Posted by: Stacey | May 7, 2009

Spring

Rain

Growth

Flowers

and Bunnies

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Meet Cupcake. Her sister Fluffy didn’t want to upload. We’ll meet her later. 

Nothing like a bunny to lift your spirits!

Posted by: Stacey | December 17, 2008

Christmas Food

One thing I love to do this time of year is make comfort food. 

Since we have been out of school for two days, now… we made a few things and I wanted to share some recipes. 

 

First, I found the easiest Peanut Butter Fudge recipe ever and it is SO good. 

Peanut Butter Fudge

1 cup PB

1/4 tsp salt

2 sticks unsalted butter

1 lb powdered sugar.

Melt the PB, butter and salt in microwave for 2 minutes. Stir until smooth, add in powdered sugar and spread into 8×8 greased pan. 

Next on the agenda was:

Orange-Dreamsicle Fudge 

3/4 cup butter

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

3 cups sugar

1 bag white chips

1 jar marshmallow cream

12 drops yellow food coloring

5 drops red food coloring

3 teaspoons orange extract

 

Melt butter, sugar and cream over low heat. Bring mixture to a boil and boil 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in white chips and marshmallow cream. Remove 1 cup. Add food coloring and orange extract to remaining mixture and spread into 13×9 greased pan. Drop remaining white fudge by spoonfulls on top and swirl with a knife. Refrigerate until set. 

 

These are both soooo good. The Orange is almost too sweet. The peanut butter is perfect. 

 

I am planning on making pralines for the first time ever as well as try a recipe for chocolate dipped macaroons. They both look delicious and I can’t wait to try them!

What are you making this season?

Posted by: Stacey | December 5, 2008

Winner Either Way

Several years ago, I had the pleasure of resuscitating my husband’s grandmother.

It was touch and go for the majority of the ambulance ride to the hospital. (I’m a “load and go” type of gal. Some paramedics like to work on the scene, but I know my limitations and prefer to work on the way to a medical facility where they can continue what I start.) She had been in sustained v-tach for an unknown length of time and was extremely weak and diaphoretic when I arrived. She had actually been just commenting to family on scene about the beautiful “gold ceilings”. I was able to administer medicine to tame her irritable heart and coax it back into a more life-sustaining rhythm on the way to the hospital, but for a moment or two… I just wasn’t sure it was going to work and this is what she kept repeating as she started to drift off:

“If I go or if I stay… I’m a winner either way.”

Wow.

That still sticks with me. Most people are frightened or complaining of pain. She had a sweet, sweet smile on her face. She didn’t complain when I was unable to start her IV on the first attempt. (Starting an IV going what felt like 90 miles an hour down a curvy, country road is a bit challenging to say the least… Did I mention I was pregnant at the time? LOL)

I want that kind of faith. That assuredness. It awes and humbles me.

On the other hand… lately, I have not felt like a winner either way– especially when it comes to taking little ones to the doctor. Two weeks ago, my youngest had what appeared to absolutely be a UTI. Took her in, clean urinalysis… start meds just in case while waiting for the urine culture because she had classic signs of a UTI. Nope. No UTI. Could have waited it out and she would have gotten over it just the same.

Tuesday, she wakes with a fever again.

This time, I think, I have learned. We will wait.

I end up waiting all of 24 hours before her fever keeps climbing and she starts complaining of ear pain. Take her in… her eardrum has ruptured.

Probably shouldn’t have waited.

*sigh*

Motherhood is like that, though.

We do our best but it doesn’t always turn out perfect.

Ultimately, I am a winner either way… even when it feels like I’m in the middle of a big losing streak!

Posted by: Stacey | November 26, 2008

Pink

That is the color my poor little dog’s nose is turning and we have no clue why. 

She looks like she has a tiny pink mustache. 

Apparently, (from researching online *insert laugh*) it is trauma, allergies, Lupus or Cancer?

I think a little Aquaphor may help it. ;)

Sooooo, onto other things…. it’s cold and I am finishing a hot cup of chai and eating a hot biscuit with butter and honey on it. I baked an extra while baking my biscuits for the dressing. I had a productive day yesterday and baked my cornbread and made my cranberry sauce. I used a new recipe for it from the Williams-Sonoma website. It is pretty yummy. 

I am also excited like a little kid about a shipment arriving today. I have been eyeing Dansko shoes for a while due to their supposed abilities to comfort the feet and prevent foot, leg and back pain. It sounds like a tall order for just a pair of shoes, but everyone I know that owns a pair swears by them. The normal $130 price tag has always left me saying, “maybe later”. BUT… yesterday, I was helping my brother look for a good price on a gift for his wife and stumbled upon http://www.6pm.com. It is the outlet sister store to zappos. They have crazy, low prices and super fast, affordable shipping. Their entire stock of Dansko shoes are onsale for $49! I decided on two pair yesterday with the intent of returning one after trying both on or gifting one pair to my mother for her Christmas. They shipped yesterday and are scheduled to arrive today. I am so excited!

That’s my morning. Lots to do. Sick kid. Plans to do Christmas pictures today before leaving and ordering Christmas cards tonight… not looking likely unless I forever capture this season of feeling under the weather. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Posted by: Stacey | November 25, 2008

Irony

I, ironically, have a post saved from last Thursday about health and how we have all finally started feeling better. There has been an end, finally,  in sight to all of this yuck and feeling run down. 

 

The irony in this is that Thursday night, Tay ended up sick. 

 

It sort of makes me chuckle at the irony. She was very sick Friday and Saturday. All cuddles. She took me hostage as her personal pillow. I loved it, though, so no complaints. 

She was much better Sunday but is looking a bit run down today and a low-grade temp is back. I hope that she kicks this bug soon. She has had no symptoms other than the fever and that glazed look in her eyes until today and she has had the slightest runny nose. Since I am a bit worried at her developing a cold after having what appears to have been some sort of viral fever… I decided to try out my sample of Sinupret for kids. So far it is looking like a winner as she hasn’t sniffled any since her first dose at lunch. Apparently, it is a super safe herbal remedy for boosting the immune system and supporting the sinus and respiratory system. I may have to check out the adult formula if hubby or I get a cold this season. 

This week is going to be a very long week. 

Tomorrow we have our Thanksgiving feast at Taylor’s preschool. I signed up to help and need to arrive at 8:30am to help set up. We have had a terrible time finding decorations. It seems that Thanksgiving is still days away and Thanksgiving decorations have long been replaced with Christmas decor. Pretty sad, honestly… but I did luck up on a few nice centerpieces at 90% off. 

We are celebrating Thanksgiving on Wednesday night with Shawn’s family and on Thursday we are celebrating with my family. Between the two dinners… I am cooking a double batch of cranberry sauce, 2 Hashbrown casseroles, Orange Juice Cake, and Cornbread Dressing.

I am cooking my grandmother’s recipe for the cornbread dressing. She makes the absolute best dressing and this will be my second time ever making it. The first time turned out well. I am hoping and praying it turns out well this time, too. 

I pray that each of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving this week!

Posted by: Stacey | November 12, 2008

I need a blank slate…

 or something like that. It seems that I keep going through the same trials over and over. 

I’m tired of thinking about the mess going through my mind and I am very sure that you (if there is a “you” any more) are tired of hearing it as well!

I need a blank slate. 

A fresh start. 

One without health concerns. Worries. Stress. 

That makes me almost laugh out loud though because that is life. If it isn’t one thing it is another and it is during those trials that we either worry until we are really sick from the worry or we learn to lay it at the feet of Jesus and praise God that we are alive and kickin’. I don’t want to live my days preoccupied in “what-if’s” and miss the life that was going on around me!

I think that if I’ve learned anything… it is that even when you think you are turning things over to God… there is always more to hand over. 

Now, on to happier things!

It is my favorite time of year. Of course, I say that at the beginning of every single season. I have seasonal ADD though, because by the time we are well into a season, I am ready for the next. *blush* I’m coming to terms with it and trying to just enjoy the day and whatever it brings… snow, sun, or rain. 

This time of year I am thankful for:

hot tea

hot chocolate

snuggling under a handmade afghan

knitting projects to keep idle hands busy

good Bible studies for long evenings

comfort food (and the challenge of converting them to eliminate multiple allergens)

Christmas music

Christmas crafts

believe it or not… Christmas shopping

time spent with family

special holiday plays and movies

cuddling with my kids (that should be much further up on the list)

missing the stomach flu that worked it’s way through church– that one was priceless

Rocky Road Ice Cream with no offending allergens! Yippee!

 

I am skipping church tonight. I needed some time to recouperate after being out and about all day. That probably is a lame excuse, but I am just feeling reclusive tonight. 

Here’s my agenda for the evening: yoga/stretching, baths for girls, games with Haley and knitting and Bible study in bed before sleep. If the girls want it, we may even do some hot chocolate. 

*sigh*

Good times. If only hubby weren’t working, it would be just perfect.

Posted by: Stacey | October 28, 2008

Wild things…

That’s what my two little darlings are today. 

It’s the storm after the calm or something like that! ;)

Both somehow managed to come down with Strep Throat within 6 hours of each other. Yesterday, was unusually quiet as they stayed confined to the couch and content with watching cartoons. Today, they are much better and no longer content to just watch TV… thus, the “wild things” title. 

Sadly, we went to my grandparents church to visit with family. My grandmother has had some bad news that she needs open heart surgery or she will end up in heart failure. I am praying that the love she got from both her great-grandchildren will not end up giving her strep throat as well. 

I am ready to get back to normal, whatever that is. :)

That and somehow, I have had a longing for Christmas music and found the Jazz Holiday on Pandora and it is just perfect. Not sure why I am wanting to speed up time but it’s hitting the spot.

Posted by: Stacey | October 24, 2008

New Perspective…

So, this week has brought about a new change, new outlook and new menu. 

 

I have been freshly inspired by new blogs and new foods and everything so far has been very well received at home! It has been a pleasant challenge. 

 

Karina is my  new favorite blogger. Her passion for food and for eating healthy has been such a refreshment to me this week. She has inspired me to try some new foods and man have they been worth the effort! We had the sour cream chicken enchiladas earlier in the week and they were finger lickin’ good. Don’t take any shortcuts, either… make the enchilada sauce homemade, too. Muir Glen Fire Roasted tomatoes are now my favorite food and I can actually buy them here in rural KY. Amazing. 

Today, I made a Chicken and Rice Soup that the hubby proclaimed is the “best soup he’s had”. That’s huge from him. I basically boiled some chicken tenders in a box of Swanson’s Natural Goodness chicken stock. Add in some carrots, celery, pepper and a few cloves of garlic. (The recipe called for leeks and Thyme but I didn’t have them.) Let them simmer down until tender. Make a roux with some butter and whatever type of flour you have available, add in some milk until it thickens then add to the chicken mixture. Finish it off with a few tablespoons of dry white wine and bam! There’s your soup. Yum-O!

 

We had the second hayride of the week this morning and it was very chilly and windy. Thus the soup. 

 

Cold days always call for soup!

Posted by: Stacey | October 16, 2008

Priceless

Beautiful, cool, rainy morning. 

Hot chai latte sweetened with raw honey.

No fights while getting young ones dressed and ready for school. 

Home to 40 minutes of yoga and some pilates.

Windows open, fresh air, sound of gentle rain. 

Organic plain yogurt, raw honey, pecans and organic wild blueberries.

laundry going, dishes done, beds made… 

hot shower

quiet time before picking up youngest.

priceless morning.

Posted by: Stacey | October 12, 2008

Youth Season…

For those of you who have no clue what my title means… it is Youth Deer Hunting Season this weekend and guess where my precious, 7 year old little princess of a girl is? 

Yep, in a deer stand with her daddy. 

In her Gymboree jeans and camo crocs. 

What a walking contradiction. It’s all good though because after such a difficult year with Tay (the three year old who invented the terrible 2’s and now 3’s)… she is definitely the closest thing to a son the hubby is going to get. (I probably shouldn’t say that with intact uterus and ovaries, but you get the point!)

Fall break is coming to an end and tomorrow morning life returns to the normal schedule. It is always so bittersweet ending a break. I love sleeping in with my girls, staying up late, finding things to do during the week. It is just an awesome way to speng the week. 

We started out fall break last Sunday afternoon by traveling to my parents house at Barkley Lake. We went for the last boat ride of the season. It ended with us getting stuck in the mud and my brother falling in the lake with his clothes on trying to push us out of the mud. Good times. 

The best part of the weekend for my oldest was scouring the shoreline for lost tackle/bobbers (I actually just had a typo and put boobers), and shells. Apparently there is an overload of mussels at Lake Barkley and we managed to find an entire bucket full of them. It tickled Haley to pieces. At least until Tay started breaking them… and thus more terrible 3’s to deal with.

The next day brought lots of rain and the perfect opportunity to go see a movie. Since my girls are both dog lovers, we went to see Beverly Hills Chihuahua. It was very cute and held both girls attention for the entire movie… no small feat. 

We finally finished the week off with a trip to the Country Ham Festival in Cadiz. It was extremely hot for October and we baked as we walked the streets checking out the arts and crafts booths and food vendors. Haley scored a non-alcoholic strawberry daiquiri in a real coconut that made her day, and I had some coconut gelato in a real coconut shell. It was delicious. We were going to ride rides but the cheapskate in me just wouldn’t pay $4-$5 PER RIDE. I could not believe the prices. We saved our money for a camel ride and a mini train ride after watching the pig races. It was a fun way to spend the day and we were able to take along 2 cousins in from Florida to enjoy the day with us!

This weeks return to normalcy includes 3 physical therapy appointments for me due to a pinched nerve in my shoulder that has been causing my hand to go numb. Note to self.. it is not intelligent to let a child sleep on my arm/shoulder for THREE YEARS. We have already modified sleeping arrangements since half of my hand went numb and things are improving quickly!

I am also awaiting the results from my bone density scan and some bloodwork to determine if there is a cause for my osteopenia besides heredity. The top runner for a cause is Celiac Disease and I am hoping that isn’t it because most comfort food has gluten in it. It might definitely help prevent any weight gain over the holidays, though!

It’s very quiet in the house, I had better run to see what Tay is in. Quiet is usually a warning!

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