Saturday, August 30, 2008

Welcome to Holland

by Emily Perl Kingsley

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...

windmillsWhen 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. Michelangelo's 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.

RembrandtSo 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.

If you are interested in more stories like this click

Friday, August 29, 2008

Dinner - Kev Style!

This Family Friendly Friday is FOOD!! I was on the blog of my buddy from college, Kev, and was reminded of two dishes that he makes that I love! They're really easy and good! I think I'll make them for my family soon! Here they are - feel free to try them out on your family sometime!!


1 pound of Ground Beef
1 Small Union
15 ounces of Tomato Sauce
6 Ounces of Tomato Paste
1 Cup of Water
2 Tablespoons of Sugar
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 teaspoon of Cummin
1 Teaspoon of Oregano
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Sal
1 cup of cooked rice
Bag of Fritos
Shredded Lettuce
Chopped tomato
shredded cheese
and Ranch Dressing

Brown ground beef and onion, drain. Add tomato sauce, paste, water, sugar, garlic and spices. Simmer for 40 Minutes Add rice and cook 5 minutes.

Serve over fritos topped with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, olives, grated chese etc. Top with ranch dressing.

Then follow that up with:

Chocolate Éclair Graham Dessert
  • 9 graham cracker squares
  • 1/2 cup cold 2% milk
  • 1/3 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup whipped topping
  • 1/2 square (1/2 ounce) semisweet chocolate
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons butter
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons 2% milk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar


Cut graham crackers in half, making 18 rectangles. Place nine rectangles in an ungreased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan; set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in whipped topping. Spread over graham crackers; top with remaining graham crackers.
For topping, in a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and butter. Stir in milk, corn syrup, vanilla and confectioners' sugar. Spread over graham crackers. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

ok, the dessert isn't Kev's exact recipe, but its pretty darn close. AND single Christian ladies... Kev is available and quite a catch I might add. Luv ya Kevie-pooh!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


My summer study went through the book Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend. I don't read alot of nonfiction but I did like this book. It was biblical and very applicable to my life and relationships. Psychologists and inspirational speakers Cloud and Townsend present a biblical treatment of boundaries, identify how boundaries are developed, and how they become injured. They also show Christian misconceptions of the function and purpose of boundaries, and provide a steps for developing and maintaining healthy limits.
I've always been a pretty compliant person. I go-with-the-flow most of the time. I let other people call the shots when sometimes I'm internally wishing we'd done something else or even wishing I'd said "no" altogether. The bible talks about how our yes should mean yes and our no should mean no. Sadly I (and I'm sure many other compliants) haven't always done that.
The book talks about how even though some people may take advantage of our compliant nature - it is not their "fault" when I say yes when I want to say no, or when I let myself get talked into something that I didn't want to do and am bitter and resentful as I fulfill my obligation. I make those choices - they didn't make me do those things - I chose to. I need to start taking responsibility for my own actions and feelings and not allowing other people to control me, whether it be through aggressive behaviors or manipulation - I need take back control of my life and to be able to stand firm in my own beliefs and decisions. It is my God given right and responsibility.
When we don't take control of our own actions, feelings, etc... we're giving that control to someone else. Often that leads to resentment and broken relationships or self esteem problems and feelings of being out of control. When we take control of the things that we are truly responsible for: our feelings, actions, attitudes, behaviors, talents, choices, desires, values, loves... then we are able to love more freely because we are not making choices based on compulsion to please or pacify someone else. We can them give a whole-hearted, loving "YES" and truly mean it!
Unfortunately, not all healthy boundaries are met with smiles and "atta-boys". Everyone's boundaries are different and their expectations of the people around them are effected by their boundaries. Sometimes even when we set reasonable, healthy boundaries with our friends and family we will hurt feelings or anger them. Cloud and Townsend's website says:

Fight for what’s Right
– We are all at different places in our quest for the good life, and sometimes this puts us at odds with those around us. Certain situations require that we take a stand on issues that are uncomfortable for us. We may want to back down for fear of offending or alienating someone close to us - yet we know we must “fight for what’s right”. Some resistance is normal and even to be expected, so let us help you learn how to handle the struggle that’s likely to come your way.

Love - Finally, it is all about love. As Jesus has told us, the two greatest commandments hang on the ultimate reality of Love. And this is the biggest misunderstanding that we find when talking about Boundaries. Many people think that boundaries are about selfishness and are at their root, self-serving. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Boundaries are about freedom, and freedom is always meant to have as it’s ultimate fruit, love. As Paul says, and we would echo to anyone who uses boundaries in a self-serving way,
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature ; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." (Gal. 5:13,14)
Boundaries are about God’s restoring freedom to you and me so that we could take control of our lives to be able to love Him and others. Ultimately, that is the fruit of boundaries, to love our of freedom, and with purpose.

So... even though its still a work in progress... Boundaries work for me!! Click HERE for more Works For Me Wednesday participants.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bittersweet Toot

Well, I've known it was coming for awhile now, but its finally here. I am done nursing Joe. We'd been down to one or two feedings a day for awhile now but the last week especially he had been teething and was miserable. When I would try to nurse he would come at me teeth barred and I could only take so much biting. I was able to have a few good feedings over the week but they were getting sporadic and my supply and demand system can't function like that! My mom stuck it out through alot of pain... but I'm just done. I'd rather end now on a happy note then to keep going and be miserable and have awful memories of my nursing experience. So, while a part of me is sad that this part of my relationship with my boys is passed (I don't know if we'll have more kids or not - I may never nurse again), I am feeling a little bit like I have ownership of my body back. I'm not just a milk machine anymore! ;-)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pre-school @ Home!

Nate and I had a good week (mostly). We did some preschool related things almost every day. Including worksheets helping him to learn to write the number 1 and letter A. We also played Memory and Go Fish almost daily. I tried to be more deliberate in creating teachable moments. And to be patient with Nate as he has entered into the "why" phase. Sigh... I'm so tired of hearing that word. But I have been doing my best to answer instead of telling him "because I said so" all the time!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Studio Crop!

Friday night four of our Scrappin' Sisters went to a crop together (including Sniz & Toni). We had such a blast together! We had six hours of uninterrupted, non-stop scrapping, shopping, snacking and gabbing! What could be better?!?
We're all definitely going to the September crop too! We're recruiting other scrappers we know too! Its so fun to watch others working, learn from each other's styles, have access to a store full of fun supplies while you're scrapping, plus there were snacks and giveaways... it was so great! Here are the pages that I got done while we were there!

Check out more great scrapbook pages and other paper crafts at Sunday Scrappin'!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday 13 -

Thirteen Digital Photo products that you can get for FREE (you pay shipping) on!! * I've indicated how many free ones I've received already. I have been pleased with the quality of the products that I have received so far - I still have free stuff yet to be redeemed! The pix below shows the shipment I just got in the mail today. Check it out!

Large Mousepads - 3

Playing cards w/ different pix on all the cards - 1

playing cards w/ one design on the back of all the cards - 1

heart shaped key chain - 1

8x8 photo book - 1

12x18 prints - 2

8x10 prints - 2

5x7 prints - 110

4x6 prints - 115

custom calendar




Monday, August 18, 2008


I think its kind of funny how blogging is so different for everyone. I've noticed that it kind of comes in spurts for me, and my reason for blogging changes every so often. For awhile I was blogging daily, maybe more. But lately... its been a few times a week or so. Maybe its because WFMW is on hiatus! Ha!

I have four blogs. One for my photography business, one for pix and stories about my boys, one for me to post about my life and hobbies and one that I've started up for encouraging the ladies in my church. I think they're different and serve different purposes both to me as the author and to the readers.

I do really enjoy blogging. I like the writing aspect of it. I used to write alot in jr high and high school - mostly short stories then. Its nice for me to record what is going on in our lives for us to remember later. I sometimes use blog posts as journaling in my scrapbooking. I will admit, I do find it easier to blog about some things than I do to actually talk about them. Obviously, I don't want blogging to replace real relationships that I have in my life, but its nice to have this as an outlet for those things that are hard to talk about. And of course, I like the community aspect of blogging too. Getting comment love from other bloggers is one of the best perks of blogging! Checking out other blogs and meeting other bloggers like me is great.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sunday Scrappin'

We had a scrap/craft night at church on Friday night. I did all of these pages there. What a great group of ladies we had! Can't wait for the next one!
For more scrapping posts go to Sunday Scrappin'.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Another Opinion... and more steps to take

Well, Monday was Joe's 6mos evaluation with First Steps. While we feel that he has made progress he has not achieved any of the goals we set with them when he started the program. We've increased Physical Therapy to twice a week instead of the once that we've been doing - I really love our PT so I'm glad to be working with her more in depth. We'll be continuing with the Developmental therapy once a week. And as soon as an Occupational therapist has an opening in their schedule we'll be adding that too. We've left it open to possibly add speech therapy later if needed. There weren't any real surprises at that meeting, it went about how we thought it would.
I called the developmental pediatric office at Riley yesterday and was able to find out that the results of all the blood tests that were done at our visit in June had all come back normal. We are still waiting for the results of the urine tests.
Today we met with a pediatric neurologist at Riley. We feel better about this appointment than we did about the one with the developmental specialist in June. We did not have to wait forever (I mean, its a doctor's office, of course there was waiting, but much less than last time). She actually seemed to test his abilities for herself instead of only asking us questions about his development. She seems to think that Joe's delays are due to a muscular problem and probably not a neurological problem. She had us schedule an EMG and she does want us to get an MRI also to rule out neurological problems. She also wants genetic blood testing done to see if Joe has Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
We are in the process of trying to get new insurance since what we have now does not cover any major medical expenses at all. Basically, it covers routine doctor visits, the occasional ER visit and thats all. We cannot afford to be paying out of pocket for all these tests and doctor visits to specialists. So, we're shopping for insurance. We plan on following through with the recommended tests after we are able to find some better insurance.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen of my Favorite of my Sister's Senior Pictures
To see the slideshow with more of her pix click here.