Have you ever thought of yourself as an advocate? Project HOPEFUL believes in you and invites you to partner with us as an advocate for orphans with HIV/AIDS. There are an abundance of opportunities for you to make your mark on a child’s life in a positive way. Read More
I have a week home with the kids for Thanksgiving holiday and I want to tackle some new books- novels, fiction or non-fiction… I want to know what you are reading. Share the title and why you love your favorite book in the comments.
Top Bestseller List
Top 5 at a Glance
1. TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT, by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
2. THE CONFESSION, by John Grisham
3. INDULGENCE IN DEATH, by J. D. Robb
4. THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST, by Stieg Larsson
5. AMERICAN ASSASSIN, by Vince Flynn
Top 5 at a Glance
1. LIFE, by Keith Richards with James Fox
2. BROKE, by Glenn Beck and Kevin Balfe
3. UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS, by Portia de Rossi
4. EARTH (THE BOOK), by Jon Stewart and others
5. ME, by Ricky Martin
Top 5 at a Glance
1. HAPPY EVER AFTER, by Nora Roberts
2. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, by Stieg Larsson
3. THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, by Stieg Larsson
4. LITTLE BEE, by Chris Cleave
5. CUTTING FOR STONE, by Abraham Verghese
Top 5 at a Glance
1. THE LOST SYMBOL, by Dan Brown
2. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, by Stieg Larsson
3. THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, by Stieg Larsson
4. SOUTHERN LIGHTS, by Danielle Steel
5. DEEPER THAN THE DEAD, by Tami Hoag
Top 5 at a Glance
1. EAT, PRAY, LOVE, by Elizabeth Gilbert
2. INSIDE OF A DOG, by Alexandra Horowitz
3. THE GLASS CASTLE, by Jeannette Walls
4. THREE CUPS OF TEA, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
5. STONES INTO SCHOOLS, by Greg Mortenson
Top 5 at a Glance
1. BAREFOOT CONTESSA: HOW EASY IS THAT?, by Ina Garten
2. DOUBLE DELICIOUS, by Jessica Seinfeld
3. GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS 2011, edited by Craig Glenday
4. CAKE BOSS, by Buddy Valastro
5. THE TATTOO CHRONICLES, by Kat Von D with Sandra Bark
Top 5 at a Glance
1. RACHAEL RAY’S LOOK AND COOK, by Rachael Ray
2. THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES, by Gary Chapman
3. WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING, by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
4. EAT THIS, NOT THAT! 2011, by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding
5. CRAZY LOVE, by Francis Chan with Danae Yankoski
Top 5 at a Glance
1. LLAMA LLAMA HOLIDAY DRAMA, written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney
2. FABULOUS FASHION BOUTIQUE, by Jane O’Connor
3. KNUFFLE BUNNY FREE, written and illustrated by Mo Willems
4. HEADS, written and illustrated by Matthew Van Fleet
5. LEGO STAR WARS, by Simon Beecroft
I raced to Target this morning to buy hot off the press People Magazine!!!! I ripped through the pages and found what I was looking for… a 5 PAGE SPREAD about the Twietmeyer family (Kiel & Carolyn and their 13 amazing children) It was a little embarrassing blubbering through the check out line, but I’m just soooo proud of this crazy family! I asked Carolyn to share a little about why they decided to tell their adoption story to the world.
My CRAZY printing company rocks simply love! It was so much fun visiting my printing company and see firsthand how graphic tee shirts are born. I had no idea how much team work went into printing shirts and the gifts, talents and passion it takes to create a beautiful design.
I love finding awesome Mommy DIY activities. Here are 11 crazy ways to make a turkey gobble with your kids this Thanksgiving holiday. This post is full of fun, arts, crafts, recipes and craziness!! I want to know what you plan on making?
My family is coming to town for Thanksgiving and we have some fun crafts planned for the kids. Zoie and Annie will love making these adorable glowbirds with help from their big sisters. If each cousin makes a glowbird- we’ll have a table full of the crazy gobblers glowing bright for Thanksgiving dinner.
Create a flock of these bright votive holders: they’re a great project for kids and, filled with battery-operated tea lights, a luminous addition to your table.
- Hot glue
- Glue gun
- 1 1/4-inch wooden doll head (available at craft stores)
- Small glass bubble votive holder (ours is 4 inches wide by 3 1/2 inches high)
- Mod Podge
- Tissue paper
- Tacky glue
- Apply a dab of hot glue from a glue gun to the wooden doll head. Then adhere the head to the votive holder.
- Brush Mod Podge over the head and body, then cover them with overlapping tissue paper scraps. Apply another Mod Podge layer and let it dry for at least 45 minutes.
- To make the tail feathers, cut 9- by 2-inch strips of tissue paper, bend each in half without creasing it, then twist the ends together. Use a dollop of tacky glue to attach each feather to the body.
- Cut a beak from a double layer of yellow tissue and affix it with tacky glue. Add two beads for eyes. Cut a long oval of red tissue, twist one end, and affix it as a wattle. Allow the turkey to dry.
- Look for more fun Thanksgiving crafts on My Crazy Adoption Blog on Monday … 11 ways to make a turkey gobble!
Help… the winter has caused Zoie’s curly hair to be extra dry. What is your favorite leave in conditioner or creme to keep things soft all day? Leave your suggestions in the comments. Thank you moms!
I’m sooo not a hair care professional, but I learn a lot about Zoie’s curls and coils reading Happy Girl Hair Blog. This crazy hair guru blogger mentions co-washing in many posts, but I had no idea what she meant, so Mr. Awesome googled it last week. I was surprised to learn I had been doing it all along and it’s really good for Zoie’s hair. I thought it would be fun to have a little hair competition and find out what your favorite products are for curls, swirls, straight, thick, frizzy or wavy hair. God gave all our darlings a unique crown of beauty! I love mom’s advice about hair care. I want to always be open to stretch and grow… just like sweet Zoie’s curly hair!
Zoie’s hair in the morning- dry, mushed up curls.
It’s a good Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Day.
Here’s what I found out about co-washing… I do this weekly on Zoie’s hair.
What is Co-washing? Co-washing hair means to “use conditioner instead of shampoo to wash hair. One would think that skipping the shampoo step when washing hair would leave it dirty, but the truth is that there is a small amount of detergent in hair conditioner.”
How do You Co-Wash Hair: To co-wash hair, you would “wet your hair in the same way as you do before you wash it with shampoo. Then you need to massage a liberal amount of conditioner into the scalp. Massage the scalp for several minutes. Next, you would put a plastic cap on your hair and take your shower while you let the conditioner sit. Finally, rinse out the conditioner thoroughly.”
What kind of conditioner do you use?
I juggle these 3 conditioners on Zoie’s hair- co-washing weekly, that make her curls soft and bouncy and smell beautiful. You can purchase the products right here on My Crazy Adoption Boutique (right side bar column) or click here-
Here are four reason why I love co-washing Zoie’s hair:
- Keeps Princess Z’s hair moisturized.
- Keeps her scalp clean.
- I can clean her hair all week without drying out her curls.
- Helps retain her growth by keeping hair moisturized.
I never brush Zoie’s curly hair when it’s dry- always moisturize with products before brushing or detangling.
I keep a wonderful supply of different hair products that I simply love. Breeze through My Crazy Adoption Boutique and purchase a few of my favorite things.
I simply love these Jojoba oils:
Zoie’s curls freshly co-washed and adorable in box braids & poofy pigtails!! I rinsed out all the conditioner thoroughly and put jojoba oil and organic shea butter leave-in conditioner (I am just learning how to braid Zoie’s hair) but went a little crazy and put too much in for the photo… oops!
I have bloggy friends that have adopted all over the world… what hair products do you love & why and what country did you adopt from ? I have soooo much to learn- a life long student of Zoie’s beautiful hair.
“This tortilla soup tastes better than anything you can get at a restaurant. And it’s healthy too! Don’t let the long list of ingredients fool you. All you do is dump everything into the slow cooker and walk away. Garnish with grated Cheddar, avocados, and a splash of fresh lime juice.”
- 1 pound shredded, cooked chicken
- 1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
- 1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups water
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 7 corn tortillas
- vegetable oil
- Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in water and chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in corn and cilantro. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Cut tortillas into strips, then spread on a baking sheet.
- Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. To serve, sprinkle tortilla strips over soup.
Webster defines beauty as, “qualities that give pleasure to the senses or exalt the mind.” If someone were to ask you to name a “beautiful” woman – given the world’s standards of beauty – it would be a simple task. We can all think of women who by society’s definition would be deemed as beautiful. Every magazine, billboard, and commercial bombards our senses with images of beautiful women on a daily basis. Like many women, I wrestle with insecurities in the area of appearance, body image, and just measuring up. Read More
I’m sooo excited to personally introduce you to the 3 crazy missions trip winners!! God gave away 3 trips and hand picked these amazing women to travel to Ethiopia with Visiting Orphans in February 2011 to love and serve and minister to orphans. I’m truly overwhelmed by God’s passions and miracles… He really does make the WILDEST dreams come true! I asked each of them to share their feelings about winning the trip.
#1 Bridget Bowen:
I would first like to thank Kari for starting this amazing miracle. Even one year ago, I did not know Ethiopia would be so important to me. I always knew I wanted to adopt but had not planned out any of the details. This summer my husband and I started to process for adoption from Ethiopia. I soon learned how much Ethiopia and I needed each other. I feel truly blessed to have been picked for this trip. I have read books and studied pictures in hopes of understanding more about Ethiopia. Now I have been given the chance to visit this wonderful country. I do not think there is a better way to truly understand the culture.
I am so excited for this trip because I know that Ethiopia is going to give me and my husband an amazing gift of a daughter. I feel with this trip I can in a small way give back just a little to Ethiopia. I will also be able to share with our daughter all that I have learned about her country. Hopefully one day she and I can go on a mission trip together.
I am of course nervous that I will not be able to be helpful. I hope my training as a teacher will help to be able to spread God’s message. I have known for five days about this amazing adventure and I am just starting to process the true impact this will have on my life.
#2 Randi Shetley:
I have wanted to go on this February trip to Ethiopia since May. I even felt like I needed to go, that God wanted me there. But, things just weren’t working out like I thought they should.
I went to Ethiopia and Uganda in July with Kari Gibson on my first Visiting Orphans mission trip. I had been to Ethiopia 7 years before for our first international adoption of two beautiful Ethiopian children. I left a piece of my heart in that country. I had wanted to return ever since. When I heard Kari was leading a trip with VO in July, I whined (and whined, and whined) both to God and my husband that I wanted to go, too!! Finally, my husband looked me square in the eye and said, “Then why don’t you go?”. It floored me! I never thought I could actually GO?! My fund-raising started that day, and 3 months later, I was in Ethiopia with my BFF, Kari. (photo- Kari & Randi 10/31/08)
Kari told me she was going to have the opportunity to lead another trip in February with her hubby, Roger. I really wanted to go, but over and over and over again, my fund-raising ideas kept falling apart. I was able to raise a large part of my money for the July trip with letters to friends and donations. I did not feel it was right to ask the same people for money again so soon. With 5 kids in sports and school, I did not have time for a big fund-raising effort. About 3 months ago, I had a conversation with God. I told Him that I really wanted to go on this trip, but if it was His plan for me to go, He would have to take care of the money. I was tapped out and there was no way I could make it happen. I made a tearful call to Kari and told her I would not be going with her. As soon as that call ended, I felt peace. I figured that God would open other doors for me, and I knew I would be going back to Africa…just not in February.
Isn’t God funny! When I found out that Amanda picked MY name in Kari’s crazy Mission Trip Project, I was stunned! Then I laughed. God had a plan the whole time. He wanted to make sure I knew this was HIS plan, not mine. That He would fulfill the longing in my heart to go back to this beloved country. That He had my back, and His Plans are always so much better than mine!! Randi’s Blog
#3 Lori Smith:
(excerpt from her blog)
As Alicia Jordan reached into the pile of 573 entries to draw the 3rd and final name, Kari stopped her to mix up the entire pile. I told Ali, “What a bummer if she had her hand on YOUR entry, huh?!” She replied, “Yeah…it could have been YOURS!” I quipped, “Well, at least I would never know.”
There was this strange slow motion feeling as Kari read my name…as she sorta stumbled over my hometown…and I saw the look on Carolyn’s sweet face. I heard none of the tape after that….because – YES – you really cannot help but scream & cry & shake & laugh all at the same time….you even put your hands out in front of you, then bury your face in your hands in disbelief. Yup – I was totally lookin’ like a nutty contestant on the Price Is Right! Glad Bob Barker and his camera crew were NOT there to witness it.
Someone listened to a dream God gave them and made this happen. Someone listened to God’s prompting and added a 3rd person. These people and their incredible acts of faith have blessed me and will impact my life in ways I am sure I cannot begin to imagine. I take this sacrificial blessing very seriously. I am humbled and determined to yield myself to be used by God in amazing ways!
Oh…by the way….I did cry my eyes out in the shower because:
I Simply Could NOT Fully Grasp That God Had Just Hand Picked….ME!
We bounce over rough bare ground that our driver convinces us are actually roads. Now at a slower pace the crowds of people actually start to notice this large vehicle bounding along. I catch the eye of a young boy playing with a hoop and stick. Yes, running along pushing the hoop with a stick. Thoughts of time travel and Colonial Williamsburg flood my brain but then I catch his fascinated brown eyes. They grow wide into a fixed stare as they look deeply into mine. A wide smile emerges displaying his glowing white teeth as we move past. As my eyes leave his I see his mouth open and hear him shout at the top of his lungs “frenge! frenge! frenge!” This chant now follows us down the dusty road passed by the yells of children the chant traveling faster then we can traverse down these dusty paths. With a smirk our driver tells us they are chanting “white person, white person” and adds politely, “they don’t see many of you down here!” “We are definitely not in Lancaster County, PA anymore” I think as my mind drifts over the past two days.
Happy 17th Birthday Michael!!! I’m making your favorite dinner tonight- thanks for being the BEST son in the world!! We are so blessed to have you in our family… your spirit, laughter, courage, energy, heart and love for the Lord is a daily reminder of the gift God gave us 17 years ago!!
I’m one proud mom- watch my son LIVE on our local news- HS building a well in Ethiopia!!
This is hands down my family’s favorite Fall recipe. My son begs and pleads for Poppyseed Chicken on a weekly basis. I don’t know if it’s the combination of crunchy Ritz cracker crust and creamy chicken, but everything works together like magic.
- 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – diced
- 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
- 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cylinders Ritz crackers, crushed
- 1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- Preheat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Place the diced chicken breasts on the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish sprayed with a nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl combine the soups and sour cream. Pour or spoon mixture over the chicken. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top.
- Mix the poppy seeds and crushed crackers and sprinkle mixture over the chicken, salt and pepper. Drizzle the melted butter or margarine over the cracker/poppyseed layer and bake covered in the preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes (take cover off for the last 5 minutes). Let stand a few minutes before servings.
Please share your favorite Fall recipes [Linky] so we can celebrate the chilly weather together in blog land.
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The Crazy Patterson Family is GIVING AWAY for their adoption fundraiser- an iPod and camcorder video!!! Check out their blog and enter today!! They are raising funds for their travel to Taiwan!!!! Lets help:))
God chose 3 people to go on the Ethiopia Missions Trip in February 2011!! I have nooo idea how God picked the 3 blessed winners, but He is perfect in His ways!! This was a God ordained miracle!! I believe this is a divine appointment for …
“Oh, my goodness….where to start? This is SUCH a celebration in a long journey of God changing me and refining me and getting me to surrender to Him. I am so at peace with the craziness we are considering as a family right now. Carolyn knows our story. Adoption, disruption, a constant & confusing tug on my heart to go back….riddled with closed doors. We surrendered the dirt of our lives to God and He has been faithful to plant beautiful perennials there….they just keep blooming and come back bigger, stronger and more gorgeous each time. YOU have blessed me by YOUR faithfulness. I am so inspired.humbled.in.awe! There is no where I want to be except smack dab in the middle of God’s out of this world plan for my life!” (Lori 11/2)
We also randomly selected, at Visiting Orphans Ministry, 3 alternate winners. Just in case, for any reason they can not travel with our team on the missions trip in February- an alternate will go in their place. We will contact you in the order you are listed below.
- Shonna Andrews (Montrose, PA)
- Julie Briggs (Colorado Springs, CO)
- Jill Wald (Ankeny, IA)
You can watch the amazing “Winner’s Video” and laugh, cry, and cheer for the winners!!! My hubby’s surprised look is my all time favorite- I have never seen him sooooo shocked. I think he could have stuffed a watermelon in there:))
1 MORE BIG CRAZY SURPRISE…
The ripple effect has already started!! If you are interested in going …
in the world
on a Visiting Orphans missions trip….
Open your hearts to serve, minister, play, comfort, and love orphans!!
El Salvador, Costa Rica, Haiti, Ecuador, Honduras, China, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, India (new in 2011), Ukraine (new in 2011)
I’m so ecstatic to share this with you. On the video tape, I mentioned a special donation gift of $5000 to be used for missions scholarships. We were able to give away a 3rd trip to Ethiopia, but also donate a 4th trip to Visiting Orphans Ministry. What is so unique about this amazing project, you can join ANY mission trip with Visiting Orphans Ministry!!!! This is a God ordained opportunity for another person to go and serve and love. I have challenged you for weeks to open your heart and do it afraid. Visiting Orphans is starting today their very first ever Missions Trip Project.
Please join us praying for Visiting Orphans and the thousands of orphans they serve everyday!! Help us spread the word on your blogs, FB, Tweets and email blasts!! I don’t want anyone to miss out on this incredible opportunity!!
I want to know, in the comments, where you will go if you win the Visiting Orphans Project and why?
If you are ready to go and serve on a missions trip, please head to Visiting Orphans website and sign up for your trip today. We are all called to simply love. Let’s together fill up every trip to the maximum capacity!!
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your WILDEST dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. (Eph. 3:20 msg) I believe that this is a God ordained miracle for the winners today!!
AND THE WINNERS …. SERIOUS DRUM ROLL!!
I love you bloggers!
Alternate Winners listed [in order] on tomorrow’s post. Also, Visiting Orphans has a BIG CRAZY SURPRISE TOO!! Head over to their website- store here!! Purchase a Pure Religion tee shirt (like the one I’m wearing)
If you are new to My Crazy Adoption Blog, please join me here 5 days a week for new posts celebrating mommyhood (I love to encourage moms) great articles, projects and information on adoption, missions and caring for orphans. I love when you leave me comments so we can interact- I read them all and want to build a friendship with other bloggers with a passion. xoxo
My Store is Temporarily Closed- open soon!!
Do you remember your favorite sleepover? I have never been a big fan of sleepovers- I like sleeping in my own bed. Well, I have changed my mind and can’t wait to have another sleepover party at Korah in February 2011. This was an out of the box adventure that all started when I heard Sumer share about the amazing shelter for children in Kore that need a safe place to sleep at night. This is a little house of love made for children who used to sleep on the dump. I casually asked Sumer if my team could sleep there for the night too. She was thrilled to help us plan a crazy sleepover party at Korah. The only problem- due to space issues, we had to pick 6 out of our team of 30. The extraordinary team was amazing and soon had 6 packed up to go.
I had nooo intention of sleeping over, but wanted to go for the party. I told my team I would tuck them in bed and head back to the Guest House with Sumer. It was dark when we arrived and the kids were ecstatic to have us all there. We had 4 mattresses and our over night bags. They popped popcorn and had delicious hand ground coffee waiting for us. They added little chocolate cookies on top of the popcorn as decoration. I was a mess!!! I was overwhelmed with love for Project 61 and the 14 precious kids who slept at the shelter. Their stories were heart wrenching to hear. The abuse and horrors they had to deal with sleeping on the dump broke my heart. I asked my two boys- What is the scariest thing about sleeping out on the dump? They both told me it was the hyenas that hunted at night. How can I possibly wrap my brain around that kind of fear. I held the boys close to me- to protect them and knew I would be spending the night at the Korah Shelter!!
I snuggled up with my new friends and watched a movie, munching on popcorn. It was surreal.
I will never forget the time I spent with my team and friends from Korah. Alicia, Sammy and the rest of the P61 staff that took the time to make us feel so welcomed and special!! It was the best cookies, popcorn and coffee I have ever had!! I fell asleep watching The Lion King with 3 kids wrapped in my arms. I kept praying that they would feel a mother’s love. I knew they did not have that in their lives, so for the next few hours I was determined to love them like my own children. I held their hands and gently stroked their hair and prayed for each child for special blessings.
When we finally tucked the children in bed, we headed to our tiny room with 2 mattresses to share- four of us girls:) It was dark and no electricity. I will be very honest- I was afraid. I had no idea how I talked my team into this and how I ended up there too. There was no lock on the door, but we had a broom stick jammed under the knob. I started to feel nervous and that brought on the giggles. The four of us giggled and laughed and spooned (well, I was the big chicken spooner with BF Randi) We had layers of clothes on just in case we needed to bolt out of there in a flash. The only thing I remember that made me stop laughing was the thought of having to go to the bathroom in the outhouse in the dark. I prayed for a bladder miracle that night!!! I fell asleep listening to the eery sounds at night and could hear a faint bark of a hyena. I knew with all my heart that we were safe in His Korah.
We woke up to the sound of roosters and the hustle and bustle of Kore neighbors. It was very difficult for me to say goodbye to Dawit and Beleling B… they were my Kore sons. I told them I was so proud that my daughter, Zoie was born here in Kore and asked them to be her adopted brothers. They hugged me tight and agreed to pray for their new sister. I will NEVER forget my favorite sleepover. I can’t wait to go back in February with my new team – the invitation is open for anyone that wants to have the best night of their life!!