Monday, September 29, 2008

Fun With Chicken

We worked on the front of the house all afternoon. Washed down the siding, overhangs, light fixtures, railings as well as the windows in and out. It needed to be done on the balcony as well as the front porch. We couldn't ask for a better day, sunny, temps in the 60's and no wind.

Around 5:00 I began to think about dinner. We didn't have enough in the budget to go out again and I had some thawed chicken in the fridge that needed to be cooked. What to do? I get so bored with chicken, it's always the same.

I decided to pull out an old cookbook and started to look for a recipe that calls for ingredients that I had on hand. The problem is I need to go shopping and each recipe had some ingredients I had and some I didn't. So now what? I started to play and in the end I came up with a Caribbean style chicken that my family loved. The sauteed chicken was topped with a topping that consisted of lemon juice, brown sugar, coconut, raisins, onions and butter and then baked. (Okay, so it wasn't low fat)! I served it with brown rice and a mixed green salad with pineapple.

I am not a photographer but this is sort of what the chicken looked like. Need less to say, I ended up being creative and had fun in the process.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Going Deeper

Our Church has initiated a new series call RE:FORMATION. It is taking place over a period of 100 days and challenging us to deepen our walks with God. Now to be honest with you I am only in the very beginning and already feel like I have failed the task. We are encouraged to read 1/100th of the Bible every day, I haven't. In fact I was a part of a Bible Buddies group who were reading through the Bible in a year. I haven't followed through with that either. (Just to let you know, I have read the Bible through many times but not recently) I read the Word everyday, okay if I am being honest, not every day but most days, but sometimes I just read one chapter and that may not be in the books that I am suppose to be reading. I do tend to stay in the New Testament most of the time because I love reading what Jesus tells us...

I really want to move closer to the Lord but find I am so weak. So this is my challenge to myself. I will read a portion of the Word everyday and write it at the end of each post on this blog. If I don't have much to say (blog) I will at least post my reading. That way I will feel accountable.

So off I go on another journey. I will report what I am learning along the way. I will also share some of the other books I may be reading at time.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More Favorite Things

Mr. Handsome, Noah

The little sprite, Olivia

The Little General, Lily

The Young Lady, Emma (You are growing up too fast Missy)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ode to Autumn

In my younger years I was much more optimistic, but time and life have changed me and not for the better I will have to say. I now lean to the pessimistic side. (Thanks mom!)

Yesterday was the first day of Autumn and I read many poems written in honor of it. Words and pictures devoted to the fall time of year, crunching leaves, russet colors, cooling temps, apples picked, cider made, pumpkins ripened and of coarse the donuts. Okay, I will give you the cider donuts, but I can't help to think that all this is just a prelude to the cold and snow.

I came to love the warm winters down south while we lived there. I think the four of the five Christmases that we spent there had temps in the 60's and 70's. Last year, back in Michigan, Christmas day was dingy and cold. Burrrr...

My son loves to plan. He has autistic tendencies and one of the problems he faces is compulsive planning. He plans his breakfasts, lunches and dinners days ahead, this also goes for holidays. He has been talking about Christmas for several months now. I have been thinking of Christmas for months now. We will be going to Charleston, SC for the holiday. I will get to spend it with my girls, bask in the warmth, walk along the shore and of course go into the city and forget the frigid weather up here.

So here's to you Autumn! Come on in and lead us to the cold and snow, Lance and I are planning our escape. Until then I will drink the cider and eat the donuts and even crunch some leaves under my feet, but you will not get me to write an ode or two to you.

Monday, September 22, 2008

...of mice and men.

I worked Sunday afternoons holding open a model home until four weeks ago. There are people moving in now and I no longer have a job. The problem is I need a princess son leaves for school at 6:30 a.m. and returns home about 2:30 p.m. four days a week. Who is going to hire me for those hours? I can work nights and weekends but the economy is horrible here in Michigan...

In the egress window at the model home lived two frogs, an assortment of spiders and a very small, furry mouse. It was great to go down into the basement every week and see my own little eco system. The last time I was down, I saw that little mouse all curled up in the sash of the window sleeping contentedly. I began to related to that little mouse. I am very content living in my own little world, not willing to try to escape from my small surroundings. I love just being in my home cleaning, cooking, reading, watching TV...not venturing too far.

I use to live and work in the Carolinas and miss it terribly. I long to go back. I guess that is why I curl up and sleep. It is time to venture out and move on, what ever that means.

I found a part time job at the Disney Store and I am still looking for other work. I need to get more involved at church and get to know more people. I am just not sure how to do it, it has been so long.

Help me Lord not to be too content and sleepy and also help me to trust you to move me out of my little window.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Best Laid Plans...

Tuesday afternoon I decided that since my knee is much better (still not 100%)and I am feeling pretty good now, I will start my diet and workout at the gym. I walk with Oliver for about 20-30 min. everyday but that is a slower walk and we are beginning to bike again but not everyday.

My brother had given be a recipe Sunday and told me it was to die for. Peanut butter popcorn. I know it has been around a while but he and I have never made it before. Anyway, I decided to make it Tuesday night for the one last hurrah. Okay...that wasn't a good idea, I couldn't stop eating it!!! I finally got up and threw out the last half. Yes, I know me and knew I wouldn't stop eating it, so out it went.

Wednesday was an okay day as far as the diet goes, but I didn't go to the gym because I was so busy. Thursday was another okay day but I made quesadillas for dinner, again no gym. Thursday evening my brother called and asked if I made the popcorn...I told him what happened and he had the nerve to laugh.

Now the thought was planted...AGAIN!!! Yep, I made the peanut butter popcorn. I didn't throw it out this time, I set it on the counter and every time I walk by I grabbed a piece. Now I want you to know that I cut the recipe down by half and only ate half of that last night. It is still calling me.

I think it will end up in the trash again. And today I am going to the gym, oh wait, I have to clean the house and go to the pharmacy and stop at the library and do a couple loads of laundry and...okay, I'll go to the gym tomorrow.

Peanut Butter Popcorn:

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup or honey
Bring to a rolling boil; remove from heat

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter or you can use creamy peanut butter and add some chopped peanuts
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Drizzle over 2 quarts of unsalted popped popcorn (1/3 to 1/2 cup of unpopped popcorn)
Stir to coat

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Money Pit

* Initial purchase price - $$$$$
* Premium, all natural food and treats x 5 - $$
* Supplies, toys - $$$
* Inoculations x 3 - $$$
* Monthly heart worm and flea and tick treatment x 4 - $$
* Behaviorist - $$$$
* Parasite treatment - $
* Trip to breeder's (to return him) - $$
* Trip to breeder's (to pick him back up) - $$
* Mange treatment x 3 - $$$
* Parasite treatment again - $
* Adoring eyes, uncompromising love, walking partner - Priceless


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Quandary

Kevin and I sat in the front row and Lance, our son, sat in the defendant's chair. He was wringing his hands and talking to himself. Susan, his court appointed attorney, was sitting next him and laid her hand on his shoulder and reassured him that it was okay. We were listening to the school psychologist tell the judge that Lance has the cognitive and physical ability of a five year old, he would never be able to be alone.

It was very hard to listen to the negative testimony of Lance's abilities, or should I say disabilities. But after the Judge rendered his decision and appointed me his guardian, I have to admit that I was, in a very small way, relieved and yes, even happy. I will always be able to take care of him.

A few weeks earlier I went down to Charlotte, NC, to help our middle daughter pack up her things, put most of it in storage and moved her and her dog Pippin, to Charleston, SC, so she can finish her education. She will be living with our oldest daughter and her husband David and their two doggies, Tilly and Kally. She would not listen to me and move home where I can take care of her.

I find that I am in a quandary. Our friends' children are all leaving the home and they (our friends) are becoming empty nesters, we are not and will never be. I grieve at times because I can never leave the house anytime I want or eat in front of the TV or just run around the house without clothes on. I have to find someone to be with Lance if we want to go out. We eat dinner at the table every night because he is not able to balance a plate in his lap and the no clothes thing?? Well, lets just say, I would probably have never done that anyway... On the flip side, I have someone around to crack jokes with, like - "Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide!" I get to watch Hannah Montana whenever I want and I will always get to be a mommy to a little boy and feel needed.

With Brigette and Angela I watched as they moved on with their lives. I will never be able to be a mommy to them again. But this I can say, I am proud of both of them, the decisions they have made and the lives they are leading. They are beautiful, strong, independent and love the Lord, what more can a mother ask for.

So I straddle this life God has given me. I love it and at the same time I ask why I have to live it this way. I will probably never have the answers, but it's okay. In the meantime Hannah comes on at 3:00 and I get to see if Lola will be wearing her pink wig today...or will it be the purple one? Mmmmm....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Non Smoking

Lance and I walk in, the hostess asks "How many?"
I reply "two."
"Smoking or non smoking?"
"Non smoking please."
"Right this way."
We follow her and sit down. Lance is becoming nervous. For some reason unbeknown to me Lance has a hard time with little children. There are little children just behind him that are acting up.
We order. I decided on the soup and salad bar and Lance has a Big Boy combo with sprite.

The hostess seats another family kitty corner to us, more kids...good grief. Lance's eyes are now darting around from one table to another.

Within a few minutes Lance's burger is there and I get up to get my salad. The gentleman with the newly seated family walks by with a lit cigarette looking for an ashtray. I decided to find a waitress to ask if we were put in the smoking or non smoking section. I was assured it was non smoking and our waitress went over to ask the fellow not to smoke. He said he asked for the smoking section. The waitress offered to move them...he said it was fine and put out his cigarette, they would stay where they are.

I am very frustrated by this point, Lance eyes are still darting and he is shoveling in his food and the woman of the smoking family starts to mumble. "Mumble, mumble...pisses me off...mumble, mumble...come over herself...mumble, mumble...does she think she is...mumble, mumble"

The waitress comes over and apologizes. I start to feel guilty and say "It's just that I have asthma." She then goes over the smoking folks and says "...she says she has asthma..."

I can't finish my salad and Lance's food is gone and fidgeting so we ask for our bill and leave.

*Mom died of lung cancer (smoked all her life)
*Dad has COPD (still smoking)
*Kevin has adult onset asthma
*Angela has asthma
*Brigette has asthma
*I have adult onset asthma
*Lance was in the NICU for two weeks because of lung issues

Why should I justify wanting to sit in non-smoking...

When I got home Lance and I had a big bowl of Moose Tracks ice cream, that made me feel a little better.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Baching it

Kevin left this morning to fly to California and so I am in the official single mom mode. It's not the first time he has left me and I am sure it will not be the last but I definitely have mixed emotions. The first is Wahoo!! I don't have to fix a good dinner, I will eat cereal and Lance would love chicken nuggets or pizza rolls. Then I think with Kevin gone I tend to procrastinate and I really don't like this about me. I love being accountable to someone. If left to myself I would end up being the laziest person around.

The next emotion is another Wahoo, I get the whole bed to myself!! I love being able to stretch out...the funny thing is I don't sleep well with him gone, even with stretching out, go figure.

I will have to help Lance with all his grooming needs including going into the bathroom while he is showering and making sure he rinses his hair and washes well. This is somewhat embarrassing for him. He doesn't mind me shaving him which is a good thing since I love it when he has a clean shaven face. (Having said this, Lance would rather have a beard, he thinks it is cool!)

I will enjoy the quiet for a while, Kevin loves to talk...but after a few days I will get lonely and crave the chatter. We talk about everything.

I am looking forward to doing some things that I normally would not do such as go to a movie by myself. (Kevin and I have completely different tastes in movies) Lance is going out with Marie Friday night, so I am planning on the movie at that time. But being in a theater with couples all around me will make me feel funny.

Kevin is in California for a training seminar at the Joni and Friends International Disabilities Center. Our prayer is that God will show him if this is the direction he needs to keep following. He is just not sure if this ministry is where he belongs. I know he will do great, he has such a compassionate heart and a love of helping people in need. He absolutely loved the trips to Kenya...

In the mean time Lance, Oliver and I will be on our own and I will have to deal with the good and bad of it and we will miss Kevin.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I never want to forget that terrible day seven years ago. I continue to pray for the families of those that are gone. May God be with you and watch over you.

Remember 9/11


The last weekend in August Kevin, Lance and I went to the Joni and Friends Family Retreat in upper Michigan. This was our fourth retreat and just like always, it was amazing. I believe it is possibly the only place where families with disabilities can go and totally relax, renew, and recreate. In the normal world we walk in everyday, we are always conscious of the way our loved one is viewed, at the retreats we are the norm and everyone is accepted no matter what. It feels a little of what I expect heaven to be like. We are whole in God's eyes. Each person with a disabilty is paired up with a volunteer short term missionary who spends the entire time one on one with that person doing things such as going to services, making crafts, hiking, paddle boating, singing, swimming, horseback riding, eating, etc... Jon, Lance's STM is an amazing man. He has two daughters with disabilities himself, which gave him incredible insight with Lance. They got along wonderfully!

I was asked to facilitate a small group composed of women with adult children with special needs. This was so humbling. When each woman told her story I became so grateful for the small inconveniences that I experience with Lance. One mother's daughter has juvenile arthritis who is confined to a wheelchair and unable to do anything for herself. This women is in her 70's and is still bathing, dressing, feeding and moving her forty something daughter (who, by the way, is an incredible woman in her own right). She also is caring for another daughter who has recently escaped a horrible abusive marriage and was diagnosed with stage three cancer.

Another woman's youngest son (of five boys!!) is severe/profoundly disabled and in a wheelchair. She takes care of his needs without complaining...she is also taking care of her mother who has Alzheimer's and is a wheelchair as well. Do you know what she was so excited to do while there that weekend? Walk down stairs and hold hands with her husband.

The stories go on... The common thread spoken throughout the camp was "and I thought I had it rough". You see, when confronted with what others go through, our own struggles don't seem so bad. We also see the amazing Grace that God gives to each of us to carry the burdens we have. "...I want us to help each other with the faith we have. Your faith will help me and my faith will help you." Romans 1:12, New Century Version.

I came away from Family Retreat once again with the feeling of contentment. Yes, I struggle everyday, but knowing that God is there and is lifting me up, helps me get through the tough times.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Favorite Things Part ll

Not in any particular order

A fixed computer
Sunny 70 degree days
A walk with Oliver on a sunny 70 degree day
The book The Sacred Echo
Kevin's blue eyes
Long rides on balmy summer nights
Brigette's many phone calls
Angela's infrequent phone calls
Services at Woodside
Homemade granola
Lisa and Phil