Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I'm sitting in the transplant clinic waiting to be seen by my wonderful transplant team members. They are such a great group of people. So very caring, helpful, and they take great care of me! They are always kind and cheerful, even when they've been up all weekend with other transplant emergencies. I know them on a first name basis and can't wait to share pictures of my kids when I come back for visits. It really almost feels like an extended family. I'm 5 1/2 months post transplant and feeling so good these days! I'm looking forward to a good update today!
I'm also thankful that they have wireless internet access so I can blog while I wait! Such a wonderful thing to keep me occupied when the wait gets long, which it often does. They don't just treat healthy post-transplant people, they also treat very sick people who are waiting for their transplant, and people whose own transplant just didn't go so well. So they've got their hands full and there is no sense getting upset when they can't get me in on time. If I were in the other patients' shoes I wouldn't want them to be rushed while seeing me. So it keeps me happy to type and they can take as long as they need.
I am thankful for other transplant patients. I have found that other transplant recipients love to share their story with each other. . . people who will understand and have gone through it themselves. I know that I do. Today in the waiting room I met another nice young lady (younger than myself) who received a liver transplant 2 years ago. It is always encouraging to see people who are further out from their surgery and are very healthy and happy. Anyway, we got to chatting and discovered that we both had experienced liver failure from the same genetic disease, Wilson's disease. We were so excited! LOL! A strange thing to be excited about, but it's a rare disease so it isn't every day that you meet someone from another family who has gone through the same thing. She also has a younger sister with the disease (I have 2 older brothers with the disease). I gave her my blog address. I'd love for her family to get in contact with my family. They could be a big support to each other I think. After all, I'm sure her mom and my mom have a lot of the same worries and concerns.
I am again thankful for the gift of life! I got the chance to celebrate Kyle's 4th birthday this week! I love my children and am so grateful for these opportunities that were almost lost.
And though I am thankful for all these earthly things, I am most thankful for my God, the maker of heaven and earth, who graciously spared my life and gives me hope no matter the circumstances I may face!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Here is the recipe for the Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie. It is quite literally the BEST apple pie ever!
I used Libby's Classic Pumpkin Pie recipe here. Which is very easy, and my personal favorite as far as pumpkin pie recipes go.
And this is the recipe that I used for the Shoefly. It's a recipe that my mom has made since I was just a little girl. I think it is absolutely wonderful, but I do believe shoefly is one of those pies that you either like or you don't. If you like molasses desserts you'll probably like this pie.
1/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup hot water
3/4 cup molasses
pinch of ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.
In unbaked piecrust layer liquid and crumb alternately starting with liquid layer and ending with crumb layer. Bake for 15 minutes at 450 and 20 minutes at 350. Makes one 9" pie.
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Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How vast is the sum of them!
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Monday, October 19, 2009
I've also checked off several other chores off my list, including washing dishes, sweeping and mopping floors, and I've started the laundry. Now that I've got the boys in bed and Megan is entertained I am going to take a few minutes to review our Bible Study lesson from yesterday.
Tom and I are a part of the young couples Bible Study class at our church. It includes anyone who has been married for 10 years or less. Yesterday's study was focused on parenting, and specifically discipline. I'm sure I'm not the only mother who struggles with disciplining her children. After all, the world's idea of discipline and God's idea of discipline aren't exactly similar. I do believe that spanking is Biblical. In fact, the Bible has some pretty strong things to say about those who 'spare the rod'. Modern day parenting experts say spanking isn't loving, or spanking just teaches violence, but what does the Bible say? I know many Christians who say they believe that the Bible is the Word of God and His authority for our lives, yet don't 'believe' in spanking their children. Well, in that instance they are contradicting themselves. Here are a collection of verses that deal specifically with parenting and discipline.
Deuteronomy 6:4-7 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! you shall love the Lord you God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. and these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
Proverbs 13:24 He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.
Proverbs 22:8 He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow, and the rod of his anger will fail.
Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him.
Proverbs 23:13-14 Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you spank him with a rod, he will not die. You shall spank him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell.
Proverbs 29:15 The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
Proverbs 19:18 Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his crying.
Proverbs 29:17 Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Ephesians 6:1-4 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth. And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
Being a mother is the hardest job that I've ever committed to. There are black and white and gray areas to wade through, and not just for the sake of raising children that act right, but for the sake of raising children who know and love God. There is heartache and joy; challenges and triumphs. And I can think of no other job that has shown me my own shortcomings so clearly and pushed me in my own relationship with Christ. I know without Him I am nothing, but through Christ all things are possible, including this amazingly difficult job of raising my children!
1-2 If God doesn't build the house, the builders only build shacks.
If God doesn't guard the city,
the night watchman might as well nap.
It's useless to rise early and go to bed late,
and work your worried fingers to the bone.
Don't you know he enjoys
giving rest to those he loves?
3-5 Don't you see that children are God's best gift?
the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior's fistful of arrows
are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don't stand a chance against you;
you'll sweep them right off your doorstep.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
With this sudden onslaught of cold weather that we got this week I was forced to sit down and work on some knitting for my family. I've been meaning to do so for a while, knowing that neither Megan nor Kyle have hats or mittens that fit them this winter. I felt like a bad mom on Friday when I had to send them to school in the cold without them.
So yesterday I started Kyle's pair of mittens. I finished them just before dinnertime this evening. I takes me about 3 hours per mitten. I'm not a pro-knitter, or very experienced, so I'm a little slow. Someone more experienced could probably whip out a pair in a couple hours, but I'm still proud of how they turned out (even with the couple mistakes, but as long as you don't look too closely you'll never notice). I'm just using extra yarn I have leftover from other projects I've done so they won't really match their coats, but that's ok. It doesn't take a lot of yarn to do children's mittens. Plus, it saves me a few bucks to not have to go buy anything so it's worth it. I plan to start Megan's mittens tomorrow afternoon. I hope to have those done by Tuesday and then I'll knit all 3 of them a winter hat. I'm not doing mittens for Caleb because I know from experience that he won't keep them on. Instead, I use a pair of Kyle's socks for Caleb's hands. They are a little snugger and he can't pull them off so easily. Anyway, these knitting projects will keep me happily occupied (I really do enjoy it) for a couple weeks or so.
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Thursday, October 15, 2009
Today I am thankful for people. . . many people.
~I am thankful for the billing specialists in the hospitals and doctors offices who work to get the insurances to pay the medical bills. I happen to know that it takes a lot more than just sending a bill to the insurance company to get them to pay. These people spend time doing tedious work, and sometimes HOURS calling the insurance companies fighting, yes FIGHTING, to get them to pay what they should. I have personal experience with this because my MIL is a medical billing specialist, and I also had some wonderful billing people at Rochester fighting to get my medical bills covered from my transplant and after-care. They did a great job, and I really really appreciate all their hard work!
~I'm thankful for the people who teach my children. I'm thankful for their patience and hard work. I know that working with children is an exhausting job, and not always so fun. But their teachers do it well AND with a smile on their faces! I so appreciate that!
~I'm not just thankful for their teachers, but I'm also thankful for all the support staff at the school who do so much of the behind the scenes work to keep the schools running smoothly and allow the teachers to do what they need to do with the children. I know they don't get thanked very often. They are behind the scenes and we all tend to forget about them (at least I do). Well, today I'm not forgetting. I'm putting my thankfulness into action. I've baked a batch of super yummy homemade brownies that I'm going to drop off with a nice thank you note to the office girls at Kyle's preschool when I pick him up today. I do believe that everyone has a need to be, not just told, but shown that they are appreciated. So that is what I'm going to do!
This is my encouragement to everyone today. . . Don't just tell someone you are thankful for them, SHOW them!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Kyle to me: "Mom, what's her name?"
Me: "I don't know Kyle, why don't you ask her."
Kyle to little girl: "Hi, I'm Kyle. What's your name?"
Being shy (at least shyer than my not-even-a-tiny-bit-shy child), she shrugged her shoulders and didn't answer.
Kyle to me: "She doesn't know her name either, mom."
2. Johnson & Johnson bath toy offer: Purchase one Johnson’s Baby Bath or Lotion product by between 9/28 and 12/1 and get a FREE Baby Bath Toy Frog Gift Set (a $10 value) by mail. Allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.
Just mail your name, complete mailing address, and dated receipt to:
Johnson & Johnson / Parents GWP
375 Lexington Avenue, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10017
3. SC Johnson Rebate offer: Purchase any 3 of the following products and get a $5.00 rebate, up to 3 rebates per family!
Drano, Fantastik, Glade, Nature’s Source, Off, Pledge, Raid, Saran, Scrubbing Bubbles, Shout, Windex, Ziploc
4. Kellogg's Bonus Bucks: Buy three specially marked Kellogg’s® cereals and get $10 bonus bucks to spend on electronics, toys, sporting goods, books, concessions and movies! From what I understand there is no limit to the amount of times you can complete this offer.
1. Buy three (3) specially marked boxes of Kellogg’s® cereal and collect the codes inside each box.
2. Enter codes at www.kelloggbonusbucks.com.
3. Receive your $10 Bonus Bucks certificate by mail.
4. Redeem your certificate at a variety of participating retailers.
Codes must be entered all at one time in order to qualify to receive the certificate. Codes must be entered by 09/30/2010. Certificates expire 11/30/2010.
5. Free Journal from Energizer: FREE Keep Going� Journal - Susan G Komen For the Cure Promo Get a FREE Keep Going® Journal (By mail, while supplies last. Offer expires 3/31/10) with the purchase of 3 select Energizer® battery packages. For each journal shipped, Energizer will donate $1.00 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure® through 3/31/10.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Here is a picture of my purchases made today. I made several transactions in order to maximize my use of Register Rewards, Extras Care Bucks and coupons. All together I paid a total of $27.32 out of pocket. However, I also ended up with $9.00 in RR and ECB to use on later purchases. My total savings which was a combination of store sales, store coupons, manufacturers coupons, RR, and ECB was $91.72.
If I've totally confused you with my talk of RR and ECB go check out CVS 101 and Walgreens 101 over at Moneysavingmom.com. It has only been a month or so that I've been collecting coupons and maximizing store sales and reward programs so I am by no means an expert, but I have seen some incredible savings in just the few weeks I've done it. It is definitely something worth researching if you're looking for ways to save your family a little extra money.
I'd love to hear about any great deals you found this week, so share or leave your link in a comment so I can check it out!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Anyway, back to my topic. I heard about this SC Johnson Rebate a couple weeks ago. Buy any 3 SC Johnson products listed on the form and get a 5 dollar rebate. Well, Glade products are on the list, and lately there have been some pretty decent Glade coupons floating around cyberspace and the Sunday paper inserts. I had two 3 dollar coupons for Glade "The Fragrance sensation" multi wick candles which cost 4.50, so I paid 1.50 each out of pocket for those. I also had one coupon for 4 dollars off Glade Sense & Spray starter kit which cost 5.00, so I only paid 1 dollar. My total for those 3 items was 4 dollars, however I will be getting the 5 dollar rebate, which means I actually made a profit of 1 dollar! Woohoo!
I've already got the rebate filled out and ready to pop in the mail on Monday. I have found I have to fill out and send in the rebate form right after I make the purchase. If I don't I'll either forget to do it altogether, or I'll end up losing something that I need to complete the form.
Now I just have to wait the 6-8 weeks to actually have my profit in hand. There have been quite a few good rebates which I've taken advantage of lately. I have yet to get any of them back though. I think I may start a special savings to put my rebate money into and save up for something special, like a weekend getaway with my husband or something fun like that.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
~I am thankful for the mums that my mom planted in my pots out front. So pretty!
~I am thankful for more good blood test results. My new liver continues to be healthy, and I feel GREAT!
~I am thankful for a fun, though quick, trip to the pumpkin farm this evening.
~I am thankful that Caleb is finally learning to put himself to sleep at night, and has been sleeping better through the night the last several nights.
~I am thankful for the new job that my husband is enjoying.
~I am thankful for the kidless evening my husband and I have planned for tomorrow night. I adore my kids, but every couple needs some time without the kids once in a while, and we've had precious little of that lately. I'm really looking forward to it!
~I am thankful to hear the news that my brother just got a job after being laid off for several months now. He's an awesome digital video effects artist and the place that hired him is lucky to have him!
~I am thankful that my daughter has the day off tomorrow. I'm planning to do something special with her, just haven't decided what yet.
~I am thankful for my very first blog follower! Yea! LOL :)
Psalm 40:16 Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.
Psalm 104:33-34 I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.
Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 126:3 The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
Go here to read more Thankful Thursdays.
We arrived at the pumpkin farm at about 5:20, not realizing that they close at 6 p.m. on weeknights. Normally we would take a little longer to walk through their pumpkin people, and spend more time looking at the animals, however, we had to abbreviate our visit due to the time crunch. We stopped at the concession stand to get some yummy fall treats, and then spent the rest of our time there in a mini photo-shoot. Even though it was a quick trip, the kids enjoyed themselves, and because we weren't there long we didn't have any complaining and the kids were happy and entertained the whole time.
So without further ado: Our trip to the pumpkin farm!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Homemade Caramel popcorn is such an easy thing to make. It is a big hit at parties and a great gift to give to a neighbor or friend at Christmas or just because. I actually made 2 batches today. I made enough for our family enjoy, plus some to send to my brother in a college-care-package, and plenty to share with my neighbor.
6 Quarts Popcorn
1 Cup Butter
2 Cups Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1. Pop popcorn and set aside.
2. Over medium heat, bring last 4 ingredients to a boil and boil for 5 minutes stirring constantly.
3. Pour over popcorn and mix well.
4. Spread onto baking sheet and bake in the oven at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
While I was in the kitchen, I also took the time to do a little meal preparation for our dinner. Our menu for tonight is Venison roast, boiled potatoes, green beans, and homemade applesauce. I may make some biscuits as well, but that will depend on how much time I have. Wednesday's are Awana nights which means I have to have dinner on the table earlier than normal. I prepared the roast and have that ready to pop in the oven, and I also cooked the homemade applesauce.
Homemade applesauce is another one of those things that is just so easy to make and tastes 100 times better than anything you'll buy in a grocery store. I usually like to make several batches of applesauce at once and freeze some of it, however I haven't been to the orchard to pick apples yet so I only had enough apples on hand to make one batch. Just enough to have with our dinner tonight. I know there won't be any leftovers because we all love homemade applesauce!
2 lbs apples
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/2 cup sugar
1. Peel, slice, and core apples and place in saucepan.
2. Add cinnamon and cloves. Bring to boil and then allow to simmer for 10-20 minutes. Simmer until apples are soft and easily mashed with a masher. The time varies depending on the variety of apples used.
3. Add sugar and cook for another minute.
4. Serve warm, refrigerate for later, or put it in freezer containers and freeze for future use.
If you've got a favorite recipe please post it in a comment, or post a link to it in a comment. I love to try new recipes, especially when I know they are tried and true.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
The writer quotes Richard Weissbourd, a child and family psychologist on the faculty of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and School of Education and the author of "The Parents We Mean To Be."
"Many parents are so focused on their children's happiness and self-esteem and believe that if a child feels good about herself, she'll have more to give others. That's the modern idea, but it's often not true. Our kids' happiness is clearly important, but if we place that above their respecting us, caring about others, and appreciating what they have, children are less likely to internalize our moral standards, learn empathy, or be grateful. They may grow up thinking their happiness is the priority."
"...teaching self-reliance is, in my book, the ultimate goal of parenting."
I couldn't agree more with both of those statements. I believe that the goal of parenting is to teach my children to love God, and others, and in doing so teach them to be self-sufficient, responsible, moral members of society. I haven't read Richard Weissbourd's book, but these two along with other statements the writer has quoted in her article make me think it just might be worth reading.
Definitely check out that article if you get a chance and I'd love to have you leave a comment with what you think.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
~I am thankful that I am now able to eat chocolate again! YUM!
~I am thankful that God has blessed me with wonderful children. I've got a little snuggler sleeping on me right now. The kiddos normally nap in their own beds, but I can't help but enjoy these moments while they last! My babies are growing up and won't be sleeping on my lap like this forever.
~I am thankful for God's provision over the last few months, though things are still on the rocky side, I have faith that he will continue to provide as he has always done in the past.
~I am thankful for Autumn scented candles, tasty goodies, and cozy decorations. I find Autumn to be such a warm and comforting time of year. I love baggy sweatshirts, and fuzzy warm socks, snuggling under blankets, and cool evening walks.
~I'm thankful for my mom who has been the biggest help over the last several months. She has given of her time and energy more than is necessary. Word's cannot express how much that has meant to me! I love my mom!
~I'm thankful for life, and more precious moments spent with my family. It is a gift that I cherish! I'm thankful for the person who chose to donate their organs so that I could have this second chance, and I'm thankful to my God for graciously working out the details of my transplant so perfectly!
God is GOOD! AMEN!
Go here to read others' Thankful Thursday posts.
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons butter (melted)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Cream the Following
- Mix Together Topping Ingredients.
- Cream together shortening, peanut butter, and brown sugar.
- Mix the dry ingredients, flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
- Add alternately to creamed mixture 1 cup of milk and the mixed dry ingredients.
- Fill baking cups about 1/2 to 3/4's full.
- Sprinkle topping on each cupcake.
- Bake at 375 for 18 - 20 minutes.