement were matched with her. We learned early on that placements through CPS were nothing but unpredictable! She was living with a great set of foster-only parents, who loved her dearly. In her mind, and in ours, they are like an additional set of grandparents. This was the day the social worker brought her to live with us. I will never forget this day. When you have a child come to live with you, it forever changes your life. We have parented 6 children. We are only parenting 2 of those children now. It is so awkward to have a child you know nothing about come to live with you, when you know nothing about the routines they are used to. You don't know what they like to eat, you don't know their bedtime routine, and not to mention how awkward the first bath is (in particular toddlers). Annie was placed in our home when she was 9 mo old. I remember those days as being days of comforting. She had such a hard time with the change in primary caregivers. She cried for days, and I held her close for days. I think we will always have a special bond from those days!
She brings such joy to our family. She is my family!

Two of my favorite people came into my life on April 18th, and I know it is more than a coincidence!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Italian Chicken, Cheese, & Herb Casserole

I was inspired to create a meal when I saw the Philadelphia Cream Cheese flavoring in the grocery store. For this meal, I used the Italian Cheese & Herb (hence the made up title).

For more great flavors, please check Philadelphia Cream Cheese. They have great recipes! 

What I used for our meal:
-1lb. chicken
-1 package of frozen veggies (thought I would use two, but ran out of room in the skillet)
-1 package of penne noodles (I used gluten free, b/c I am willing to try anything to reduce hyperactivity)
-Philadelphia Cream Cheese- Italian Cheese & Herb
-Parmesan Cheese
-Panko bread crumbs (which I added at the last minute, b/c that's the kind of chef I am, ha...)

Step 1: Cook your chicken. While you are cooking your chicken, boil your noodles. (I decided not to take an exciting picture of boiling noodles, you can thank me later)

Step 2: Add your frozen vegetables, while continuing to turn over your chicken. I lowered the heat and used the lid to help the vegetables cook w/o burning the chicken.
Step 3: Combine your noodles, vegetables & chicken into your baking dish.
Step 4: Add your cream cheese and mix throughout.
Step 5: Add your Parmesan cheese. I used approx. 3/4 cup-1 cup. Really just used the remainder in the bag.

Step 6: Once you have mixed all of your ingredients together, you sprinkle your Panko bread crumbs over the top of your casserole and bake at 350 for approx. 20 min.

Hope you enjoy. Max rated this a 10, so it must be good, right???

Foto Friday- Old

This fan has been passed down in our family to my dad. Loved taking an old fan and using it in this exercise. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I Heart Faces Challenge- Shadows

Annie is all girl! She loved going on our evening walk dressed as a butterfly. Every bug she saw was following her or talking to her. Loved the sweet shadow following her as well!

 Check out I Heart Faces for more great entries

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Fabulous Friday Challenge

I love this photo of Max. He is such a "ham" when he wants to be. 

Mom Tried It Photo Challenge- Texture

This airport caught my attention driving on a small road to a home visit for my place of employment. The airport is small and personal just as the sign shows. I love this sign. Hope you enjoy this small brick airport sign!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

I am so excited to find more inspiring blogs through this party! I have never heard of this before, but I am relatively new to the blogging world. I learn something new every week from visiting other blogs. I am inspired by the creativity of others!

A little about me: 

I'm Heather and this is my husband, Ben, of 11 long happy years. We love to travel, but have slowed down since becoming parents. We have two wonderful children- Max (7 yrs.) and Annie (6 yrs.. Both of our children have special needs, and I work in the field of Special Education. My life is full of laughter, joy, tears, and struggles. I work very hard to make sure I have a lot more laughter than tears.

We became a family through adoption in the CPS foster care system. We have parented 6 different children through this journey. My hat is off to anyone that can live a life of fostering children for a long period of time. It is heartbreaking!

In addition to traveling, I enjoy photography, cooking, being crafty, and hanging out with my friends and family. I created my blog to join in photography challenges and have started sharing more and more as I learn from others. SO, this baby blog is growing each week. 

Hope you enjoy reading my growing blog, and I can't wait to find more blogs to "Follow". Feel free to become a follower of "Oh, the Places You'll Go"

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mom Tried It Photo Challenge- Laughter

I instantly thought of this photo opportunity when I saw the challenge "laughter". When you put this two sweet cousins together and ask them to share secrets, you are bound to get a good laugh. This was so much fun! 

Fabulous Friday Challenge

 A photo from our evening walk with the family~

Sopapilla Cheesecake

I had this magnificent dessert the other day at work. It is great warm or cold. Either way, you will enjoy every bite!

For the printable version of this recipe, check out:

What do you need: sugar, 2 cans of crescent rolls, butter, 3 packages of cream cheese, vanilla, and cinnamon. Can you tell I am a big fan of Target?

Step 1: mix the sugar, vanilla and cream cheese together. This is probably the most difficult process of this recipe. I thought I was going to blow out the motor to my 1960's Good Will hand-mixer.

Step 2: Spread one can of crescents on the bottom of your pan. The recipe states to roll it out, but let's get real. It's really not necessary. Spread your cream cheese mixture on top of the crescents.

Step 3: Add your top level of crescents. Pour the melted butter on top.

Step 4: Mix your remaining sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the crescents.

Step 5: So...I am thinking it stayed in 5 minutes a little too long. But, it does not taste burnt. It was a hit with my children. Max gave it an 11 on a scale of 1-10. I always have each member of the family rate the new item. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes (or a little less). 

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. Again, for the exact amounts of the ingredients needed, please check out the website above.