A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Hannah Day, 3 years later

She was so brave.  Just a little crying as we left the civil affairs office that day.  I didn't really get it at the time.  Just how brave she was.  To go with funny looking strangers who didn't even speak her language.  To trust the director who asked us, "What is her new name?" and then turned to Hannah and said, "You're 'Hannah' now.  When your mama says, 'Hannah,' or your baba says, 'Hannah,' you say, 'Yes mama! Yes baba!' " 

Our first night together.  No crying.  

Throughout our amazing trip in China, we gradually saw her personality peek out.  

She ate well, slept well, smiled and laughed.  

We had no idea how lucky we were.

In the last 3 years, Hannah has changed so much, and yet, she's still the same brave, spunky little girl we met in Nanjing.  

She's learned new things.

Gone on field trips.

Put up with mama giving her goofy hairstyles.

Learned to love and be loved.

And gone off to school.

Sometimes all the change is exhausting!

I am always so impressed with I step back from the everyday and think about how far she's come.  

She's so much a part of our family that I forget.

I forget that she wasn't always here, excited to be part of what's going on.  

As we celebrate milestones like the first day of school, I sometimes remember.

And I think of all that her birth family is missing out on.

But most of the time, she's just my daughter.  

The single most resilient person I know.  Who handled amputation surgery like a champ, and never complains or uses her handicap as an excuse.  

And so it is that our Hannah Day totally escaped my notice.

I actually forgot.  Bad mom.  

It wasn't until I saw a family that we traveled with mention it on facebook that I realized...

Oh yeah.  

She's only been with us 3 of her 6 years.  

Oh yeah.  

This girl that I love to pieces

Who makes me laugh

And readily forgives me when I'm a rotten mom

Came to us differently than the older kids.  

3 years in

I can say with certainty, 

it doesn't matter a bit.

She's mine now.

And yeah, I get that she is not "all" mine, and I will support her in any way I can as she gets older and starts to explore that part of her.  But I know my unstoppable girl.  And I know that she will continue to bounce back from whatever life throws at her.  From even before we met her, that's who she is.  

I get to be her Mommy.  I'm the lucky one.  

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I did a post comparing Honest Co diapers and Seventh Generation diapers here.  I originally expected it to be more expensive to have diapers delivered, but that turned out to not be the case for us.

You may be saying, "Wait, I thought you used cloth diapers?"  We do, about half the time.  Since I have 2 in diapers, and another child who wears a pull up at night, the Honest Company bundle for one works great for us.  We get one pack of pull ups and 5 packs of diapers, plus the included wipes.

One of the features I love about our Honest Company diaper bundle is that if I'm using more cloth, and we're not ready for another bundle yet, I just push the delivery date back.  You get a reminder email before the bundles ship.  When this comes, I check my stock and decided if we're ready or not.  I can easily select a future date on the website.  I can also change my pattern selections.  They've got some cute new ones.

If you do both the diaper bundle and the essential bundle, you get free shipping.  Honestly, (no pun intended) this was the reason why I tried the essentials bundle.  Turns out, I've liked the products.  We've tried the laundry pods, the dishwasher pods, the dish soap, the shampoo & conditioner, the rinse agent, and more.  Actually, I was putting the healing balm on Annaliese's dry, cracked hands last night.  It's good stuff.

It's really nice to not ever have to make a mad dash to the store for diapers.  Especially this time of year, when stores are so crazy.  One less thing on the to do list is always good, right?

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Our favorite after Thanksgiving turkey recipe

Many families have leftover turkey in the fridge today.  I thought now would be a good time to share with you our family's favorite leftover turkey recipe:  Turkey Enchilada Casserole!  

It's a simple recipe (all my recipes are simple, I don't have the patience for complex!) and one that's easy to make with "helpers" in the kitchen.  

Take a 9x13 pan, spray the bottom with non-stick spray, and have one of your helpers tear up flour tortillas.  Layer tortilla pieces on the bottom of the pan.  Then cut turkey into small pieces and place a layer of turkey over the tortillas.  

Drizzle green enchilada sauce over the turkey, then sprinkle generously with jack cheese.  (Variation:  if your family likes spicy, you could use part pepper jack.)  

Add another layer of tortilla pieces, then another layer of turkey, then another layer of sauce, then another layer of cheese.  If it's tall enough for you, add sliced olives to the top.  If it's not tall enough yet, repeat all layers, and then add the sliced olives.  

Your turkey is already cooked, so you're really just melting the cheese and merging the flavors together.  I use a 350* oven, but if you're already cooking something else, you can put it in at whatever temperature the oven is at and just watch it to see when the cheese is melted.  

Once it's all melty, take it out and let it sit for a while to solidify, otherwise it will be Turkey Enchilada Soup (which doesn't sound half bad, actually).  The presentation is supposed to be somewhat lasagna like in appearance.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream on top.  

Bon appetit!  

Linking up with:  

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And the winner is....

Wednesday, we got to draw a name for The First Christmas Night book.

Eli is mixing all the names in a bucket.

I told him, "Hold it up high so she can't see into it."  Might be a little bit of overkill on Eli's part.

That's more reasonable.

And the winner is....

Joy2bMom!  Please contact me with your address by Saturday, as specified in the original post, or I will have to pass the prize on to our back up winner.  I want to be sure the book arrives at it's destination before Christmas!  

While you're here, feel free to enter our other giveaways!  
The Otter, The Spotted Frog & The Great Flood - children's book (If you tried to enter this one and had a problem, I've replaced the Tomoson widget with a Rafflecopter one, so it's working now!)
and watch for new giveaways coming soon, including cosmetics and essential oils!

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