Thankful, Day 6

Today I am thankful for homemade cinnamon rolls that I got to eat with the people I love the most, for the blessing of easy access to even the simplest of medicine — which made Jonathan’s bout with high fever today so much easier for him, and for movies* that make us laugh, cry, and even inspire us.

*If you haven’t heard of Bethany Hamilton, first go read her book, Soul Surfer, (which she wrote at the tender age of 14 – local friends, it’s in our Dallas libraries) and then grab a copy of the movie which was released earlier this year. There is a documentary on the DVD’s extras that is not to be missed which features interviews with this remarkable young lady as well as great footage of her awesome surfing! Our family was encouraged and inspired by Bethany and the way she simply lives out her faith, touching many lives with her story and testimony.

Thankful, Day 5

Today I am thankful for Saturdays, and the wonderful break they represent from the normal routine: seeing our little jammied boys snuggled on the couch watching cartoons quietly in the morning, family pancake breakfasts, 4-square matches in the driveway, working together on stuff around the house, having time to just sit down and talk things out, and everyone pitching in to help make supper. I am thankful for Saturdays at home.

Thankful, Day 4

Today I am thankful for weather so ridiculously gorgeous, it couldn’t be any prettier than if we’d ordered it (how I LOVE fall weather!), for answered prayer that brings hope to my heart, and for a date night out with my dear one.

Thankful, Day 3

Today I am thankful for the incredibly wonderful smell of pinion wood burning in a chiminea, for bedtime snuggles and kisses from my sweet Little Jo, and that despite being terribly in-between girls and women’s sizes, my lovely daughter now once again owns a pair of jeans that actually fit her and that only cost $10.50 and a couple hours of earnest shopping.

Thankful, Day 2

I am thankful for feeling cozy indoors on cold windy autumn evenings, guacamole, Cosby Show reruns with my kiddos, forgiveness, and a sweet Hubby who helps schlep our little darlings around when I have a fever, even though he’s sick as a dog himself.

Thankful Day 1

Today I am thankful for:

The first pomegranates of the season, delicious and easy home made pizzas on naan bread, the grace of modern medicine, and friendly grocery store personnel!!

Ten Months Waiting…..

Hello and WELCOME!! to any blog readers who still stop by House of Horne to peek at what is not going on around here. :-) Summer and the start of school have come and gone while my little neglected blog sits here patiently. It’s not really that there is nothing going on, more like there is too much going on to sneak in any bloggy time. I have started several entries only to leave them unfinished. And thought of many more I’d love to sit down and write, if only I could find the time.

But today is important enough that I have to write. Today marks 10 months since our family was put on the waitlist in Ethiopia for our little girlie.

Back in November of 2010 when we reached this huge milestone in our adoption process, we were told that the longest we’d be waiting for a referral for our daughter was 10 months. The actual window given us was somewhere between 8 and 10 months. So you can imagine that we felt pretty confident (in that naive, never-before-navigated-the-waters-of-international-adoption sort of way) that by today, September 16th, 2011, we’d for sure already know the name and face and history of the little girl whom God in His providence planned to be a part of our family.

In reality, a lot has changed in Ethiopia this year, and these various changes and transitions mean that the wait time for referrals has increased rather substantially. So much so that a more accurate timeline for a referral now is about double that which we originally anticipated. Nowadays when someone asks me “How much longer?” I truly don’t have a concrete answer for them (though I love everyone who checks in with us — thank you!). We hope for a referral sometime in 2012, and pray that we have our daughter in our arms not long after. But we just don’t know…and on some days, like today, that is harder to digest.

In the meantime we remember what we do know: we continue to see God’s goodness to us in so many ways, and we are so grateful to be on this journey. Admittedly, it feels like there is someone missing until she comes home (I actually sometimes count heads and after reaching 4, look around for #5 only to remember that oh yes, she’s not here yet.)  But we know it’s out of our ability to control the timeline of events. And so….we pray for her and for her birth family and whatever they may be going through in these months before our stories and lives intersect. We don’t yet know who our daughter is or what she may be experiencing, but God knows and we trust in His loving care for her, no matter what the circumstances.

And for now…we continue to wait.


Day 11 of South Beach

Late in the week, a little fishie swam up to my doorstep.

Actually it was a big fish, a very big King Salmon fish all the way from Alaskan waters to Dallas courtesy of my folks who wanted to share a little early summer seafood with all of their kids and grandkids who live in Dallas. So….my sibbies and I all had a fabulous treat the likes of which we don’t regularly enjoy (turns out King Salmon who swim all the way fresh from Alaska don’t come cheap!)

Thanks, Mom and Dad for the wonderful gift!

With the help of my four little darlings, I managed to chop this headless fish into steaks for everyone to enjoy. My brother Pete introduced me to the beauty of cedar plank cooking, and I am happy to say that for the first time, I managed to grill fish without overcooking it. Overcooking such a nice fish would have been tragic, no?

We used a little bit of EVOO, garlic, salt, pepper and fresh rosemary….slapped the fishie on the cedar planks

and they cooked up beautifully.

For the first time in over 16 years of marriage I attempted to cook artichokes for us to try…I thought they’d go nicely with our salmon.

Despite following directions to the “T”, my chokes were not nearly done when it was time for us to sit down to supper, so we had to put off tasting them till the next night, but no matter. We had some other leftover veggies on hand which subbed in nicely.

Everyone enjoyed their fish. Some of us loved it so much, we had four helpings’ worth! And still managed to clean our plates!

I gotta say, even if the fishie had NOT been “approved” South Beach fare, we’d have happily dug into such a wonderful supper anyway…in actuality, not only did it fit into our diet, it may be the yummiest meal we’ve had so far in Phase 1!

South Beach Goes to the Symphony!

Day 10 of South Beach was my little sis’ birthday…in honor of her special day, I want to do a shout out to Sandra, who has a fun, new blog starring my youngest nephew, Jacob, who is of course, one of the most adorable babies in the world.

Day 10 (also known as Friday) wrapped up a week of swim lessons for the youngest Horne, Acting Camp for our girl, and Wrestling Camp for the three boys. Whew, busy week! Who ever said summer was full of long, lazy relaxing days spent at the pool? Hmmm…maybe next week we’ll try a slower pace.

I got the harebrained idea mid-morning on Friday to take our kiddos over to Fort Worth in the evening to enjoy an outdoor concert put on by the FW Symphony in the Botanical Gardens. Called the hubby to see what he thought, and he loved the idea. We managed to surprise the kids, who had no idea about the evening plans. There were a LOT of questions during the car ride over. They’ve been to the Dallas Symphony several times, but we’ve never gone to hear the Fort Worth Symphony. The program was right up their alley, and part of the reason I chose this concert: all the music was from major motion pictures, including Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, and others. The music was really beautiful, and once the sun went down, there was an amazing laser light show set to the second half of the program, and the final piece of the evening included a fantastic fireworks display. Definitely a fun family night.

Supper was a picnic in the beautiful Botanic Gardens while we waited for the music to begin. I was so tempted to just drive through and grab food somewhere since the outing was a rather last-minute decision on an already-full day, but am thankful that in the end we managed to save money on eating out and stick to our diet.

For our meal, I whipped up two very simple salads which I packed into our cooler for us to enjoy. The first was a variation on an old favorite: Tomato/Basil/Mozzarella Salad with extra greens to stretch it farther:

Those little white things look a lot like marshmallows, but they are actually tiny fresh mozzarella balls! I used my favorite summer tomatoes: Camparis, which have a lovely sweet flavor. To these three wonderful ingredients i added some EVOO, splash of balsamic vinegar, sea salt and pepper, and a huge bunch of salad greens. All the various flavors melded beautifully together by the time we enjoyed our salad.

Our other salad was a Chicken Caesar which I threw together using a breast from a rotisserie chicken, a bunch of romaine, some gratings of parmesan, and a bottled Caesar dressing.

The salad supper was perfect considering the very hot evening, and neither of us were hungry at all after enjoying such wonderful fare.

What a lovely start to the weekend this was! My handsome hubby and my beautiful girl together:

Sweet boys chomping on supper while they waited for the performance to begin:

This cute little guy actually spent much of the evening in my lap despite the hot and sweaty temps!

He amused himself by trying to take the perfect self-portrait of the two of us…I deleted close to 50 of his “masterpieces” much to his dismay, but here is one that I kept:

along with one more sorta artsy-looking one: