Francis Chan

Left over Halloween candy treats!



1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 Butterfinger candy bars (or 8 fun-size bars), cut into 1-inch pieces
3 Heath candy bars (or 6 fun-size bars), cut into ¾-inch pieces
8 Reese's peanut butter cups, each cut into 8 wedges
¼ cup honey roasted peanuts
3 ounces white chocolate, chopped
½ cup Peanut M&M's (Halloween colors!) or Pretzel M&M's or Reese's Pieces


1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
2. Place the chopped bittersweet chocolate in a medium bowl and microwave at 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth. Pour the chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet and, using an offset spatula, spread into a thin layer (about ¼-inch thick - a 12x10-inch rectangle). Sprinkle the melted chocolate with the chopped Butterfingers, Heath bars, peanut butter cups and honey roasted peanuts, making sure all pieces touch melted chocolate (so they adhere). Lightly press to make sure the candy adheres to the melted chocolate. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Melt the white chocolate using the same method as the bittersweet chocolate (in a microwave in intervals) until completely smooth. Using a spoon, drizzle the white chocolate over the chilled bark in a zigzag pattern. Scatter the M&M's (or Reese's Pieces) over the white chocolate drizzle, and again press to make sure the candy adheres to the melted white chocolate. Chill again until the white chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.
4. Cut/break the bark into irregular pieces and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.















Lael is 18... wow!



Lael has decided that her birthday tradition is eating at a Brazilian restaurant called Fogo de Chao! It is a meat lover's Paradise.


Just two days ago someone asked me if we really did celebrate all 10 kid's birthdays separate and the answer is yes. I can't imagine not celebrating them--or at least while they are still at home. Actually, sometimes we celebrate over several days, since our lives are so hectic.  On Lael's birthday, we took her out to breakfast at Flapjacks and then to dinner that night at Red Robin.  We did the Fogo de Chao dinner a couple of days later, because that is how Lael planned it.





Lael invited a friend.


Lael told me the other day she was very proud to tell her friends that she has never saw Mike or me take even one drink. We didn't blow it here either at about $9 a pop. : - )


Yummy potatoes!


Fried bananas



They serve a very delicate bread called “Pao de Queijo” made with melted cheese.  It is a delicacy in Brazil.

The salad bar is great too. This is me saying yes I'm happy... : - )





Diamond in the rough

Her name is Ming Zhen and her time is running out! She ages out in January! She is on the shared list so you could pick the agency you want to work with or of course work with the one you're already with. Bring Me Hope camp staff have met her and worked with her the past 3 years so there is a lot of information and pictures available. This is her video.
"She has an introverted character. She is a quiet and obedient girl. Always organizes her things carefully. She is skilled in the art activities. She likes to dance and sing. Has good capacity for independence. She's a normal and healthy child. She likes the color yellow and jumping rope. She likes to eat strawberries. Currently studying the first year in school Huangwu. Her grades are normal, and she can complete the exercises independently."
Photo 1 - MING ZHEN
Photo 2 - MING ZHEN
This is the information I got for her:
"Andie is not much of a "girly-girl," but she has a good attitude and finds something to occupy herself and have fun even if she isn't interested in what other kids might be doing. She doesn't like to be in front of people (she always declines being part of the talent show at the summer camp) but that's not necessarily a bad thing. :) She likes talking to friends, bumper cars, and having a soccer ball to bounce around. At camp this summer, she pushed all the other kids on a swing for a really long time, and was proud of being so strong. She has really opened up the last three summers I've known her, and smiles a lot more! She smiles and waves when she sees me or my brother. She has even said "Wo ai ni"--I love you--to me on her own. I haven't had a chance to ask her if she would like to be adopted, because the last time I saw her I didn't know she would be available in the U.S. However, three of her friends were recently adopted in MN, so I'm sure she misses them." If you have questions I can put you in touch with someone who can get you more information on Ming Zhen. My email is Please put her name in the subject and I'll try and keep an eye out for it.


Still sinking in...

that he is here.

Sunday Snapshots

I haven't had much time lately for blogging, so this one is not going to have a definite aim...

Guess who?

There is just something about Bret. She is quiet, but not a bit shy. She just draws people to her and especially adults. She does have her own posse though. Come to think of it I didn't see her hardly any this weekend, because of them. She is Junior National Honor Society and last year got Student of the month.
I took this picture, because of Shepard. It was one of the first chilly days and you can't tell here, but he had on 3 robes.
By the way, I'm soooo proud of Bret and the rest of the PCMS tennis team. They won the Mid-State Conference tourney! And Bret and her partner Rachel had an undefeated season at no. 1 doubles. Undefeated and conference champs. Ain't no thing like a Bret Bai Ling!

Gabrielle and Darby, my nieces today after church in their cool new Trench Coats.
They are must-haves for Fall. : - ))))

This is my niece Jenna that belongs to my other sister. She had just got her haircut.

Are you supposed to rate your sons? Well, Stafan is probably #1 when it comes to being a good, good boy. However... even good boys can get in trouble. His Dad is making him write 50 times "I won't say 'what the ___'." Yeah, he never finishes the sentence and it is said all the time on Disney shows and a lot of others, but it does imply something.


Not the best pic, but last Sunday Lael and Bret sang in the teen choir at church.
I told my nephew Eliot I wanted a pic and he gave me this. He said he was Napoleon


I went with my sister the other day shoe shopping for Eliot.
It was one of those fancy shoe stores where you try them on and then go outside and run down the sidewalk in them. After you say you like them, then the salesman says, I want you to try on one more pair and brings out a totally different shoe. I was like... didn't Eliot just say he liked the first one? My sister answered, "Well, here isn't supposed to be the way it looks, but the way it feels. It is for serious runners." OK, but if it isn't about the way it looks, why is it neon green?

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