Posted in 2018, Adoption, family

The Month Of November

November is a month  when we normally start to wind down around the farm.  This year has been one for the books in regards to our farming operation but today I do not plan to blog about the farm.  I wanted to visit with you about a different topic, one that is far greater to our hearts than farming.

Over 10 years ago we were blessed to become parents to our youngest daughter through adoption.  For those of you that don’t know, November is National Adoption Month.  For a few years I did an adoption series which you can find here.

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Before we made our way through our adoption journey I didn’t really give adoption a great deal of thought.  Here and there through the years it sprinkled itself. My first major interaction with it was when my oldest daughter was adopted by my first husband, which was a pretty simple thing he took care of mostly.  But other than that I only knew a few people who were adopted.

We/I went into the adoption sector of life without having a clue and today as I look back I feel like I am a very lucky lady.  When people tell me they are beginning their own journey I instantly get the feeling of what that felt like for me. For someone who usually  likes to be in control and know what is around the corner,  adoption was a tad hard for me at times!

The point to which brought us to adoption was one that began clear back when I was 26 and still married to my first husband, I had no clue that the decision I made when I was 26 would affect my life in this manner in my 30’s.

Jumping to that stage in my life I found myself married to a man who had no children and raising children were closer to being grown than small children.  I started this motherhood thing at 17 and had in my mind once they were raised I could live my life the way I wanted! 🙂

Insert God hysterically laughing right here.

Remember – I like to plan, control and know what is around the corner.  This is one time in my life I can look back and say that I was dead wrong.  That God’s plan for mine and my husband’s life was way better than any I could have come up with!

My heart was changed because I fell in love with a man who wanted to be a father and I like to give gifts that are really wanted.  So my pursuit of becoming a mother a third time kicked into gear and I went into the world of adoption with no inkling of what to do first after making a quick stop at gestational surrogacy.

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I did all the things most people do when wanting to adopt.  I  read books, online searching, chat rooms, asked advice, contacted lawyers and agencies and so on and so on.  There were so many different things to figure out for our family.  There were moments of despair and moments of excitement, moments of gratitude, and moments of frustration.

Fortunately – for our family things worked out.  After two years we found ourselves falling in love with a screaming little baby girl with dark hair and big eyes within 15 minutes of being born.   Not all adoption journeys end like this and honestly there were days we didn’t believe it would for us.

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So for those of you that are waiting to be chosen, to add to your family we wish you the best of luck.  We pray that you are able to stay strong in your wait and that it brings you closer together as a family unit.  I can’t promise you a fairy tale ending but know that when I hear your story, I can relate and will always respect your decision to adopt.

No words can really express how much respect I have for the birth parents that share their children with others.  That grow families through their love.  Thank you is not enough but is what I will say.

Thanks for stopping by,

Julie

 

 

Posted in 2018, dinner party, Entertaining Kitchen, Food, Landlord Contact

Landlord Appreciation Dinner – 2018

This past weekend we were overjoyed to have most of our landlords sitting around our dinner table Saturday evening. There was laughter, conversation and food abundantly shared!

So much work goes into our little event but at the end of the night I am so very happy we do it. Having a connection with our landlords is essential as I’ve mentioned before. Getting to know them and having them connect with us and our 10 year old daughter helps our relationships.

We hosted 13 people and I have to admit that if everyone attended it would be pretty cozy! We are discussing changing the time of year so we can utilize the yard and deck area for next year!

Our menu this year reflected a good ol’ family meal like grandma used to make. One of our guests actually said that which made me smile. That was one of my own goals for this gathering, to take them back to a time of comfort and simplicity.

The table decor was a couple tablecloths I picked up on clearance last year and $5 bundle of colored flowers. Bright but simple with gifts for our guests as they left for the evening. This year I made potholders/hot pads and homemade jam and apple butter for each. I have four to ship but I hope they enjoy their little homemade bags of goodness none the less!

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It’s not required but when you receive a little something from someone you can’t help but feel special. It’s kind of some of our guests to bring us gifts and we are thankful. But farming their land is really gift enough.

Now onto the entertaining kitchen section where I tell you about where I got the recipes and how it all went down. This year it was more of a task for me than usual and the reason is because the farm needed my partner in crime. If you follow us on social media or pretty much any agriculture sites you can see that farming has not been an easy task this year. Our fall harvest and wheat sowing are still continuing due to moisture, moisture, and more moisture. Honestly it’s getting old and my husband is not normally a grumpy person. Needless to say he is right now and I don’t hold it against him!

The mashed potatoes were from our own garden and Milton was kind enough to peel those for me (a job I really dislike!) I actually made most of these in the crockpot then we mashed them.

The two cakes Almond Cream Cake and Doctored Up Caramel Cake were whipped up the day before our gathering. Warning, the almond cake is a lot of work, I had never made frosting with a flour base.

The fried chicken I did use a brine this year.  The brine consisted of sugar, buttermilk, and salt.  We did  that overnight.  I did fry it early but only the morning of the party. Then we put it in a large roaster and reheated closer to the party time. I normally make my own gravy from the drippings but didn’t want to risk it not turning out and I was stressed by early afternoon. So I bought packaged white gravy mix and added drippings to it.

The corn was frozen so the stove top worked to cook it! Rhodes rolls are my best friend since I started having dinner parties. Seriously. They are delish and although I could make rolls from scratch I find this is simpler and tastes great!

So I want to thank our guests for coming and send a shout out to my farmer. Because although he worked right up to 5:00 p.m. that day and is feeling pressure this is where I found him Saturday night after our guests left.

With that being said we will continue to pray for all those in the farming community and wish them the best as we finish out one season and move onto another.  May your 2019 be one that can be endured and that we can sustain the legacy that has been around for so many years.

Thanks for stopping by,

Julie