Saturday, April 23, 2011

Felt Food Raffle

I am so excited to throw our first raffle!!!

I have spent the last few weeks working on a selection of felt food that turned out to be so much fun.  I've had to take some of the pieces away from Evelyn several times because she has wanted to use them in her own kitchen.

This set is a great starter set for any play kitchen and is recommended for children 3+ due to the small size of some of the pieces.  If you have a younger child, just be sure to keep the pizza toppings out of reach until they quit thinking toys must be tasted to be played with.

The set includes a breakfast of 3 slices of bacon and 2 fried eggs.

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich (2 slices of bread, peanut butter, and 2 flavors of jelly) and a side of ruffled chips (7 chips in a bag) for lunch.


For dinner is a pizza (topped with sauce, cheese, pepperoni, green pepper, mushrooms, and olives) and a spring salad (a dozen salad leaves in 4 different varieties).

It all comes in a grocery sack for your little one to play with.

All pieces (except for the decoration on the chip bag and the pepperoni) are made from a wool blend felt.  The set retails for $80.00.

There are several ways to enter to win. 
  1. The first way (and required in order to use the other options) is to donate $5 to our adoption fund via the pay pal button on the right column of the blog.  You can utilize this option to get additional entries as many times as you would like!  :)
  2. Become a follower of my blog and let me know you did by leaving a comment.
  3. Post a link to this blog post on Facebook and let me know that you did by leaving a comment.
  4. Post a link to this blog post on Twitter and let me know that you did by leaving a comment.
  5. Post a link to this blog post on your blog and let me know you did by leaving a comment.
The raffle will be open until 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 1st.  So spread the word and good luck!!!

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    A Weekend with Friends

    Scott's best friend from college, his wife, and baby girl came to stay with us this past weekend.

    We had a blast and got very little sleep.

    But it was worth it!

    We headed to Loose Park to enjoy the gorgeous weather on Saturday.

    Here's the little ladies in all their cuteness.
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    A Girl and Her Cat

    Scott and I are not cat people.  At all.  He's allergic to them and we both just don't really like them.  And not to sound mean, but no, your cat isn't different.  I have yet to meet a cat person that won't try to convince me that their cat is more like a dog, or a baby, or some other more lovable creature.  But no.  It's still a cat. 

    Evelyn feels much differently.  She LOVES cats.  Clearly this is not a genetic passed on sort of feeling. 

    So this story begins at about 10:30 one night when we see a fire truck stop out in front of our house.  Kinda scary.  We run out there to see what's on fire only to discover the truck shining lights up into a tree.  There's a cat up there.  Apparently fire trucks don't only come out for cats stuck in trees in the movies.  Tax dollars at work ladies and gents. 

    The cat made it down and our neighbor (who is a cat person) named him Treetop.  He stuck around the neighborhood.  Whenever we were grilling he was sure to come around.  He loved on Evelyn and she happily returned the affection.  She started referring to him as, "my cat".  Never sweet child, never. 

    This adventure only lasted a few days though while our neighbor tried to find his owners.  He clearly was well loved at some point as he was great with the girls and very friendly.  Evelyn only let him in our house once at which point he was quickly evicted. 

    His original owners could not be found, so he was sent to the vet's office to be re-homed.  Rumor has it that he now lives with an elderly woman who's former cat recently passed.

    Evelyn will still ask me about her cat every now and again.  She even got tears in her eyes one time when I told her she probably wouldn't get to see Treetop again. 

    She will just have to be content playing with the neighbor's cat and chasing the neighborhood bunnies.

    My Little Photog

     Evelyn got a hold of my camera while I was putting Bella to bed a couple weeks ago.

     Most of the photos look like that first one, but eventually she got it somewhat figured out.

     She figured out not to cover the lens with her fingers.

     Then to point the camera at what you are wanting to take a picture of.

    Perfect!  Her beloved horse.

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    Mindful of the Orphan

    Sometimes I have a blog post being written in my head and then I stumble upon someone who has already written it, just much more eloquently.  

    So here's your inspiration for the day.

    Friday, April 15, 2011

    Celiac Update

    I got a call from the pediatric gastroenterologist this morning about Evelyn. 

    She had the head of the pediatric dermatology department, regular dermatologist, and a dermatologist from out of state who specializes in diagnosing Celiac in those who have dermatitis herpeptiformis (the rash that Evleyn gets) all look at pictures of Evelyn's rashes and her file and all confirmed that they believe that Evelyn does indeed have Celiac disease. 

    None of them recommended putting her on the 2-3 day gluten trial to be able to biopsy the rash.  That was a surprise to me. 

    What happens in DH is antibodies pool under the skin causing the rash and blisters.  Over years of gluten exposure, the antibodies continue to pool in higher and higher numbers and cause the rash to show up more readily and easily and also make it harder to get it to go away.  Because Evelyn is so young, she doesn't have the same years of damage that many with DH have.  So, putting her on a couple day gluten-filled diet will produce a rash, but not high enough levels of antibodies to get conclusive results.  They said the chances of a false negative are extremely high. 

    Putting her through eating gluten for several days would be challenging to deal with at best.  It simply isn't worth it if we aren't going to have a for sure result in the end.

    The doctor said she would pass along all the information to our primary doctor though and have it in her file that she is to be considered a Celiac based on the fact that so many specialists agree that the symptoms fit the diagnosis. 

    We will have to take her in for yearly blood work and growth measurements to make sure that she has low antibody counts and is absorbing food properly. 

    This also means that Bella has a 10% chance of developing Celiac disease as well.  Evelyn's doctor recommended giving her small amounts of gluten while she is still breastfeeding once a month or so.  Then we will just have to watch how she reacts and have her get the blood test as well once she is 2.  She will have to continue to get the blood test every year while she is a child and every few years as an adult to make sure she isn't developing the same auto-immune response. 

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Guest Blogging

    I am now a guest blogger for a local cloth diapering store's blog!

    My first post is up today about using Castile soap instead of commercial cleaners.  :)

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Quick Update

    I haven't been blogging much lately because nap time (my usual blogging time) has been spent crafting.  I am working on a big raffle giveaway of lots of felt food!  I can't wait to show it all off.  I've been having a blast with it.  

    We will be mailing in the next round of paperwork on Friday (hopefully getting it in the mail will be much easier than the last round I mailed in...).  When our agency receives it, we will get started on our home study which will be a few month long process.  Once that is complete we can submit our I-600A to the US government to get clearance to bring an orphan into the country.  Then the next step will be getting everything together for our dossier to submit to Ethiopia for approval.  From there we will be placed on our agencies waiting list.  

    I'm trying not to be overwhelmed by the complexities of everything that needs done or the amount of organization it will take to complete it all!

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    Moving Forward

    This came to my email inbox this afternoon!

    Dear Elizabeth & Scott Behrens
    Congratulations!  Your application for adoption has been approved by the Program Director on  3/31/2011.

    We will be mailing out your approval packet today or tomorrow with instructions on how to proceed. 
    We are very excited for you, and wish you well as you begin your adoption journey!
    Gloria Akers
    The Intake Department
    Children’s Hope International

    Next step....home study!

    Sunday, April 3, 2011


    I have a collection of random photos from the past few weeks I wanted to share.  

    Here Evelyn and Bella are having a tea party.  Evelyn told Bella that she couldn't drink out of a cup yet, but let her suck on the lid to the creamer. 

    You can laugh with me.

    Then Bella saw the camera and as seems to be the case for her lately, she wanted to eat it.

    Evelyn put some of her stuffed animals to sleep in the baby crib, but then decided it was too bright for them.  So she covered the crib with a pillow.  :)

    Bella is working on her top teeth, so she has spent extra time riding around on mommy chewing on her raspberry teether.

    Evelyn has been on eagle watch.  She will yell at the eggs to hatch and beg to see the birdies.

    Bella can pull herself up to standing on just about anything lately.  It's her favorite hobby.  She's still working gracefully getting herself back down again though!

    She can make it up a step too!

    Warm weather has returned!  Evelyn pushed Bella all the way around the block in the little car.  They both loved it!

    First Haircut

    I really debated doing this.  Evelyn has never had her haircut, but I really wanted to cut the back of Bella's hair.  She has this one thin row of hair in the back that was really long compared to all the rest.  It finally bothered me enough that I snipped it off.  It looks much more normal now!