Monday, February 28, 2011

Updated: Did you remember?

Don't forget about Jeans Day on Monday!









Wear jeans on February 28
in support of those affected by rare diseases.




Approximately 30 million people in the U.S. are affected by some 7,000 rare diseases, most of which do not have cures or reliable treatments [like Batten Disease.]

What this group of fighters does have is hope—and the unbreakable support of friends, family and a growing number of compassionate people who want to make a difference.

Rare Disease Day is February 28th.

The Global Genes Project would like you to join the thousands of supporters all over the world by wearing jeans to raise awareness for the rare disease community. Go one step further and take a picture of yourself or your group in jeans and post it to our Facebook page. No matter how creative or how many people, you’ll be making a big statement on February 28th.


To learn more about Rare Disease Day or the rare disease community in general, we encourage you and your employees to visit the Global Genes Project on Facebook. Together, we can all show that we care about rare.


Thanks for supporting this project! Can't wait to see your photos on Facebook! 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Moments

When I look at my little Cora, who is almost 2 now, and so very full of life, I wish I could freeze the moments. My memory isn't so kind these days. Sometimes it is very faint. I wish I could push rewind sometimes and watch the archives stored in the depths of my mind. The happy times, the watermelon on the beach times, the head flung back with laughter times, the proud dance recital times, kicks on the soccer field times, goals scored times, tickle times, tricks on the swings set times, splashes in the pool times, bugs discovered times, hugs and kisses times, I love you times, butterflies covering the sky on the beach times, healthy times...

Following is a video from Ann Voskamp. I appreciate so much the blessing her writing has been for my soul recently. I hope you will enjoy this too... (please pause the music at the bottom of our blog to enjoy the sound from the video.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Set in stone

I've thought about it all year long. I've written about it here...how I'm not really sure why we put off ordering Emma's headstone for so long. Except that maybe it was just too final...accepting that she really is gone. forever. A part of the earth now. I was thinking this morning that her birthday is just around the corner. Would it be nice to have her marker there, or not really? Then, the phone rang, and the number looked familiar, but I couldn't remember why until the sweet voice on the other end of the line said it was here, and they could set it today if we liked. I said that would be fine and cried the rest of the day. Some things really are set in stone.

I am glad there is hope of a future with her again some day...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

For the man of my dreams,
who has made so many of them come true,
the man who loves me,
who cups my face in his hands and kisses me and tells me how beautiful I am,
the man who holds my hand through the thick and the thin,
gives me hope,
reminds me to stay the course,
the man who fathers our children,
studies hard,
works hard,
plays hard,
provides.

I love this man with whom God joined me.
I love this man who makes me laugh until my sides hurt,
makes my heart flutter,
makes me think.

I only hope he feels my love the same way.
I love his smile, his stoic expression, his wink from across the room,
the way he holds my hand,
wraps his arm around me,
holds me.

On this Valentine's Day, a day for celebrating love,
I celebrate our love.
I love you, Kelvin.

"I am my beloved's, and he is mine..." Song of Solomon 6:3

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Food

Our menu for the week has been yummy so far. We have had...

Sunday divine lunch at one of our favorite seafood dives, Topwater Grille. Oysters on the half shell and fish tacos. YUM-O! Treat for the month.

Monday leftover pasta

Tuesday BAKED TURKEY AND CORN BURRITOS (six o'clock scramble)
1 lb. ground turkey, (or use vegetarian ground meat or 15 oz. black beans, rinsed and drained)
15 oz. vegetarian refried beans
1 cup salsa
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack or Cheddar cheese
10 burrito size (large) whole wheat or flour tortillas
1 cup nonfat or low fat sour cream, for serving (optional)
1 cup salsa, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Over medium heat, brown the turkey in a large nonstick skillet until it is cooked through, about 5 minutes (if using vegetarian ground meat or beans, add in the next step instead). Add the refried beans, salsa and corn (reserve any remaining corn to serve on the side with the burritos), and warm them until the mixture is heated through, stirring occasionally. Remove it from the heat and stir in the cheese. Warm the tortillas in the microwave for approximately 1 minute to soften them. Assemble the burritos by spooning one large scoop of the turkey-bean mixture into each tortilla, folding in the sides, and rolling them up. Place them in the baking dish, and bake them, uncovered, until the tortillas are crisp and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. (Meanwhile, prepare the avocados, if you are serving them.) Serve them topped with sour cream, salsa, and/or avocados, if desired.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Use spicy salsa and add a few dashes of hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco, to the turkey.
Tip: Monterrey Jack cheese is a great addition to many Mexican-inspired recipes. It generally melts very well making it easy to work with in baked dishes and grilled cheese sandwiches.

SERVE WITH AVOCADOS WITH LIME
Peel and slice 2 - 4 avocados and sprinkle them with 1 - 4 tsp. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime) and 1/8 - 1/2 tsp. salt (or mash the avocados, lime juice and salt to make guacamole.)

Wednesday RICH AND CREAMY POTATO, LEEK AND BARLEY STEW (six o'clock scramble)
1 cup quick-cooking or regular barley, (if using regular barley, soak in water overnight, if time allows) 
2 Tbsp. butter
3 leeks, white parts only, sliced and soaked in water to clean them
3 medium white potatoes, diced
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 tsp. fresh or dried rosemary or thyme
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, plus extra water or broth to taste
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/8 tsp. black pepper, or to taste


Soak the barley while you are preparing the stew (unless you are using quick-cooking barley) and set it aside. (Soak it overnight, if possible, for quicker cooking.) In a large saucepan, preferably nonstick, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the leeks, potatoes, carrots and rosemary or thyme, and sauté them until they are slightly softened, 6 - 8 minutes. Add the broth and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer it uncovered for 10 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender or use a hand-held immersion blender (add up to a cup of water or broth for a thinner soup) and return it to the pot over medium heat. Add the cheese and drained barley. Allow the barley to cook until it is tender, about 30 minutes, stirring it occasionally. (Check the barley after 10 minutes if you used quick-cooking barley or soaked it overnight.) (Meanwhile, prepare the cucumbers and bread, if you are serving them.) Stir in the black pepper, and serve it immediately.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Double the rosemary or thyme or use ½ tsp. of each. Season the soup with freshly ground black pepper.
Tip: If you're short on time (aren't we all??), using quick-cooking barley or soaking the barley overnight will significantly cut down on the cooking time for this recipe.
SERVE WITH CUCUMBERS, PEELED AND SLICED, WITH DRESSING and SOURDOUGH BREAD
Dip 1 - 2 peeled and sliced cucumbers in dressing of your choice, such Annie's Naturals Goddess, ranch, or Italian dressing. Serve it with sourdough bread, warmed in a 300 degree oven for 5 minutes, if desired.

Thursday FOUR BEAN CHILI BAKED POTATOES
Can't wait to see how these turn out! Ok, started this post this morning and served these this evening. They were goood! Click on the title for the recipe. While you're at the Weelicious site, you should check out her adorable heart tarts and her delicious sounding strawberry banana crepes...mmmm!! I think I'll be showing my family some LOVE with all of these wonderful Valentine recipes.

Friday dinner at our friends' house. We're taking bacon-wrapped-backstrap-stuffed peppers for an appetizer. Oh yah!

Saturday Junior Forum Red Stocking Casino Gala. Should be a fun time!

Any fun plans for you and yours for Valentine's Day?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Happy Birthday, Luke!

Seven years ago today, my little man-child was born into this world. He was beautiful! He burst into the world at 11:15 a.m., weighing 7 pounds and 12 ounces, was 19 inches long, and had blue eyes and light brown hair. Of course he was perfect! He nursed right away, and then slept the entire rest of the day! We had to tickle his toes and unwrap him to wake him and feed him that night! He is a delight! Now he is a bundle of energy, with bouncy blonde locks and wild hazel eyes! He is hardly ever still and always has an idea brewing about something. He is adorable. I'm sad I don't have very many photos of him as an infant. I guess I was just too exhausted to pick up the camera after taking care of him, not sleeping much and chasing a 20 month old big sister! I hope he can forgive me!

We celebrated over the weekend...
(click on the photo to make it larger)

He was so tired after playing all night with his friends and all the next morning at an indoor fun house place, that he crashed out with his bouncy ball on his eye! The large strawberry on his cheek is from running into the wall while playing laser tag...never a dull moment!

I had lunch with him today and gave the teacher the cutest monkey faced cookies for the class a friend of mine made. He was so sweet at lunch. I treasure these lunch dates.

Tonight the celebration continues with Grammy and Papa, Carleigh and Cora at Chuck E. Cheese's.

Happy birthday, my precious boy!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My Precious Little Girl

Emma,
I can't believe it has already been a year since you stepped into heaven. (It makes me happy thinking you are strong and can walk again.) I remember the day like it was yesterday. Your daddy and I had been close by your side for so many days. I cherish the time I got to spend with you, singing, praying and talking to you...just us. Daddy was spending some time alone with you when he called me in to join the two of you. We laid beside you, one on each side, as we touched your fragile body ever so gently, giving you permission to let go. We let you know we would be okay. Your daddy is a rock, and he holds me up a lot of the time. You fought for so long. Your little body had become so weak, and I simply cannot fathom how you continued to hang on when your heart was so weak and your lungs so full. You are so strong. You are my daughter. I love you so much. After a few more minutes, you stopped struggling. Before that you gave out almost a laugh, a sound I had not heard from your sweet mouth before, almost a release...and then you were gone. I held you then, knowing I could not hurt you. My arms still yearn to hold you again, to feel your breath on my face, to see your chest rise and fall in sweet slumber, to watch you run and chase Carleigh and Luke. And now Cora is learning about you, Emma. She knows who you are when she sees your photos. You two would have been the best of friends, I just know it. Not one of the 365 days of the past year has gone by without me thinking about you and wishing you were here with us, well, healthy. Occasionally, I find myself envying those who get to spend eternity with you while we are still here. I wonder what occupies your time. How wonderful must it be to sit at the feet of Jesus, or in his lap, or worship the Creator God with the angels...the sound must be indescribable, warm and beautiful. You are a pearl, my sweet baby girl, "the only precious stone made by pain, suffering--and finally--death." (The Shack) I will never be the same as long as I am here. My life was changed by knowing and loving you and having to let you go. There is an emptyness, a hole, a piece of my very being that is missing. I love you precious child. I look forward to the day when we are together again.
Love,
Mommy


Emma,
You are so wonderful. I miss you. My heart aches all the time.
Words have seemed to escape me for the last year. I love you. 
Daddy
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