Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I have challenged myself to blog more.  So, I'm going to blog what I made for dinner last night :)  The only reason I thought to do this was because someone asked on FB what we were making for dinner.  I always have my menu scheduled (usually at least a week in advance) so I know exactly what I will need at the grocery.  Nothing like a last minute trip with three grumpy, hungry kids!  SOOOOO stressful.  Since we try to eat mostly a whole food diet (nothing processed or "prep free") I typically have to check my stock every other week or so. If all else fails I typically have spaghetti sauce and whole grain noodles on hand!  So anyhow.. My menu plan for yesterday was spinach and goat cheese calzones.  I like making calzones and pizzaish dishes because the kids will eat pretty much anything in a crust :-)  I decided to add ham and red onion to the spinach, and since there was so much "stuffing" I just made a flat pizza  instead of calzone pockets.  So.......
Spinach wilted in basil oil with rosemary and garlic...  I also caramelized some red onion and added ham to this mixture

Homemade pizza crust...this is my own recipe for pizza dough.  Since I was baking it on a bar pan I decided to butter the pan as well.  Not something I typically do, but it turned out SOOO well.  The crust was tender and deliciously sweet.  A fantastic compliment to the savory goat cheese.

Goat cheese mixture... this is a combination of Silver Goat Chevre, Buffalo Mozerella and a little bit of Pecorino Romano.  

Pre-baking (375* for about 30 min)....


I think I have to say this is one of my favorite combinations.  The saltiness of the ham and the savory goat cheese complimented the sweet crust and the rosemary in the spinach so well.  I had a hard time not eating it all!! The kids liked it as well, though Andrea did complain that she didn't want the "green stuff".  But she even ate it and said it was "really good..even the green stuff.  I love this green stuff mommy"   :-)  That makes me happy. So... that's what we ate for dinner yesterday.  What about you?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I love Melaleuca

I started working with a company called Melaleuca and I can't say enough about how much I love their products.  Kaitlyn's eczema is almost completely healed.. we don't use any steroids anymore.  My dry skin is gone.  I am able to clean my house really really well even if my windows are closed without getting a headache or having difficulty breathing.  My mom can come to my house and not have to open every window and door (believe me, that's a pain when it's -40 outside!).  I'm sold.  totally, completely sold.  And I'm not the only one... you can read more stories HERE.  So, if you're like me, and want a clean house without nasty chemicals.  If you have dry skin, or eczema and can't get rid of it.  Or if you want to stay home with your kids and still add to the family budget (another GREAT benefit of this company)... I have the place and stuff for you!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Praise and Rain

It never ceases to amaze me how God brings things together every day.   It's been a very dreary weekend.. one that would typically put me in a not so good place.  But it was a good weekend.  My in-laws came down (I can just hear some of you saying.."and that was good?!?!" ).  My father in law is always incredibly busy when he comes here.  The little things that we can't do at 10 p.m. or that we're just to tired to take care of always seem to disappear when he comes to visit.  This weekend my lawn got mowed and the basement has grown walls.  It's amazing how much that man can accomplish in a few hours!  I'm very thankful for him.  On top of that, I woke up this morning to find my mom sitting on my front porch!  Now grant it, I did know last night that she would try to come, but there she was at 7:15 just sitting there reading her Bible.  What a nice surprise...especially today!  
We have been going through a lot of financial stuff lately with Kaitlyn.  Applications for disability, medicaid etc.  Well, through the whole process people keep saying to me "why don't you apply for WIC?  Why aren't you on FSA?"  I guess I never thought about getting assistance.  It's not fun being told that I can't go to the grocery store this week.  So I decided, why not.  What can they tell me but no, right?  Well, they didn't even say that!  We were able to get Andrea and Christopher both on WIC.  Doesn't sound like much, but that's 8 gallons of milk, 4 loaves of bread and several other things every month!  Certainly will help with our grocery bill!!   Praise the Lord.  And while I was there they told me to apply not only for FSA (food stamp assistance) as we will qualify for that, but also for Medicaid for the kids.  That would cover Dental and vision that they don't have right now.
 I just can't help but be thankful this can alleviate some of Phil's stress about his job.  Plus, the special school that we have been discussing sending Kaitlyn to, is a bit more in reach!  We can get a scholarship for her, but there is still some extra cost involved.  How awesome is my God that he can "adjust" things so that we can afford that for her without digging ourselves so far into debt that we can't see out?!?  I'm floating in joy right now.  
So I read my devotions before I posted here.  I try to get at least a 5 minute blip in during the bit of quiet I get every day.  Today's passage?  I Chronicles 16:7-36  Verse 34 jumped off the page and bit me on the nose!!!  "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;  his love endures forever."  I celebrated my Lords resurrection yesterday, and today  He (once again) showed his incredible, unending love that leaves me utterly speechless.   ....Ok, so not totally speechless ;-)

Saturday, April 23, 2011


I have decided I must be a very bored person.   I don't think I'm bored, but it seems that I'm always finding something else to do.  I like being busy keeps me out of my own head (believe me, not the greatest place to be).  So, since I have nothing better to do...not only have I started another blog specifically for Autism posts ,  BUT I have also started a meet up group for moms of spectrum kids.  I figure if I need to vent and get advice, so do other moms right!?!?  I found it hard to believe that there wasn't one already started actually.  When I started it I got an e-mail saying that there were 96 people in my area waiting for such a group.  Glad I started it!!! So now, I'm working 3 jobs (Social Security Disability, Autism Scholarship/School, and Melaleuca!) attempting to maintain a clean home, happy children, content husband and well behaved dog, while still getting all my paperwork deadlines taken care of and continuing to be my fantastic self!  I think I'm doing a pretty darn good job....but don't ask Phil what he thinks, he might not agree!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


So I have been a mom for almost 6 years and today I went to my first playgroup. It was quite fun. A little crazy, but fun. The group organizer kept apologizing because there were some groups there from schools. We met at Graeters Ice Cream.. they do tours and everything like that. Reminded me of Malleys when I was a kid. But they have a fun play area. It was nice to meet some other moms. I'm looking forward to getting more involved with this group. It's huge and there are things going every day, so I'm sure I'll find plenty to keep me hoppin!! It's nice to get out of the house with purpose and not just drag the kids to the store to let them run around!

Monday, April 4, 2011

It's ok to cry

Kaitlyn gets really really REALLY upset when she sees me crying. Not like, "oh mommy what's wrong" sit down and cry with me upset. No, she gets mad at me. "Mommy stop. Your not reason crying" is usually what I hear. Well yesterday was no exception. I had special music yesterday morning. I don't typically say anything before I sing, but I had several different things happen that made me just want to say something.. and then a fourth before I got up to sing. God puts verses in our path unexpectedly, songs we hear on the radio (or in this case sing in a church service) stories that people send in those annoying "send to all your friends" e-mails. Anyhow, I was singing an arrangement of Jesus, I am resting, resting. I blogged a week or so ago about a verse that a friend of mine had on her blog.. Isaiah 45:3.... well, for me this verse and this song went together this week. Nothing obvious at first glance, but I was thinking earlier last week about the words of the song. Mostly about the second verse, which I wasn't even able to sing btw..... "Simply trusting Thee Lord Jesus, I behold Thee as Thou art. And Thy love, so pure, so changeless, satisfies my heart. Satisfies my deepest longing. Meets, supplies it's every need. Compaseth me round with blessings, Thine is love indeed."..... The verseS that I read.. Isaiah 45:2+3 "I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you treasures out of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by name."
Doesn't really fit at first glance does it? But you know what God impressed on me this week? As I have been arguing with the school, and been terrified about mainstreaming Kait, I haven't been "Simply trusting". I haven't let Him "level the mountains" and "break gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron". So anyway, that's what I tried to say before I sang yesterday. It didn't come out that way. I couldn't even talk, let alone sing. I just stood there and cried as the piano, and my husband on trombone, continued to play. I croaked out the last verse, sort of. But it was ok, because it's ok to cry. I think that even though I didn't intend on crying, for some reason it was what people needed to see. I had so many come up to me later and say thank you.. just thank you. Why is it so difficult for us to be transparent with each other sometimes? I'm just as bad about it as anyone. I paste on my Sunday smile and go to do all my duties. Then Monday I hide in my house and sob. Well, not this week. I did my sobbing yesterday, in front of 100 or so people that thought I had it all together. SURPRISE!!! :) Kaitlyn was very upset at me for crying... I heard about it all the way home. Oh well! She'll get over it.. She always does! And next Sunday, when I play my flute.. I'm not talking first!!

Friday, April 1, 2011



Emily Perl Kingsley.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Autism Awareness Month

Today starts Autism Awareness month. Chances are that you know at least 1 person that is affected personally by Autism. 1 in 110... that's a big number. There are about 100 people in our church... we are the 1. There are 550 students K-5 in the school Kaitlyn will be going to next year. That means that in that elementary school alone there are at least 5 Autistic kids. Next year Kaitlyn will add 1 to that number (and I'm sure that one or more will "graduate" to the next school). I never thought I would be here. I remember telling someone that had a child with a learning disability that "I don't know how you do it. I could never deal with this on a daily basis"... Well, sometimes God has a way of proving to us what we are capable of. You never grow if you don't get stretched right? I'm currently completing a 30 day fitness challenge with my friend Kristen. One of the things that the trainer keeps saying is that you won't get stronger if you don't push yourself. How true that especially in life. I am being challenged by Kaitlyn... my patience, my learning, my determination. So many areas. And I am becoming a warrior mom.. and I love every minute :)
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