Monday, October 26, 2009


This is what happens if Mommy goes out for the evening and leaves Daddy to take care of Rosie's hair.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Missions Conference Brunch

I haven't done much cooking at church since Rosie came home, and I miss it. Catering for a big group is much more challenging with 3 little munchkins running around, but I agreed to cater the missions conference brunch and we had a great time!

This year, in addition to the cooking, I also did the decorating. Here are the results.

We spent all morning on Friday decorating the room. I found these great paper plates at Hobby Lobby and borrowed the gold chargers.

Then, I used a variety of tall grasses in very simple vases to add height and complement the autumn color scheme.

I put out some simple glass votives and scattered some great artificial fall leaves to finish off the tables.

When we finished decorating, it was off to buy the groceries and then into the kitchen to start on the food. Our menu for the brunch was: hashbrown quiche, fresh fruit salad with yogurt and granola, and homemade cinnamon rolls.

Making 90 cinnamon rolls in one evening is no small undertaking! My arms were so tired by the time I'd finished kneading dough and rolling it out.

But, the end result was SO worth it.

Here's our serving table. I didn't get pictures of the quiche, as by Saturday morning I was too busy to get all of the pictures I would have liked to.

And, the end result, by Saturday afternoon, we all went home and collapsed! We put in 13 hours on Friday and were back at church by 6:30 on Saturday morning and were well and truly exhausted by the time it was all cleaned up on Saturday afternoon. The whole family had a 3 hour nap, and even then I had a terrible time waking up poor Nate.

But, we loved doing it. It's such a great opportunity to bless our missionary families, and we're already looking forward to next years' Missions Conference.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Favorite Food Fridays-Cranberry Cake

Some recipes bring back memories, and this is one of them. This is my Grandma Murnice's recipe. I had an unusual relationship with my Grandma, in that she was my Grandma, but growing up, she was also my best friend. She never had a daughter, and although I didn't realize it at the time, I think maybe I filled that role in some ways when I was young. There were other granddaughters, but I was the only one who lived close by, and so I spent lots of time with her growing up cooking, singing, shopping, teaching Sunday School and Bible Club, and travelling.

Grandma was a FANTASTIC cook. Some of my favorite memories of her are the times we spent together cooking: helping her make cookies in her kitchen when I was still so small that I had to stand on a chair to reach, helping her peel peaches to can in the summer, finding that she had made cookies for me to take back to college with me, and watching her and my Mom prepare those big family holiday meals when I was a little girl. She had beautiful glass dishes to serve in, always put out a big bowl of olives that we kids were allowed to put on our finger tips, and she kept a special set of fancy stemmed glasses that she put ginger ale in for us kids.

Life was very hard for her during the last decade of her life, and there wasn't much time or energy for her to cook for fun or host big family dinners like she did when I was small, but this recipe was one that she continued to make as soon as fresh cranberries came out in the store.

During the years we dated, Gareth fell in love with this cake, and my Grandma would make him one (without nuts) when he came for a holiday visit. I still miss her so much, and it tends to get much worse leading up to the holidays. To this day, there are times when I catch myself going to the phone to call her, because I just want to tell her about what one if the kids just said or the great recipe I just tried, or how great the music was in church that morning.

This cake brings back great memories of her, and starting in early October, I always look forward to finding that first batch of fresh cranberries to arrive in the store so that I can make her cranberry cake for my family.

Cranberry Cake

3 eggs
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
2 1/2 c. fresh cranberries
2/3 c. chopped pecans

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs with sugar for 5 minutes. Add butter and vanilla and beat for another 3-4 minutes. Stir in flour, then stir in cranberries and pecans. Spread into a greased 13x9x2 pan and bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes.

*Note: This cake does not use a leavening agent. You must beat the eggs, sugar and butter for the appropriate length of time in order to get a light texture.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Rosie loved going to the salon! And, the salon loved her. She had everybody admiring her and telling her how beautiful she was. I am really aggravated with myself for not remembering to take my camera with me.

After she got shampooed, the stylist blowdried her hair and used a straightening iron before she trimmed the ends. I have purposely not straightened Rosie's hair before, as I didn't want to risk damaging it. She looks so different, but WOW what a beauty our girl is!

When we came home, Daddy just stared and smiled and stared. Rosie has enjoyed having it straight, and she keeps telling me that it is Mommy hair.

I love her curls, and I want her to love them, too, so we probably won't straighten her hair very often. It was fun for tonight, though, and we'll see how long it lasts!

Rosie's 4 Year Photo Shoot

In case you haven't guessed by now, Rosie adores having a camera pointed at her! Going to have her pictures taken was definitely her idea of a good time. We got a LOT of silliness to go with the cutness.

I love this next one! It's my favorite. Rosie loves tutu's, and I love having something to add a little covering for the leggings that seem to be everywhere this Fall.
It would seem that Mommy is going to need a baseball bat to keep the girls away from my boys, and the boys away from my beautiful girl!

I realized just how crazy life has become when I opened my photo drawer last night to put the photo CD in it, only to find that I haven't mailed the photos that the kids had taken back in the early Summer yet. Ooops! Guess I have another job to add to the list for this week-end.
Right, have to run. Rosie has her first appointment at the salon for a trim. Then, I am going to attempt to put in braids next week to help with how long it takes to fix her hair in the morning. I wanted to pay to have them professionally done, but the minimum cost was going to be $200! So, I'll just have to learn to do it myself.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Noah's 6 Year Photos

I'm tired. Seriously, seriously tired. Too tired to put up the photos of all of the week-end busyness that led to aforementioned tiredness. But, thought I ought to at least give you a little something.

So, here are a few pictures. These are the ones that we had made for Noah's 6th birthday. Had them done inexpensively, so they're not great backgrounds, but at least it captures the essence of Noah at 6. Pity that 6-year olds seems almost incapable of any grin that isn't cheesy if there's a camera out. Still, what a handsome man! Mommy's going to need a baseball bat given a year or two!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Please pardon our absence this week. Rosie as Dr. appointments, we have friends coming over for a visit, the 2 mini-est munchkins are on fall break from pre-school, and I am gearing up to spend Friday shopping and decorating and Saturday catering our church's missions conference brunch on Saturday. Busy, busy week. See you next week.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Birthday Highlights

Imagine the excitement of being four year's old the first time you celebrate your birthday! Rosie has been so excited about her birthday, and we have had a full month of listening to her sing about it, talk about it, and show us what she likes!

She did have a fantastic day. It started the day before when she helped me to make cupcakes and decorate them with sprinkles.

On Tuesday morning, I heard the boys whispering before their alarm went off. I wondered what they were up to, and several seconds later knew what they were up to, when I heard them sneak into Rosie's room to wake her up by singing "Happy Birthday" to her. We allowed her to open one gift before breakfast, and then she took her cupcakes and treat bags to pre-school for a little party with her classmates.

When I picked her up at the end of the morning, she was very excited to tell us about "Rosie's teacher and class, they sing. Sing Rosie. Sing -Happy Day to you, Happy Day to you, Happy Day to you, Rosie, Happy Day to you". Being sung to by her teachers made a huge impression and I think was the highlight of her morning. Her teachers sent her home with a balloon and a kite, which she was also very proud of.

In the afternoon, she had a lot of fun receiving phone calls from family, which helped to distract from the pile of presents waiting for her.

She loves pizza and boo beer (root beer), so that's what we had for supper.

Here are some photos of the evening:

Birthday Cake

Rosie doesn't like cake. Time may change that, but for this year I was a little stumped about what to do about a birthday cake. Until we went to Marble Slab Creamery. She LOVES ice cream, and when she saw the ice cream cakes she pointed and said, "Happy Birthday to you, Rosie, please Mommy". So, I talked to the guy behind the counter, and we combined her two favorite sweets (strawberries and ice cream) and he made her this fantastic birthday cake.

She was in love! It took everything I had to keep her from poking her fingers in it before Daddy could get home to see it.

Has there ever been a cuter birthday girl? She was so excited about blowing out the candles and told us when it was time to sing "Happy Birthday to you, Rosie".

But, when we did sing, she just got all silly and hid!

Blowing out the candles...

It took her about 4 tries to get the hang of it! Some of us got a bit of extra wax on our cake!

And, finally, enjoying the much anticipated cake! Thank you Marble Slab Creamery! Rosie loves you. I think you have a customer for life. She's already talking about her next cake!


Because we were not present when the Ethiopian court system declared Rosie to be a Moffatt, we had to apply to re-adopt here in Oklahoma in order to obtain her American citizenship.

Yesterday was the day. The judge who was scheduled to hear our case decided to take the afternoon off and didn't bother to inform our lawyer (you can bet I'll remember that when election time comes around!!!!!).

Thankfully, another judge agreed to fit our case in with his others, so we did get heard after all.

It was a very quick process, a quick look at our paperwork and the request, swearing Gareth and I in, affirming a few statements, and that was it. The judge stamped his signature on the bottom, and Rosie is now legally Abigail Rosina Moffatt.

Don't let the picture fool you. She may look all sweet and subdued and serious, but the minute we were done, the judge leaned over to talk to her, and she gave him a big grin, grabbed the zipper on his robe, and yanked it down!

Yep, that's my daughter! How one little girl can look so sweet and innocent and be so totally ornery is beyond me.

Now, it's off to apply for birth certificates, social security numbers, and then her citizenship paperwork! The paperwork mountain is still not over!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Because after mornings like this one, I just needed a giggle

Please scroll down to the bottom and pause my playlist before starting this. Hope it brightens your day! Mine started with after only about 4 hours of sleep and Rosie decided she didn't want her breakfast so puked it everywhere. I needed a giggle after dealing with that!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Adoption-type Thoughts

Rosie will be 4 tomorrow. On the 18th, she will have been home for 6 months. In most ways, it seems like she has always been here, and although I can remember life before she was at home, it seems like such a very long time ago. When I stop to think about it, I am amazed at just how easily she fitted in as part of the family. Not that we don't have our rough days and hard issues to deal with, but the big picture is one of a little girl who very early on considered us family, and where it just felt natural to wake up and see our daughter here at home with us every day.

I love to see the ways that she is so like us, and she does, too. Lately, she has taken such pride in seeing the ways that we are similar. Something as small as wearing the same color as she is delights her, and she loves to point out the ways that we are the same. She also loves the fact that Mommy and Rosie both love avocados, but none of our guys do. She delights in sharing anything off my plate and regards that as a super special treat.

When we go somewhere, she always asks, "Home now?", and she smiles from ear to ear when I say that we are going home. She loves to go places and do new things, but does seem to take a special delight in knowing that we are going home.

Life as a Mom to 3 little ones is challenging. The strong wills and high energy levels from Rosie and Nathan can be particularly wearing, but I already find myself wondering when we will be able to start the adoption process again.

Someone once told me that adoption was like potato chips, you couldn't do just one. I laughed, and Gareth said, "You wanna bet". But, I think they were probably right. I've been thinking about why, and I've come to the conclusion that it is because God's heart is for adoption, and once you have seen that and then experienced the reality of it, you can't help but have your heart and life and priorities changed.

Because we had never actually attended an adoption conference hosted by our agency before, we went to one in OKC this week-end. I was offered the chance to briefly share our adoption story. Here is the last portion of my attempt to share why we did it, and perhaps why for so many adoptive families, you can't do just one:

We don’t adopt because it is easy-we do it because it is right.

We don’t adopt a child because we want to be loved-we do it because we love God.

We don’t adopt just because there is a need (although there is)-we adopt because we are convinced that this is what pure and undefiled religion looks like.

We don’t adopt out of pity or a need to earn favor with God-we do it in response to what God has done for us.

We do it because adoption provides the opportunity to share the gospel in the most intimate way possible. Adoption affords us the opportunity to show a waiting child and a watching world what true love looks like, which then gives you an open window to introduce them to the love of God.

We do it because we were adopted.

Adoption has given me the opportunity to:

Learn how to love someone I had never seen.

Learn to do whatever it took to bring my child home.

Learn that a family is not made up of people who look the same or share the same genes-but of those who are knit together by a loving God.

Adopting Rosie has allowed me to look at my adoption in a completely different way- to begin to understand the love of a God who would pursue me to the ends of the earth, who would sacrifice whatever it took to bring me home, who would love me even when I am unlovable, who would continually be the God of second chances and new beginnings, who would delight in my presence, and who would find satisfaction in hearing me call Him Abba, Daddy.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Favorite Food Fridays-Shepherd's Pie

Here is the recipe Noah and I used for our cooking lesson this week. I tweaked it just a bit to satisfy our personal tastes, so I think it is just about perfect. This recipe will serve 4. We doubled it, which meant that we could enjoy leftovers for lunch the next day!

Shepherd's Pie

3 large potatoes, peeled and halved
2 T. butter
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c. milk
1 T. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1/2 t. thyme
1 T. parsley
1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 T. soy sauce
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 c. water
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 c. frozen baby peas

1. Cook potatoes in 2 quarts boiling salted water until soft (about 15-20 minutes)/

2. Drain off water, add butter, salt and pepper. Mash potatoes, adding enough milk to make a smooth mixture. Set aside.

3. Heat oil in a large skilet and saute onion until soft. Stir in ground beef, carrot, thyme, parsley, and garlic. Cook until beef is browned, stirring frequently. Stir in soy sauce and peas. Bring to a simmer.
4. Whisk cornstarch into water and once well-mixed pour straight into beef mixture. Stir well and simmer for 4 minutes allowing mixture to thicken. (Now, at this point, use your own judgement as to whether this makes it moist enough for your personal taste. The original recipe didn't have any sauce, but we added the cornstarch and water to give it a bit of gravy to keep it moist.)

5. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as desired.

6. Pour into a greased deep pie dish. Top with mashed potatoes and swirl with a fork to distribute them evenly and create an attractive pattern.

7. Bake the pie on the middle rack of an oven heated to 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Cooking with Noah

The kids all love to help Mommy cook. So, when Noah spotted a children's book called "Cooking the English Way" from a series called easy menu ethnic cookbooks at our local library, he was desperate to check it out and surprise Daddy.

The book was great! It started by offering an overview of the country itself, with a focus on the land, the holidays, and the festivals. Then, it went into good detail about meal-times and finished up with recipes covering breakfast, Sunday lunch, afternoon tea, supper, and holiday foods.

We read it together, and then Noah chose which dish he would like to make and helped me make a shopping list and shop for the ingredients we would need.

Here he is with his Shepherd's Pie. It was fantastic!!!!! He was so excited for Daddy to come home and spent the whole time he was in the kitchen asking me if I thought Gareth would be surprised and if he would be able to guess what he was cooking by the smells.

It was REALLY good! Daddy was very impressed.

And, it was made even more perfect because we got to enjoy it with the first salad from our fall garden.
Overall, I was really impressed with the book, and Noah and I are excited to keep on cooking our way around the world together. I'll post the recipe tomorrow so that our non-British friends can try it for themselves.