Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Confessional

I confess...

I had planned on confessing about last Friday.  Where I work we had a Peep Show and it was so much fun.

I confess...
I will have to post it later because I really want to share it as well as St Patrick's day.

I confess...

I am creating this text with Blogger App on my phone and I cannot add pictures.

I confess...

I am at the ER right now Noah was taken by the police because he he left school after saying good bye to his friends.  He planned on taking his life tonight. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

How Can It Be One Year?

I have kept myself busy today.  I thought with my mind being busy I may not cry much.  I had one co-worker write on her calendar to come give me a hug today.  What a sweetheart.  It is sort of strange realizing my Dad has left this earth now for one year.  It sort of feels surreal still.   April 24th the funeral home we girls worked with for the cremation will have a memorial for all those who they assisted over the past year.  His name will be added to their memorial garden.  I plan to take the day off and be with my sisters that day.  I cannot think of what to do to honor him today, there were terrible storms, so I could not release any balloons in honor of him.  All I can think of is re-posting the video I created for his memorial.  I miss you so much Dad and will always love you.  Thank you for coming to me in my dream the night you passed giving me the message and allowing me to say good-bye that way since I was the only one of your girls who did not make it in person.


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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Our Easter 2015~ Plus Some Recipes

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter.  Easter time is always a new beginning, a time of renewal.  I used to be very sentimental and cry thinking all the suffering Jesus did for me dieing on the cross, now at least this year and last year it is also filled with some sadness missing my Dad.  Easter was one week after my Dad's death.  Last year I was just going through the motions.  Thankfully last year, Todd stepped up and remembered to get the kids things for Easter.  This year I was back, my blues were more when I was alone and that is the way I would prefer it.  However I did, I mean we did have a wonderful Easter.  Only one person was missing...Emily.

Saturday before, Todd and I took Taj to see the Easter Bunny and have breakfast with him.

Shortly before Easter Dinner was ready, Taj went outside and had a little Easter Egg Hunt in our backyard.  
After the hunt it was dinner time.  My stove is only a single oven and every Sunday I make dinner for all the children and I wanted to be a little less stressed and the kitchen not overhead I used my other appliances.  I made a turkey in our electric roaster. (Recipes to follow.) I made a spiral ham in the crock pot.  I think it was the best ham I have ever had. I used another crock pot for the green bean casserole (click here for the recipe).  Pictured on the left is the 7 layered salad, back center is snicker bar salad, on the right is broccoli salad (click here for recipe *this Easter I substituted raisins with shredded cheddar cheese.), and of course classic deviled eggs (click here for the recipe).
Below and I know not an attractive picture crock pot Au Gratin Potatoes.  I will definitely be making this again.  I only used my oven for the dinner rolls which kept the kitchen cooler.  
After dinner the kids went downstairs for a few hours and played card games another thing we do on Sundays.  A few hours later Taj wanted to try out his new kite, so outside everyone went. Matthew was teaching Taj how to fly a kite.
Well he was trying to teach him but Taj became bored and took off with the kite and
tangled the string up.
It took several people to untangle the mess.
  Taj gave up once the Frisbee came out.  Basically everyone but Matthew and Kera gave up.

Taj caught his first Frisbee.
Matthew was successful and everyone was impressed with his skills.

We had to get multiple Frisbee because Taj kept insisting on having one.
Then the soccer ball came out.
Yes all three events were going on at the same time.  I loved listening to all of them laughing and having a good time.  Sundays are my favorite day but this Easter I felt blessed with how smooth everything went,the weather, and no drama.  Who knows maybe my Dad put in a little good word to God and gave me a gift this year.  I hope you all had a great Easter.

TURKEY IN THE ROASTER

Ingredients:
  • 10-12 lb turkey
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 small orange
  • fresh thyme
  • fresh rosemary
  • butter
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Poultry Season
Directions:
  1. Preheat Roasting Oven to the highest setting.
  2. Clean your turkey inside and out and then pat dry with non-dyed paper towels or a tea towel.
  3. Make a pocket between the skin and the meat of the bird, large enough to fit your hand inside.  Place a few pieces of butter and poultry seasoning.
  4. Butter the inside of the turkey, place fresh thyme, rosemary, celery, and a sliced orange.
  5. Rub Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the outside of the bird and season with poultry season, and freshly chopped thyme.
  6. Place in Roasting Pan (if you want you can place the turkey in one of those plastic bags), no need to add water.
  7. Cook for 30 minutes on the highest setting, then reduce the temperature for 325 degrees.
  8. Try not to open the lid any because this will slow the cooking time down.  Your turkey's internal temperature should be 180 degrees if you do not have a popper in the bird.  A 10-12 pound turkey should take 3 hours to cook.
  9. Once done, let rest for 5 minutes.
Crock Pot Spiral Ham
 (Seriously the best ham ever!)
Ingredients:
  • Spiral Ham
  • 3 cups of Brown Sugar
  • 1 can of Pineapple Tidbits
Directions:
  1. Spray Pan or crock pot/slow cooker liner.
  2. Add nearly all of the 3 cups of Brown Sugar to the bottom, leave a little to sprinkle on top of the ham.
  3. Next place your spiral ham in the crock pot.
  4. Add the can of pineapple tidbits juice and all onto the spiral ham.
  5. Sprinkle the remaining Brown Sugar on top of the spiral ham.
  6. Cover and cook on Low for 7-8 hours.  
Crock Pot Au Gratin Potatoes
Ingredients:
  • 2 lb. pkg. frozen hash brown potatoes (partially thawed)
  • 2 (10-oz.) cans Cheddar cheese soup
  • 13 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 3 oz. can French Fried Onion Rings
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. Combine frozen potatoes, soup, milk, and half the onion rings. 
  2. Pour into well-greased crock pot or liner.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  4. Cover and cook on Low for 7-9 hours or High about 3 hours. 
  5. Sprinkle remaining onion rings over top before serving. 
7 Layered Salad
 
Ingredients:
  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Baby Spinach
  • 6 Hard Boiled Eggs (diced)
  • Crumbled Bacon
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Sliced Green Onions
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Frozen Peas (partially thawed)
  • 1 cup of Mayo
  • 1 cup of Sour Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon of Stevia or Sugar
  • Salt and Pepper
Directions:
  1. Wash all veggies.
  2. Slice or tear (I typically tear my lettuce) into bite sizes.  Layer a good helping in the bottom of your glass container.  (I think a glass container is prettier and everyone can see the beautiful layers and colors.)  Salt and pepper the lettuce.
  3. Next place a nice layer of Baby Spinach and salt the spinach.
  4. Top the Baby Spinach with the diced eggs.
  5. Add the crumbled bacon on top of the eggs.
  6. Next add the next layer, which is the diced tomatoes.
  7. Add a layer of green onions.
  8. Sprinkle the Shredded Cheddar Cheese on top of the onions.
  9. Next layer the frozen peas.
  10. Prior to the next layer you want to combine in a different bowl the mayo, sour cream, and the Stevia or sugar.  Once combined add the final layer on top of the Mayo 
  11. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Snicker Bar Salad
 
Ingredients:
  • 6 Granny Smith Apples (cut to bite sizes)
  • 6 Snicker Candy Bars (cut to the same size of the apples.)
  • 1 package of Vanilla Pudding Mix
  • 1 container of Whip Cream
Directions:
  1. In a large bowl add the apples and Snickers.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the pudding mix into the whip cream.
  3. Next take the whip cream and pudding mixture and mix into the apples and candy bar.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
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    Book Review~ Heaven Is For Real


    Heaven is for Real
    by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent

    I have not seen the movie for this book yet but I have to say I enjoyed the book y.  I want to believe but there have been other books which have been similar and came to truth it was all fraud.  Anything to make a buck.  Regardless if the entire story is real or not, I love the idea of seeing and being with loved ones when we pass away.  I want to believe right now my Dad is with my Grandpa and his parents as well as my nephew.  

    The book tells the story of four year old Colton Burpo's illness and what he and his family experienced while he was sick.  Colton shares a little at a time where he went while he was unconscious during surgery.  He describes heaven when he went to visit for a little while.  I kept getting goose bumps when read about Colton's experience, just like now as I am typing this little review.  Colton not only shared what heaven looked like but also talked about people who passed prior like his great grandpa and his sister who he never met nor knew of, his Mom miscarried her years before his birth.   This book reminds me that we have a hope and a future to be with our loved ones who have passed before us.  I loved the simple story of this book and I do plan to watch the movie.



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    Monday, April 6, 2015

    A Day I Want To Call Do Overs!

    Today is a hard day for me in so many ways...

    One year ago today was the last time I was able to hear my Dad's voice.
    One year ago today was the last time I saw his smile.
    One year ago today was the last time I heard him say I love you, his voice, and his laugh.
    One year ago today was the last time I felt his hug and kiss.
    One year ago today was the last time he heard me say I love you.
    One year ago today was the first time I ever saw fear in my Dad's eyes when I told him I will see him next week and he told me no, because he will not be here next week.
    One year ago today was the last time I saw him be brave for his child.  As soon as he saw the shock and sadness in my face after I said what did you say, he softened his fear and chuckled with I will try honey, I cannot promise but I will try.

     Oh, my!  I wish I could re-live this day and call do overs.  I would spend more than 2 hours with him.  I would listen to him and ask for the following days off instead of listening to his hospice nurse who told me he would make it through the week, he has cannot feel his body shutting down like he was saying.  He knew.

    My grieving was interrupted by Noah, who now wants to be called by his middle name, Christian or Chris, trying to kill himself and battle with his depression and other mental issues.  Stage one of grieving: Denial and Isolation.  I was very much in denial the day he died because I was supposed to be there.  He died less than ten to four hours before I was planning on being there.  Isolation, I felt very isolated for the first month until Christian's ordeal...then I was stuck.  Stage two: Anger and Stage three: Bargaining.  This is where I am now.  I am so angry with my ex for not paying child support to me in March where I could not afford every week going to Des Moines and seeing him like I had from the time he became hospice.  Angry with myself for the pride of not asking Todd for help money wise because he would have given the money to drive to Des Moines every weekend to see my Dad.  Angry with myself for not listening to my Dad instead of the hospice nurse. I could have had two more days with him.  Angry with Christian for being so selfish and inconsiderate for trying to take his life not even a month after I lost my Dad.  Angry would describe my feelings.  Bargaining is also where I am trying to regain control with the if onlys... You know if only I asked Todd for help.  If only I listened to him.  If only I was aware of what was going on with Christian instead of grieving for my Dad.  I try to make a deal with God to allow me to see Dad in my dreams, but my Dad does not show up.

    Stage four is depression.  I think stage four hit me before stage two and three.  I do not know why maybe it was the entire dealing with Christian incident. Finally Stage five acceptance. 

    Today I found out at Christian's therapy last Thursday he overdosed on his medication.  He had been doing much better where I gave him the freedom of coming into my bedroom and getting his medications in front of me.  He took six times the amount on Thursday and four times the amount on Friday and doubled on Saturday.  I am still waiting to hear back from the doctor if we have any concerns with organs or not.  I have to say, I am very tired of this dance, you know moving forward and then a few steps back.  I am so ready to keep forging forward and skip the going back.

    I wish life was just that easy and call do overs because I would go back to one year ago today.

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