Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Redefining Home" Giveaway

My friends over at Getting Through the Day are holding my first "Redefining Home"giveaway! Put the laundry down and head over there. There are several ways to win, so yes, you could actually win this. 

It ends on Monday morning, so seriously, stop folding the sweater and walk over to your computer.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Redefining Home: Squatty Potties, Split Pants, and Other Things that Divide my World

Well, the book is officially out! It just got uploaded to Amazon and Barnes and Noble this week. The Kindle versions will take another week or two. I'm going to have a giveaway once the Kindle version is uploaded. In case you missed the summary, here it is.

I've decided to give you a sneak peek at the Table of Contents too:

Who we are

Our American Culture Shock

Moving in with Uncle Sam

Transition and Moist: Two Words I Hate

Letting the Dust Settle

Squatty Potties and Other Realities

Family Ties

Rescuing the Holidays

Your Day Tomorrow

In the next week, I'm also going to include a "How the heck did you have time to write a book" blog. 

I've set up Twitter and a FB page if you want to follow along:

Twitter: @carrieahudson

FB Page: Carrie Anne Hudson

Friday, February 24, 2012

Poem for my Double Wide

Stroller oh stroller 
You time has arrived
To pack up your wheels
And yell "I survived!"

From the Great Wall to Thailand
You've been many places
Plodded through puddles, 
And lugged dirty faces. 

I have to admit
I'm not all that sad
To put you away
And not make others mad,
When I clip stranger's heels
And splash on their skirts.
Carrying you through markets
Until our spleens hurt. 

Stroller oh Stroller
You've been a good friend.
But your time is over
The good times must end.

Your wheels are all wanky
Your fabric all torn. 
But a new family will come
New babies soon born. 

So keep on movin'
Crusty milk stains and all
You've run your race strong, 
So stand proud and stand tall.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Guest Blogging: We are Grafted In

I had the privilege of guest blogging over at We are Grafted In. This site is chalk full of resources, encouragement, challenges and small pep rallies for all people interested in adoption. I know they have reached into the lives of many to remind people that adoption is important because of God's fingerprints are over every step. He adopts His children, Jesus was adopted by Joseph, we are adopted into a royal priesthood.

Check out the post and then stay awhile. It will be worth your time.

Friday, February 17, 2012

My Book is Coming Soon!

My book is set to come out soon on Kindle and shortly after that in a hard copy. I figured it was about time to share what it's actually about. It's called:

Redefining Home
Squatty Potties, Split Pants, and Other Things that Divide my World

I've had been wanting to write for a long time, but all of my brain cells were being used birthing children and staying awake past 8 pm. Now that I have packed away the diaper bags and sleep in one continuous block of time, I decided to write. Here's the summary on the back of the book:

My first attempt at speaking Chinese resulted in my telling a street vendor that I wanted to buy a daughter instead of milk. It was at that point that any semblance of self-respect was swept into the well-filled gutters of my new culture. Redefining Home follows our struggle as comfortable Americans moving into the chaotic streets of urban China. From the early morning cadence of funeral drums to being accosted by an 80-year old man armed with a toothless grin, China has become home in many ways. As outsiders, we get to take in the culture with the naivety of a child while trying to avoid the cynicism of a middle-aged bowler. After several years, we returned to the States for a brief time only to discover that it no longer felt like home. Having conversations about intestinal parasites or my fascination with American gas stations was not a great way to fit back into the lives of our friends. We quickly realized that we had had the people around us. Flying across the ocean to return home to China reminded us that it's the space in between the two cultures that defines our family. 

The book chronicles how as a family we find ourselves "Redefining Home," and as followers of Christ, how we have become strangers and aliens in this world. Both take a re-calibration of our identity. 

Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting a few short excerpts from the book and a few giveaways here and there. So check back and I'll promise not to talk about my children's and their mom's obsession with potty humor.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Creative Journaling

I wanted to share a way that I get through the mundane walls of journaling. In my mind, all the writing prompts will spur my children onto Maya Angelou level of prose. For now, I'm just trying to get my son to delete the word "poop" and every other unmentionable body part from his writing. Baby steps. Very small baby steps. I had exhausted all the writing prompts my pion brain could muster up. I had also borrowed every prompt I could find appropriate from the world wide web. 

When we were in the States last year, I picked up these from Dover Books:

These babies have revolutionized our journaling time. I want my kids to write everyday. This writing will not be corrected for grammar or handwriting. I only remind them that every form of the word "rear end" or "passing gas" may not be included. Besides that, the world's their oyster. Each day they will either draw a picture or write a short story to go along with the picture. I have some other journaling activities that we do, but this is by far my children's favorite. Each book has a theme. The one my kid's are doing now is called "Things that Go." Each page with have a prompt. The one my daughter did on the right starts like this:

"Mrs. Morgan is about to enter her house. People say it is haunted. Draw what you think it looks like."

They have lots of different theme like creepy creatures, animals, fantasy, etc. 

I would love to hear from others on how they make daily journaling interesting. And if you want to include your favorite synonym for "passing gas," I will promise to pass them along to my boys. You will forever be their favorite person in the entire world. 

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Pumpkin Pie, Candles and Tuna Mac'n Cheese

I am having a slightly prolonged food crush on pumpkin. From the day my mom decided that pumpkin pie was an acceptable post-Thanksgiving breakfast, I've been smitten with this frumpy vegetable/fruit creation.

I'm not so much going to make pumpkin tuna mac'n cheese. I mean, let's not go crazy now. If I'm eating pumpkin, it's because the poor thing has been beaten, mashed, and slathered in sugar. Or it's gooey syrup is hijacking my innocent latte in the fall.

Because I was avoiding unpacking, repacking and looking at the cheese induced ring of comfort that now sits above my waistline, I decided to make a pumpkin pie.

Here's the recipe:
I even made the pie crust out of these graham cracker cousins that we call "wheat digestive crackers." Marketing fail on the name, but when you add sugar and butter even wheat digestive crackers will taste good. But then would cardboard. 

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

I purposely ate a small dinner so that I could have more than one piece of pie after the kids went to bed. Pathetic...yes. As I was eating, I decided to burn one of my new candles. It was of course a pumpkin spice candle. I ordered these from a company called Johnston Farm Candle Company and I'm in love. I burned the mulled cider today during homeschool and I swear it made me a better teacher. They are hand-poured candles and they smell amazing. They even come with a short wick, so that you don't singe your eyebrows when forgetting to cut a new candle wick. I mean, who would do that anyway?! Certainly not me. 

While I realize that pumpkin is supposed to be a seasonal thing, I've decided to rise up and buck the system. My pumpkin candles, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin lattes will be here all summer long.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Commitment Issues

I'm finishing up my final edits on my book and then I'll be done. As I sit here at Buddy's Internet in Thailand, I feel uneasy at the finality of writing a book. The nauseated feeling might also be related to the skinny guy near me that is wearing pumas and looking at inappropriate pictures at a public internet bar.

But let's pretend my uneasiness is based in my inability to commit to permanency. Those of you close to me are going to roll your eyes because you've heard this diatribe a few hundred times. It makes me nervous to have something out in black and white. Something out there that sits on it's own and doesn't give me a forum to sit over coffee and explain myself.

I'm going to wrap things up today and then the publishers will finish their part. The book should be ready in a couple of weeks. I'm going to post soon on what the premise is.

For now I'm trying to forget that my 10-year old daughter just used the "F" word in public because she read it on a wall. Between explaining transvestites and English curse words this has been a very cultural week.

If you want to follow along, I've set up an author fb page under "Carrie Anne Hudson"or on Twitter at @carrieahudson.

There ya go.
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