Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stockpiling Perishable Foods

As I travel further on my couponing/stockpiling adventure, I am learning new tricks along the way. It really bugs me that there are certain items that cannot be stockpiled because they will spoil. This means that I can choose to either do without these items or pay full price for them. EEEK!

I have discovered that quite a few perishable items can be frozen successfully, without negatively affecting their quality or taste.

For example, liquid coffee creamer was once a true luxury item for me. I would not pay $2.69 for a bottle of creamer when I had a gallon of milk that I could make do with. After discovering that there is a sale cycle every 8-12 weeks on Coffee Mate and International Delight, I decided to try freezing it. Now I pay between .25 and .90 for creamer once a quarter and stockpile 15-20 bottles a time in my freezer. It freezes beautifully!

Here is a list of items that I freeze regularly:
~Coffee Creamer
~Lunch Meat
~Squeeze Yogurt (Like Gogurt)
~Cheese (I recommend grating it first, if you thaw a block and grate, it tends to be very crumbly.)
~Bread (Just thaw the loaf on the counter, open.)
~Nuts (Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds. They stay fresh longer)
~Extra Flour (Sure to be bug-free.)
~Butter (Not sure about margarine.)

If you have any other ideas...let me know!

Monday, May 10, 2010

An Update to Our Adoption Blog

More of my blogging focus over the next few months will be at our adoption blog, Journey to China. So much is happening, and I know I won't be able to be faithful to both. Recording our adoption journey is so very important because one day it will be a piece to the puzzle of Grace's life journey. It is her history, and I want to record it well.

So, join me next door. I promise to say hello from this venue from time to time as well :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things ~ Companies that Do Not Leave Adoptive Families Out of the Fun!

This week while I was perusing the blogs, I came across a reminder for all of the fun stuff you get when you are pregnant. You know, cans of formula and coupons sent to your door by companies who hope that they can entice you to use their brand for that huge investment. Or, samples of the latest and greatest diapers along with high-value coupons. And, the pinnacle, the diaper bag full of goodies from the hospital.

I don't know, maybe I'm a little weird...but you KNOW how much I LOVE a freebie! Why pay for it when someone out there is willing to give it to you for free...right?

Well, it got me to thinking (like that grammar, don't ya?), "I won't be going to the hospital for our newest bundle of joy...I'll be taking and umpteen hour plane ride. I wonder if these companies have offers for adoptive families as well?" So, I started hitting websites for all of the diaper, formula, and baby food companies that I could think of. I sent emails all over the place posing my question.

On Wednesday I spoke with a nice lady from Nestle/Gerber (who have merged, I guess?) She asked me a few questions about Grace, and then informed me that she had no distribution system in place for the same package given at the hospital. But, she would like to send a different gift to me. Sure! I told her that I would love that.

Yesterday (2 days later!), my nice UPS guy delivered the gift. Inside I found a much nicer diaper bag than I received at the hospital with either of my boys. (This is probably the one I will take to China.) There were also some promotional materials, AND a coupon for a FREE can of formula...of my choice. This includes Soy, which we expect to be using with Grace. WOW! I am very impressed by Gerber's response to my query. And, you can bet that I will remember that when I am shopping for Grace's needs in the future.

If you know anyone who is adopting a young child, be sure to let them know what is available for them!

You know my mantra...There is stuff all around us that is "free for the asking".

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

God Has Given Us A Daughter!

Those of you who hang around here much know that my family has been on an adoption journey for the past year. If you are interested in the story, you can find it at the blog link in the right sidebar. I told you a few days ago that we had some big stuff going on that would take me away from the blog for a time. Well, this is it! We've been matched!

I finally have the privilege of introducing the newest member of the Rainey family to you. Her name is Abigail Grace. Her Chinese name is RuoYun Liang.

Our adoption agency recently had the extraordinary opportunity to access a database of children that they do not often have access to. This has allowed them to match us many months before we really expected it to happen. We received her photos and information about a week and a half ago, but have been waiting for a certain pre-approval from the CCAA before we were allowed to share her information online.

Our beautiful baby girl just had her first birthday on Sunday. It makes me sad to have missed this milestone. But, I know that we will share many more with her!

These are the things that we know:

~Her Chinese name, RuoYun, means "like a cloud", the surname, Liang, identifies her as a resident of her particular orphanage.

~She was abandoned at approximately 4 days old at the gate of the orphanage where she resides.

~There is much poverty in her province.

~Her province has the highest rate of both birth defects and infant mortality in China.

~She is with people who truly care for the children in their charge. I have been in contact with families who have been there, know the director, and attest to the children receiving the best care possible in their given situation.

~She has a unilateral cleft palate and lip which will require one or more surgeries and speech therapy once we get her home.

~She is a quiet child.

~She likes to play with blocks.

~She loves music.

There are many children in her orphanage with mild to severe special needs. The population of the orphanage increased significantly last year. Many of these little ones have very little hope for adoption. The fact that such kind care is given to so many with special needs is a tribute to the Nannies and Orphanage Director. It is a comfort to know that she is with people who love her.

The orphanage was damaged by an earthquake in 2008. Caring people there have been working since then to raise the funds to rebuild so that they can be in a safer structure. This building is being erected now, and they hope to move the children around August.

So here's the BIG question...When do we go and get her?
We don't know for sure. We are waiting for a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from the CCAA. When we get this, it will include an invitation to travel. The trip will be planned at that point, based upon the appointment that we are given at the US Consulate in Guangzhou. I will share more about the details of the trip when the time draws nearer. We expect (hope) to travel within 4-6 months.

We are so excited, so thankful, and so very blessed to have the privilege of parenting this sweet girl, and her big brothers Sam and Seth.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Where in the World is MDM?

I know that my posting recently has been sporadic at best.

Just so you really bugs me...a lot. But, my family received some life-changing information a few days ago. It's good stuff...really good. Unfortunately I cannot share the details with you just yet. Trust me, when I can, I will!

I just wanted you to know that I haven't forgotten about you. I will continue to post when I can. This blog is important to me.

There are other things afoot right now that must and should divert my attention. As much as I love sharing the freebie post with you each week, it is the most time-consuming post that I put together. I have to put it on hold for now. I want to direct you to For the Mommas and Freebies 4 Mom. They will keep you up to speed as the freebies become available.

I cannot wait to share my news with you...really! Hopefully that time will come within the next few days.

All My Love,
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