Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Note From a Princess

A couple of months ago, I watched as Kate Middleton left the hospital where she had been treated for extreme morning sickness -hyperemesis. As soon as I saw her, I could tell how sick she was feeling.

I had hyperemesis with each pregnancy and it was the most debilitating and extreme sickness I have ever experienced. There was absolutely nothing that would curb the nausea and the 24 hour a day sickness that I experienced. The doctors tried Unisom and Zofran but it made no difference at all. I tried ginger. I tried everything.I tried to eat crackers and ice chips. But nothing would stay down. I totally lost all appetite and could have cared less if I ever saw food again.  In the end, it just had to be gotten through. I always ended up in the hospital at some point with severe dehydration, sometimes more than once.  During one pregnancy, a PICC line had to be put in until I got over the roughest part.( A PICC line is an intravenous line that is put in to help you stay hydrated during the excessive vomiting.)  But then, at the end of the fourth month, the symptoms would ever so slowly subside and I could begin to enjoy being pregnant. When I was about five or six months pregnant, I was always the happiest pregnant woman you would ever meet!

When I looked at Kate Middleton, I could almost feel her symptoms. I googled the address where I could send a note to her as well as the proper way to address her. Then I sent a short note to let her know that I was praying for her, that this sickness would not last, and that it would be worth it all in the end. I did feel a little silly taking it to the post office to be mailed. But I also know that it would have helped me if I had known someone else who had been through the same thing.

I did wonder if she would even see it. A couple of months went by and I forgot about it.

But two days ago, I received a note from Buckingham Palace!

I know that there were probably many of these notes mailed to well wishers and others who, like me, knew how she had been feeling and wanted to help. But it was very fun to receive it!

2 Corinthians 1:3 says, "...and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."

If you are experiencing this kind of morning sickness, I just want to say to you, too, that it won't last forever. You will feel better in time. One day soon, you'll hold your beautiful baby in your arms and this hard time will be in the past.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Not long after we were married, my mother-in-law bought me a wok and a Chinese cookbook. I found the recipe for sweet and sour chicken in that cookbook and I've made it ever since. It's very easy to put together and makes a pretty presentation. I do have to add with a laugh that two of my kids say they don't care to eat it anymore as I have made it so many times. But my husband still says that it's one of his favorites.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into cubes
1 green bell pepper cut into thin strips
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
2 small bottles La Choy Sweet and Sour Sauce
white rice

Brown the chicken breasts in 2 T. oil in a wok until cooked through - about 10 -15 minutes.

Add a little more oil if needed to stir fry the bell pepper strips with the chicken until tender.

Add the can of pineapple chunks.

Add the 2 bottles of sweet and sour sauce.

Heat until hot and bubbling and then turn to low. Serve over rice. You may also add egg rolls for this meal.

It's really good and super easy to put together. I've been in a cooking slump lately and have been so tired of cooking. I think I'm just ready to eat fresh tomatoes and corn and good things from off the grill. But we have a lot of snow on the ground right now, so that day is still a ways off.

Enjoy! And here's hoping that spring is almost here:)

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

They Will Grow Up and Bring You Cupcakes

Our little boy turns 22!

Our first child just turned 22 years old! It seems just like yesterday that I went to the hospital, not really knowing what to expect. Oh, I had heard plenty of horror stories of labor and delivery that some ladies felt obligated to tell me about. But I hoped it wouldn't be as bad as all that. Fortunately, it was a quick delivery and before I knew it, I was holding an 8 pound baby boy in my arms.

Dave and I laugh now over how scared he was driving us home. I sat in the back with baby Evan as we drove slowly home in the snow. (Dave was horrified at the recklessness of every other driver on the highway that day.) Neither one of us could believe that just the two of us had driven to the hospital and now it was the three of us. We were now three. He was with us forever.

I wasn't prepared for colic. I held a screaming, crying baby and cried too, not knowing exactly what was wrong or what we should be doing. But finally, the colic faded away and we had a sweet little baby boy that we fell in love with.

Evan was always an easy baby. We used to take long 16 hour drives to see my parents in Mississippi. I would look in the backseat and there would be Evan, sucking on his round, red pacifier while giving me a grin and kicking his bare feet.

He walked at 9 months. Not long after we bought him the cutest little businessman suit.  I remember when my parents visited and I dressed him in that suit and watched him walk into the livingroom. He also carried  his "briefcase" which was a black cassette holder with a handle. My dad laughed and said he looked like he should work at a bank.

It seemed that Evan didn't stay in babyhood very long. I became pregnant again right away with twins. They arrived prematurely when Evan was just 8 1/2 months old. There were many weeks of Evan coming along with us to the hospital to visit his siblings.

As I've written before, after our twins came home from the hospital, we had days of unbelievable stress. They cried nearly 24 hours a day. This was before we knew that they had cerebral palsy.  I would sometimes escape for an hour or two on a Sunday afternoon and would take Evan with me. Those were sweet days of our sharing a burger and french fries or walking around the grocery store together. I sometimes don't know how I would have made it during that hard time without Evan. But sometimes I worry that he had to grow up too soon.

He used to say to us when he was about  five, "Is it time to put the kids to bed yet?" as if he weren't a kid himself. But I think he liked a little time with just me and Dad at the end of a day.

I remember another time when he was about 7 or 8 yrs. old. We were leaving Mississippi again after being at my parents for a visit. I suddenly realized that it was so quiet in the van. I looked at the seat behind me to see Evan sitting quietly, looking out the window, with big tears rolling down his cheeks. He enjoyed those visits so much with my mom and dad.

 Despite the long hours of being a mom, despite the tears (yours and theirs), and sitting up at night with one who is wheezing or vomiting, wiping runny noses, or walking the floor with a crying will all too quickly end. You'll look around and that little toddler will suddenly be 22 years old.  He will drive to a place he heard about to buy cupcakes to surprise you and the rest of the family (even though they cost a lot).  One of the qualities I love about him is his delight in buying things for other people. I think he is going to need a very well paying job in order to continue to fund his generous habits:)

Even though I miss his baby days, I love the young man he has become. I love his personality and to see him interacting with friends and family. I can't imagine our lives without him. I look forward to seeing all that God will do in his life.

Ev, I'm so glad you were born. You've made our lives so much richer. I have said this about all the kids, but I say it about you today...what would we have done without you?

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

He Will Calm Your Storm

Many of you today may be in a hard place. Discouragement, despair, depression...those awful "D" words.

If I could blow peace over you in the same way we blow dandelion seeds into the air, I would.

photo courtesy of chrisroll/

Sometimes we feel that God has forgotten us, but He hasn't. Our feelings are so fickle. They can be up one day and down the next. But God is a very present help in our time of trouble, whether we "feel" it or not.

God is close to the broken hearted.

Is your heart broken?

Is everything around you, your circumstances, your thoughts, raging in turmoil?

Ask Him to come and show you how much He cares for you. He isn't too busy and He isn't unconcerned. You have a very real enemy who plants doubts and fears in your heart. He constructs events in such a way that you begin to feel convinced that God is too busy for you. But those are lies.

He is infinitely and tenderly concerned about what concerns you.

Take a few minutes today and just lay on your bed or floor and ask Him to reveal lies you have believed and to begin to show you instead what He is saying about you. Your enemy delights when you say you are too tired to try anything else or when you say, "What would be the use of praying?" Exactly. That is what your enemy wants. That is what he is working hard on 24 hours a day.

But God longs to take you by the hand and calm the fierceness of the storm all around you. He will push back the heavy curtain and let you see the bright sunshine that's always been there. You just haven't seen it in awhile.

Dear God, bless whoever is reading this today. And I declare over them that You will reveal your tender love and care for them today no matter how they feel, because You are stronger than any feelings.

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Target Find

There's just something about Target.

 I go to Walmart because I have to. I have a big family and the prices on the thousand boxes of cereal I buy are cheaper there. But I go to Target because it's fun!

My husband and I ran in there the other day and I found this bargain - buy 1 watch and get 1 50% off. I really don't wear much jewelry, but I loved these watches. The first one was $14.99 and the 2nd one - half off.

If you're looking for an inexpensive watch, I think the sale is still on.

What kinds of things have you found at Target lately?

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

What to Do with Leftover Birthday Balloons

Our daughter just turned 16 years old. We surprised her that morning with 16 balloons and 16 roses. It's so hard to believe that she is this age!

She enjoyed the balloons on the stairs for a few days afterwards. Then we decided to send those leftover birthday balloons on a mission.

We attached small stick it notes with a message and also our church name and city.

Next, we sent the balloons on their way.

I wonder how far a balloon can travel?
We thought it would be neat to send someone a message that God cares about them. Who knows? Maybe it will float to someone's home who could use some encouragment. Stranger things have happened.
It was a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I'll let you know if anyone contacts us.
Have a great week!
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