Tag Archives: adoption

The Best Gift I Can Give

As we come to the close of the day on this Christmas Eve, I’ve come across many things the last few days speaking to me about the difference in presents vs. presence.  The last couple years, we as a family have been more focused on experiential gifts and being in each others presence, rather than tangible gifts.  Don’t get me wrong, we still give and receive presents, but not on the scale we have in the past.  I love making memories with my family;  it’s, in my opinion, the best gift I can give.  And it’s not just being physically present, but mentally present as well.  I’m guilty of being out with my family and being physically present, but my mind is on the proverbial “moms list” of things that need to be done or even worse having my nose in my phone.

My continued goal for the new year is to be more present with my family.  I’m slowing learning that laundry can wait and dishes will eventually get done, but my son will only be two for a couple more months and my husband deserves my attention when he’s home.

I try to keep this quote in mind:  Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” – Mother Teresa

I also saw this Holiday To-Do List on Facebook yesterday that I just had to share.

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From my family to yours, I hope that you have a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday and wish you many blessings as we move into 2015.  See you next year!

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If you have thought about supporting us during our adoption journey, please take a moment to visit our fundraising page.  No amount is too small or to large, $5 to $5000 to help a family bring home our baby girl.  All donations are tax-deductible through the Adopt Together website.  www.adopttogether.org/babygeiger

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Leftover Remake (1)

When I first left corporate America to be a full-time stay at home mom, I wasn’t the best cook.  Who am I kidding, I didn’t even like to cook.  I could throw a few things together and try to keep us from eating out all the time, but it wasn’t pretty.  The first couple months I started scouring the internet to find meals that my family would enjoy and even took to cable to find a cooking show that could help.  I mean it’s not like my mom didn’t try to teach me how to cook…I just wasn’t interested at the time.  Ask her she’ll tell you!

The first couple shows I started watching were repeats of “$10 Dollar Dinners” hosted by Melissa D’Arabian and “Semi-Homemade” hosted by Sandra Lee on Food Network.  Granted this was before I started moving us away from so much processed food stuff, but it helped me get started and showed me useful ways to make an almost completely different meal out of left overs.  It was a great help to a newly single-family income trying to eat on a much smaller budget.

So let me tell you about this dinner we had.  My husbands department had a Christmas lunch at work last week and he signed up to bring dressing and gravy because no one else had.  Normally I would have made at least the dressing from scratch, but I just ran out of time.  I found a really great organic stuffing mix at Sprouts so I thought I would try that.  I added sauteed celery and green onions and homemade cream of mushroom soup and baked the stuffing in the oven.  I also used a jar of turkey gravy and added extra stuff to that as well.

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Why I’m I telling you this…well even though people hadn’t signed up, there was more dressing at the luncheon than could be eaten so we had more than half a pan of stuffing left that I didn’t want to go to waste.  I’m not even sure what to call this, but my husband described it as the ultimate comfort food that he could graze on all day.  Now I take that as a super big compliment!! 🙂

So here’s what I did.  I took left over gravy and crumbled the stuffing into a large mixing bowl, added a bag of slightly thawed frozen mixed vegetables and a can of chicken and enough chicken broth to make it moist.  Mix this together with your cheese of choice; my husband requested Monterey Jack cheese this time.  Pop in the oven on 375 degrees for about 30 minutes until the cheese is melted and the top is golden brown.  It was delish!!

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Over the past couple months of having my blog, one of the hardest things I’ve discovered is trying to take decent pictures of casseroles.  They look like mush on the plate and all together unappetizing in a picture.  It’s a good thing they are so yummy when you take a bite!

I’d love to hear from other bloggers how you take something that looks like mush and make it look so wonderful.

As we come closer to the end of 2014, I want to say a special thank you to friends and family and strangers that have reached out to me to inquire about of adoption journey.  I love sharing our story with people in hopes to encourage others to consider adopting a child.  Although it can be a stressful journey, it is one of the most beautiful journeys.  Without it, I wouldn’t have my beautiful son.

If you have thought about supporting us during our adoption journey, please take a moment to visit our fundraising page.  No amount is too small or to large, $5 to $5000 to help a family bring home our baby girl.  All donations are tax-deductible through the Adopt Together website.  www.adopttogether.org/babygeiger

If you are enjoying the blog, please consider clicking on the ‘follow’ button and you will receive an email each time a post is made.  I also welcome any comments and will respond as quickly as possible.  And always feel free to share recipes with your friends and family on social media!

My 21st Century Life – part 1

Last night I came to a heart breaking conclusion…my baby is not a baby anymore.  Ok, so that might be a little dramatic considering he’s only 2 1/2 years old, but over the past several months we’ve made several transitions from life with a baby / toddler to life with a big boy.

Our first transition was from our crib to our big boy bed.  Since Caleb has a love for all things Cars (Pixar Movie), we bought him a Cars bed.  We quickly learned there was a chance Caleb had not been sleeping through the night in his crib like we thought.

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After a month of no one in the house getting much sleep, we discovered that he “travels” in the bed at night when he sleeps and the cute little Car bed just wasn’t going to cut it.  We’ve since moved on to a full sized bed complete with a headboard and of course Cars bedding.

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As you’ve probably seen in some of my previous posts, we are in the process of adopting another baby.  We’ve continued our transition from baby Caleb to big boy Caleb by removing the rocking chair from his room and adding in his very own dresser (sans the changing table) and yes (no comments please :)) he has a TV where of course he watches his favorite movie Cars 2.  Although I’m pleased to say we are expanding our kids movie likes and now enjoy watching The Incredibles, Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2, and on occasion we can throw in some How to Train Your Dragon.

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Needless to say our “baby” is growing up and mommy is still trying to figure out how to slow time down.  People would always tell me before we had kids that time seems to go by so much faster, a fact I didn’t realize until we had kids of our own.

With all that being said, we are slowing getting things put together for the arrival of baby sister.  Although we’ve been talking about this with Caleb, I’m sure he won’t understand the full meaning of that until she’s actually here.  No new news to report on the adoption front.  Once you are accepted into the program, then comes the waiting.  In the mean time, people are always asking us what they can do to help.  Here’s what you can do.

  • Prayer.  If you are someone who prays, will you pray for us, for our family, for our future birthmom and for the child she is carrying and considering placing for adoption. Pray that our process will go quickly and smoothly.
  • Encouragement. Check-in with us. Help us to remember what the work and wait are for.
  • Financial. We are working to raise $25,000 to cover the costs (agency fees, legal fees, social workers, etc) involved with bringing our daughter into our family.  If you have the financial means to support our adoption, no amount is too small or too big; $5 to $5,000 – any and all funds will help!  100% of your financial support will go toward our adoption costs, thanks to Adopt Together. You can contribute by going to: www.adopttogether.org/babygeiger.  We have partnered with this great organization, Adopt Together, which is a non-profit specifically created to help families like ours raise the funds needed for adoption. They are an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) organization and donations are tax deductible.

We are beyond grateful to all those that have donated and helped us to reach just over $1600.  Such a blessing!!

Fresh vs Canned

Over the past year I’ve been working to eliminate the amount of items we buy in a can. We’ve all heard about the nasties that can be in aluminum cans that can then get into your food.

My favorite thing I’ve changed is refried beans. Buying beans in bulk is cheaper than reaching for the can and you can control what’s in your food. I’ll share with you how I make my refried beans and then my favorite thing to do with them after.

Here’s what you need:
1 medium onion,peeled and quartered
3 cups dried pinto beans, rinsed
3 garlic cloves,minced
1 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
7 cups Water

Directions:
Add all ingredients to a crock pot and cook for 8 hours on low. Remove the beans and mash, adding water from the crock pot a little at a time until the beans are as smooth as you like them.

Now for the fun part. I like to take homemade refried beans and make baked bean and cheese taquitos with them.

Take 1 cup of beans and add the following:

1/2 tsp each cumin, chili powder, salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Chopped fresh cilantro

You can use corn or flour tortillas for your taquitos. I had some bigger wheat flour tortillas I needed to use up so I cut mine in half to use. Spread a thin layer of beans and top with shredded cheese. Roll and put in a baking dish. Spray the top with a little olive oil. Bake in the oven on 425 for 15-20 minutes until the tops are crispy. You can serve with salsa, sour cream, guacamole, whatever you like!

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I didn’t get to take a picture of the finished yummy since my family dove right into them 🙂

These can be made in batches and frozen for a quick lunch another day.

I’d love it if you would leave a comment on things that you no longer eat from a can but make homemade!

I’m off to celebrate this week with my family. I’ll be back with you next week!!

http://www.adopttogether.org/babygeiger

Happy birthday mom!

It’s been a couple days since I posted because I’ve been working on a special birthday surprise for my mom.

One of moms guilty pleasures use to be a Hostess Snoball. Since Hostess was bought by another company, the recipe is just not the same. So when I asked mom what she wanted for her birthday,she said a good tasting Snoball was all she needed. So that’s been my goal the last few days to find a comparable homemade recipe.

Although I was able to find several recipes, this is the one I choose. Thanks to From Away for the recipe.

It’s definitely not the marshmallow texture on the outside as the original but the taste is spot on.

Here’s a couple of pictures from my baking process. I had fun making these and can’t wait to share them with my mom. Happy birthday mama!!!

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Adoption News:

We found out this past week that we have officially been accepted into the infant adoption program. We submitted our fee and are now eligible to be matched with a birth mom. What an exciting time for our family.

We have been greatly blessed by the prayers, encouragement and financial support from friends, family and complete strangers. If you would like to read more about our story please see my earlier blog posts or check out our fundraising page.

Adopt Together fundraising

For those celebrating next week from my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!!

A First for Me

My cooking and baking adventures started a little over a year and a half ago when I came home full time with my son. I’m typically a recipe conformist and follow it to a tee. I’ve tried on several occasions to branch out and tweek recipes I find, but they typically end up inedible.

So tonight I took a chance and tried it again…and voila SUCCESS!!!  Here’s what was left of it after my family got a hold of it 🙂

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I happened across a recipe on Facebook today (Original recipe:  https://www.facebook.com/TheNewHot899/photos/a.96216403705.86216.12759833705/10151510794968706/?type=1&fref=nf&pnref=story).  Here is my version I created tonight.

Ingredients:
1 pounds boneless, skinless chicken (I had a package in the freezer that contained a breast and 2 tenders)
1 large russet potato (I cut mine very small using this chopper)
Chopped broccoli (I chopped a partial head of broccoli, you could use froze, but thaw and warm before adding)
Olive oil
salt
black pepper
paprika
garlic powder
hot sauce (I used Frank’s and only in the chicken marinade)

Topping:
Colby jack cheese
Crumbled bacon
Diced green onion

I didn’t include any measurements because I just mixed in ingredients to what my families taste are.  Use your judgement and the likes of those who you are cooking for.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Spray a 9X13″ baking dish with cooking spray. In a bowl mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Add the potatoes and stir together. Scoop out the potatoes and leave the marinade in the bowl.  Bake the potatoes for 30 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking, add the cubed chicken to the bowl with the left over olive oil mixture, adding hot sauce to taste, and stir to coat. If your chicken is not coated well, add additional olive oil and spices.  Once the potatoes are fully cooked, remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 400 degrees. Layer the chopped broccoli and then the raw marinated chicken on top of the potatoes. In another bowl mix together the cheese and bacon and cover the chicken.  Top with green onions and return the casserole to the oven.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the topping is bubbly delicious.

I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure this recipe could be further tweeked with different vegetables or maybe even a homemade cream of “something” soup.  Once I started taking the time to read food labels, I haven’t used a can of this stuff in more than a year.  This recipe is fairly simple and can be made with organic ingredients.  Highly recommended, especially for the upcoming holiday season where several family favorite recipes call for this soup.

I’m including a completely random picture of my son.  This made me happy tonight.  There’s nothing cuter than a boy and his dog.  Especially when said boy wants to cuddle with the dog on the dog bed and the dog just wants to go to bed!

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Adoption News:
We got an update today that our fingerprint clearances came back last Friday.  One more step closer to being able to start the matching process to bring home a daughter to add to our little family.  As I’ve mentioned, if you would like to hear about our adoption story or support us during our journey, please click the link.  www.adopttogether.org/babygeiger

So Thankful

We are visiting our second home and family this weekend for our next to last home football game of the season. I was surprised when I realized I hadn’t mentioned this before, but my husband and I are proud members of the Fightin Texas Aggies Classes of ’02 and ’04 (Texas A&M University). We are very proud of our alma mater and we spend a great deal of time there especially now that part of our family lives there as well.

Our Caleb loves to be helpful to others, whether it’s helping mommy make cookies in the kitchen or helping his Gigi feed the dog.

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When we adopted Caleb two and a half years ago, I never realized how truly our lives would be changed. He has such a personality and a kind little heart. A couple weeks ago in his gymnastics class there was a little girl in his class that was very upset and he went to her and gave her a hug and sat with her to comfort and help her feel better. It was such a precious moment.

I think when we get into the holiday season it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of things. But it’s so important especially as a parent to a little one to make sure that we are taking time out to be grateful and thankful. Kids are such sponges that they take in everything they see so it’s important for us to be the best examples they see. Whether that be giving at church or helping/supporting a charity or giving your time and talents to those in need. The lessons they learn early on will carry with them all the rest of their lives.

Every year we work with our church and another church to support an Angel tree. This is a way that we can help out local school children and their families in our community who are in need. This year our family has chosen a little boy the same age as Caleb and I’m looking forward to sharing this with him when we go to purchase clothes and toys for this little boy. I want to instill in him a giving heart and how we can take our many blessings that we have and to bless others.

I’d love to hear from you about any traditions that you and your family have that you do each year.

www.adopttogether.org/babygeiger