Someone who traveled to Yangchun orphanage in Guangdong China in early 2005, took this picture of Tahlia.
Years later, after having been home with her for several years, I was able to get this picture from the Yangchun SWI adoption forum. I've posted it before, but I came across it again yesterday and was struck by how sad she looks. Such a difference from now:
It's interesting how she will still put that finger near/in her ear when she gets upset or insecure :-(
We are on spring break and wouldn't you know that it has snowed since Sunday? We knew this was coming and since Saturday was a relatively nice day, we decided to head to our favorite part in the city: Sawyer Point along the Ohio River. Some cellphone pictures:
On May 5th, I will be running my third half marathon and I will once again do it on behalf of Ohio Valley Voices. You all know how strongly I feel about this school and Matt and I will be forever grateful for what they have done for Jazzie. We will never be able to pay them back for changing our daughter's life. But what I can do is run. I have been in training since January.
I've ran in below zero temps...
I've ran in the rain...
I've ran by myself and with a group...
I've had a few days where I didn't want to go out there...
But I did and will continue doing so. I'll do it for me, I'll do it for Jazzie and I'll do it for Ohio Valley Voices. I'm hoping to once again raise a lot of money for a cause so dear to my heart. Jazzie is one of 130 graduates that are succeeding in many ways! The cost for a child to attend Ohio Valley Voices is equivalent to what some people pay for one year in college. As you can imagine, this is a huge financial strain on the family. Most of the families at Ohio Valley Voices have little to no funding to help their child with special needs. Jazzie and the other graduates are proof that deaf children can speak and listen AND be anything they want to be.
I am humbly asking for a donation to sponsor me in the Flying Pig Half Marathon. 100% of the money will go directly to Ohio Valley Voices so that other deaf children can have the same opportunities that Jazzie was given. No amount is too little and is much appreciated! You can make a donation online by following this link:
Last week we attended a breakfast at school for the S.T.A.R. Student Awards at school. Each month, one student from every 4th, 5th and 6th grade class is nominated by his/her teacher and is recognized for their attendance, quality of work, effort and/or attitude. So we made our way to school bright and early at 7 AM for the ceremony.
Jazzie eating breakfast and checking out the action:
We did not have one single snow day last year. We had not had a snow day this year. But a storm came through last night and school was canceled for the day. We were all so excited!
To start our day, the girls got to choose whatever they wanted for breakfast. Tahlia chose French Toast and Jazzie chose ice cream (I know, but it's a snow day!!!)...
After that the girls wanted to make a Snow Day Cake. They both knew they wanted to make a tie dye cake, so we got to work...
While the cake baked, the girls went out to play in the snow...
Our own sledding hill in the backyard:
Making snow cones with Garorade ;-)
And then after all the fun in the snow, it was time to eat some cake!
Jazzie did some painting...
And while Tahlia went back outside to play with a friend...
...Jazzie and I did some more baking.
We made my famous pumpkin bread, but instead of making two big loaves we made 6 mini ones. I'll freeze them and just have one out at a time. Hopefully since they are small, we won't feel tempted to eat the entire loaf for fear of it going bad, like the larger loaf.
Yes, we've been known to eat an entire loaf in a matter of a day, It's just that good ;-)
The recipe (in case you're interested):
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/3 cup flour
2/3 cup water
1 small can (15 oz) of pumpkin
Cream sugar, eggs and oil. Add pumpkin. Mix all dry ingredients and add alternately with water to the pumpkin mixture. Bake in two greased loaf pans at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes or in 6 mini pans for about 45 minutes.
I wanted to use up some leftovers that I had in the fridge...
I chopped some leftover turkey breast that I cooked the day before (I had about 6 ounces left). I sauteed 2 carrots, 1 stalk of celery, 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 1 chopped shallot and a small bunch of kale. I added the turkey, about 1/2 cup of Buffalo sauce, 1 1/2 oz of blue cheese and a can of cannelini beans that I rinsed. I mixed it all together and put it in a small casserole dish and baked it at 350 for about 30 minutes...
It was so good!!!! You could easily use leftover chicken for this as well. Or leave the meat out all together and just use more beans. I will definitely make it again. According to my Weight Watchers Recipe Builder, this came out to be 8 Points Plus for an 8 ounce serving. I served it with celery stalks, extra hot sauce and blue cheese crumbles and blue cheese dressing...
I love this blue cheese dressing. As a matter of fact, I love all the dressings made by Bolthouse Farms. I currently have three of them in my fridge.
They are all low fat, low calorie and all natural without any preservatives. You can find them in the refrigerated section in the produce department. Best of all, they are only 1 Point Plus for 2 tablespoons! A definitely winner...
I really did not feel like cooking tonight. I was tired from my 8 mile run and a trip to a crowded mall in the afternoon and I was SO tempted to drive up the street and get a nice and juice hamburger. With fries, of course... However, I already had pizza the night before and some chocolate during the day, so I would really be blowing my eating habits for the week if I went ahead and got that burger. Now that I'm in training, I want and need to eat more, but I also want to make sure that I try to eat as healthy as possible. I'm all for indulging every now and again, but I also don't EVER want to fall back into a pattern where I was several years ago and simply eat whatever the heck I want to. So, I forced the burger and fries out of my head, went to the fridge and made one of my favorite salads:
Baby spinach, almonds, grapes and mandarin oranges. The dressing: olive oil, rice vinegar, honey and curry powder. Yes, curry powder. The combination is AMAZING!
And I did end up having a burger, but one of these. Just as satisfying, but a LOT better for you at only 3 WW points.
As you may know, I've been struggling for a long time with which direction to take this blog in. While at the bookstore the other day, I saw Rachael Ray's new cookbook. In it she basically took one thing that she ate during her day for one year. Now there's a concept I like. So from now on, I will (attempt) to post a picture of something that I eat every day. A lot of them will be healthy, Weight Watcher friendly things, since I did lose over 100 pounds on the program and have kept it off for over a year now. But some of the things will not be. I love to cook and bake (not always super healthy things!) and I love to try new recipes or make them over to be healthier. I get asked for tips on losing weigh all the time, so hopefully I'll get to share some here.
So to start of my new challenge, here is what I ate for lunch:
A Boca Burger with spinach, banana peppers and mustard, along with some salad.
One of my staples:
I ALWAYS have them in my pantry and freezer. They are only 2 WW points (for those of you who are wondering). I just love me a sandwich and these are perfect to me.
Of course I'll keep posting stories and pictures of every day life. Like this cute picture of Matt and Tahlia :-)