My Boy is 18. I just really can’t even go there. How did 18 years fly by so quickly? I mean, he has facial hair. More than me, so that is definitely saying something. His voice is deeper, his Adam’s apple is all visible and such. The hair on his legs I could probably braid if he would let me.
Today, at lunch, we talked about the fact that he is graduating high school in May. Also, the boy is starting college in the fall. How is this possible? He was my first son, the first birth I allowed anyone to witness (besides my husband). The first child to be blessed by both sisters. In fact, he was the first, and only, grandson on my husband’s side. The only grandchild named after my father. He has the most birthmarks (in the strangest places) of any of my kids.
I cannot even accurately describe how much I adore this child. He is so fun to be around. Honestly, he chiggers me to my core, but in a good way (most of the time). I dread the day that he moves out because I struggle when any of my kids have left. Thankfully, that has only happened once and I have survived LOL.
He is a beacon for Jesus. I pray that he always follows the leading of the Lord. That, as he continues to grow and move on, that he is able to lead, provide, and protect. He is my treasure.
Happy Birthday, Boo! You are loved.
Somehow, I cannot find my other Seasoning Recipe Mix. With that being said, I thought I would type one out again. I do this because I refer to this *all* the time.
Seasoning Recipe Mix
1 c. kosher salt
1/2 c. Garlic Powder
Onion Powder, 1/2 c.
1/8 c. Pepper
How I use this:
I use an old parmesan container. Therefore, I can double this recipe to make it last longer. I have also used a baggie, Tupperware, or a mason jar. So really, you can use anything. I keep it in my spice cabinet.
Once I get it all mixed up, I shake it up and use this on the daily. I tend to be an “over garlic” person, so this is a happy medium and we don’t scare the vampires away.
Hot on the heels of returning from Pittsburgh, this Philly Cheesesteak Hoagie Sandwich is still on my mind. I ate one there and now I’m making it here! However, I ended up making fries with the sandwich cause my brain is still too tired to do anything else. Fries are easy plus Big Daddy handled the deep fryer.
Philly Cheesesteak Hoagie Sandwich
Round Steak (I think I had about 4 in each package)
Seasoning Mix (Combine 1 c. kosher salt, 1/2 c. garlic powder, 1/2 c. onion powder, 1/8 c. pepper in an old parmesan container. Mix well. I use this seasoning mix for all my recipes).
Bacon Grease (or some other type of oil for cooking the meat)
Green pepper, yellow pepper, 2 orange peppers, and red pepper (this is what I had on hand)
2 packs Hoagie Rolls (scoop out the inside of the bottom 1/2 of the roll. I save this in a baggie and freeze. Reuse when you need bread crumbs)
2 packages Provolone
**Remember this recipe has to feed my whole family and there are 10 on any given day, so adjust accordingly.**
First, I slice my round steak very thinly. Next, I place it in a bowl with a sprinkle of the seasoning and some worcestershire sauce. Stir well and let marinate for about 30 minutes to an hour. This helps soften up the steak.
Once that is done, I get out my mandolin and I thinly slice the peppers and onions. I get them in my big skillet with some bacon grease (and some extra virgin olive oil). Also, I add minced garlic. I season this a bit too. You can also add mushrooms if you want, that would be good too.
I scoop out all the veggies and then I start working on my meat (in the same skillet). I get that cooked up and taste test to make sure that it is seasoned well.
I take the bottom half of the hoagie and I scoop out the innards. This needs to be toasted, just a bit at 350 for about 5 minutes or so. If you don’t do that, then your bun will get soggy.
Once that is toasted, I place 1 piece of provolone on top of that toasted bottom bun. Next, I place some meat on top of the cheese layer. Then, I add the veggies. Lastly, I put another slice of provolone on top.
I place in the oven at 350 for about 10-12 minutes. Honestly, just making sure the cheese is melted. The last couple of minutes on the timer, I will add the top of my rolls just to get them toasted.
They turned out really well!
Day 13 Social Media Fast. Facebook, small desire. Instagram, I yielded. Pinterest, nada. Twitter, nada. It is after 3 pm as I write this, so I still have a chunk of the day left. I scrolled through Instagram for about 2 minutes…really did nothing for me. That is not entirely true. First thing I saw was my sweet little great nephew and his smiling face. I cannot even. So freaking adorable.
I must question, though, is social media losing its appeal? The possibility is huge at this moment. I don’t miss Facebook. Twitter is something I never use and really neither is Pinterest. Now, that being said, my posts automatically post to all those social media sites once I hit “publish”. Am I still an addict? Do I need to continue on my Social Media fast? I would say, yes, because I’m currently on Day 13 Social Media Fast and the temptation is lessening.
I digress. My mom came this morning to bake. We made chocolate and peanut butter fudge (well, she did). Also, 2 big pans of nuts & bolts. There was Christmas Crack and White Trash. I think tomorrow, I will make Bon Bons. We laughed, cried, and played some Scrabble. Seriously though, I would have totally would have taken pictures and posted it to Facebook or Instagram.
Update on Hunter
Today, Hunter was the most stable he has ever been. I mean, freaky stable. However, it was hard to focus because we were staring at him. There was a video that I took and I sent it to Dr. Monahan in St. Augustine, FL. He is the doctor who did the “out of the box” treatment on Hunter. Above all, I simply wanted to say hi, thank you, and give him an update.
I don’t think I screwed up my Day 13 Social Media Fast because I am still on messenger. In fact, I sent the video that I wanted to send to Dr. Monahan through messenger. I had to do that because the file was too large for regular text messaging.
Wisdom in the Midst of Chaos
We had a rough night, last night, with one of our kids. I am blessed to have a mom who will step up to the plate and help me. She sat and talked to him. There was encouragement, love, wisdom, and a big dose of truth. She was tough but kind. It was humbly to sit there and be witness to the beauty that flowed from her mouth.
Day Social Media Fast Prayers
My prayer is that her words penetrated his heart and that change will come. I pray that he uses kindness instead of violence. That he is able to restrain his flesh for those things above. Honestly, I pray the same thing for me. It is so difficult parenting kids from hard places.
Also, on this Day 13 Social Media Fast, I continue to pray that I can remain steadfast. There are some platforms that I have no desire for (Twitter and Pinterest). Yet, Facebook and Instagram, I continue to have an issue with. Maybe it is the mindless “get out of my own head” that I enjoy.
Happy 1 Year Anniversary to Bug and Ben! You have arrived! This year has been full of watching you two get to know each other. It has been an interesting ride full of interesting conversations.
I feel like the theme song “I Will Survive” should be dedicated to you both. You have both grown up tremendously. Thankfully, you didn’t kill each other. There is still so much for you both to learn.
I pray this year is a year of continuing to get settled. Also, that you grow in the Lord. I pray that Ben continues to learn to lead while Bug continues to learn the beauty of Biblical submission. Pray for one another, privately and out loud.
Continuing to Learn
Ben, open your mouth and enunciate. Oh and let’s work on that food thing you got going on. Bug, continue to channel calmness to break those anxious moments that you have. Spread your wings and create a space that is unique to you both.
I am so glad this first year is under your belts. Gracious. It does get better. You will not fight, so much, over the little things. Compromise will become second nature to you both. You will probably have walked through a fire. Remember that that fire refines you and makes you stronger.
Lean into each other during those times. You will see what each other is made of and you will love more deeply. I am so proud of both of you and I look forward to what the future holds!
Day 12 Social Media Fast. Plans did not pan out, today. Instead of my mama coming and baking, Hunter and I were at the doctor’s office. He woke up with a juicy cough and a bit of snot. This is the first time he has been sick since he got “sick” June 2017.
I am not one of those mama’s run their kids to the doctor’s office every time they run a fever. Like their fever has to be a 104 before I will even consider taking them. It is pointless. They will tell me to alternate Tylenol and Ibuprofen and do the BRAT diet. For those of you who do not know the BRAT diet, it is Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. Side note: I miss Instagram. Why? Just why? Cause I’m a social media addict, that’s why.
Reasons to go to Doctor
We have gone to the office if a kid cut’s their toe off walking a Pug (true story). Also, we will go if a kid falls 40 feet out of a tree. I have been known to take a kid if they almost die in a car wreck. More recently, I took a kid because they could no longer walk. Ya know, little things like that! Being the social media addict that I am, it was hard to just sit in the doctor’s office. All we did was talk and rock.
Sadly, we spent 3 hours total in this office. He fell asleep on me at one point. Our doctor is amazing and we value his opinion. He knows me, well, so he knows this is not the norm for me. I’m glad I took him because he has an ear infection.
Previously, I would “Google” the symptoms and then announce on social media what the problem was or if anyone else had those symptoms. Seriously, how did I handle illness before the land of Facebook or Instagram? I have said this before, but I’m not a big Twitter or Pinterest person.
After we left there, we went to lunch (it was 1 pm) and came home. I had to run some errands, so I Noah to watch the kids while I ran to town. I picked up my oldest daughter and we ran my errands. In lieu of my social media fast, I didn’t carry my phone in anywhere.
She and Ben stayed for supper and we played cards while the other kids colored, did chores, played on the Xbox, and watched a movie. Other than Hunter being sick and the behaviors of one child, it was a good night. I could not be more pleased with how Day Social Media Fast turned out.
Final Thoughts on Day 12 Social Media Fast
There was no real time to think about checking anything. Actually, there was no desire. If I can make this a continual habit, then I may try going to the gym for 30 straight days. What a difference that would make!
Tomorrow, Martha is coming to bake, so that will take up 1/2 my day. I still have to deal with one child who is making very poor choices. Also, I have to grade one kid’s papers and write their schedule for January to May.
All in all, I am almost at the 2-week mark and I’m thrilled. Day 12 Social Media Fast is on the books and finished.
Day 11 Social Media Fast. Frankly, I have not had time to mindlessly scroll today. All last night, I was on edge. You know that sound, deep in the recesses of the night. A cough here, a cough there. Then, the sound of vomit. Yep. Vomit.
Houston, We Have Vomit
At about 11 pm, Hunter whined a bit, coughed a bit, and then there is was…the sound. In good mom fashion, I panicked. I do not do vomit. Not even in the slightest. There is no moment, in time, where I do vomit. So, I jumped up and turned the bathroom light on.
Then, I scurried to the door and hollered for Bart. He is such a good daddy. As he is heading up the stairs, I whisper “vomit.” He does what all good daddy’s do and he rushes over to Hunter to check things out. I cower behind the bedroom door hoping the vomit does not hear me. Honestly, who has time to be a social media addict when vomit is involved?
Good Daddy Versus Sucky Mommy
He tells Hunter to head into the bathroom and I do go in there with him. I take his shirt off and escort him to the toilet. Kids with ataxia shake. All the time. There are very little times when they do not shake aka never stop shaking. Then, he starts gagging and I’m done.
Bart is trying to check the status of his covers/bed and I’m high tailing it out of the bathroom. All the while, I’m whispering “vomit, vomit.” I guess I think the vomit will hear me and I will start vomiting. Sadly, I am not far off that mark because I will hold your hair back, but I will also be throwing up right with you. Fun stuff in store for Day 11 Social Media Fast.
Doing What I Can
I wiped down his bed and got him a new shirt (see I can parent like a beast). Also, I got a washcloth. Hunter had no fever and seemed fine, but I gave him a 1/2 a Zofran anyway cause mama ain’t playing. Essential oils were diffused. Bart cuddles him and loves him. Here I am, mother of the year, dry heaving in the corner. Good times.
Once he got settled in bed, I asked Bart if this was going to be like an event in Scripture. Hunter was prayed over that morning and then puking that night. Is this like when Jesus cast the demons out of the man and the flew into the pigs? Is he puking out his disease? Will he be stable tomorrow? Or, as Bart put it, he could just have a little bug. Whatever. One can hope.
Every Move He Makes
I heard every move he made last night, so I’m pretty tired today. He has been good. There have been a few moments of chaos, but for the most part…he has been good. I made 2 pans of lasagna. Also, I got 2 kids stuff graded and their schedules for next semester.
In my exhaustion, I wanted to scroll Facebook. Not a lot, just a little. Enough to scratch the itch of needing to see what the outside world is doing. Hi, I’m Brandi. I’m a social media addict. Currently, I am on Day 11 Social Media Fast.
Day 11 Social Media Fast Accomplishments
If G works through the summer, I can have her graduated by December. That seemed to please her. She says she will…but I know that it will be a struggle. Jude will finish up quickly…way before May. He is flying through his schoolwork. We do need to work on his writing skills though.
We also got the house finished, decorating wise for Christmas (remember, I’m writing this on December 10, 2018, LOL). The kids did deep cleaning today while I just organized some stuff. Things get so out of place so quickly around here.
That took a lot of time to go through that. Tomorrow, I will go through the last kid’s stuff and get his schedule all ironed out. My mom is coming to bake tomorrow, so that will take up 1/2 my day.
Jude and I noticed today that Hunter was not shaking at all after a nap. Like there was an occasional sway but when I told him to stop, he did. I’m thinking that maybe he did vomit up all that mess that has plagued him.
He fed himself part of his lasagna tonight, with a fork. He did some massive exercises with Jude. Bizarre. Maybe his condition leaves him just like it showed up. Quickly.
That is my prayer. I’m sure it is just my imagination. I mean he just kissed me goodnight and he was not shaking but not steady. A girl can hope, though. Day 11 Social Media Fast in the books.
Day 10 Social Media Fast and I yielded. Today was spent at church. The end of church service, during what is traditionally called the benediction, was very special. There was an anointing of oil on Hunter and lots of prayers for him. We do not know the names of many people at that church, though we have been going for a year. Yet, their faces, smiles, and prayers are so precious to us.
Hunter and Dale
One moment, that I want to forever etch in my mind, is when a man finished praying over Hunter. There was another fella, that we love dearly, and he was sitting on the altar. The church was praying around and for him. He smiled so big and motioned for Hunter to come over to him. Hunter RAN to his arms and the embrace was something you would see in the Word of God.
Dale, during a frightening time in his life, hugged my baby and prayed over him. Hunter simply melted into him. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life. He will never remember this moment, but I pray that Bart and I do.
Chinese no Nap
Once home, I snuggled in bed with my Chinese food. There was not a whole lot of time because, at 2, Bug and Ben came by to help with the tree. We got it decorated and I pray that the rest of the house gets decorated tomorrow. I sort of wanted to post my pictures to Facebook and Instagram, but I refrained. I didn’t want to ruin my Day 10 Social Media Fast.
After that, we played cards. Once a couple of games were under our belts, Alyssa joined the party. We played Apples to Apples. It was so fun. I must say, I am enjoying the company of my older children. They are pretty fun people.
The big kids went home and I hunkered down…that’s when the noise started. I listened to the noise in my head and I opened up Facebook and Instagram. Honestly, I can say I spent no more than 1-minute scrolling and guess what? There is NOTHING to report.
60 Seconds of Weakness
I mean, sure, there are some sweet pictures of my friends and their kids. There are lots of Christmas tree pictures. Mostly noise. The one thing I miss is the constant “check-up” of my friend across the pond. We still communicate on messenger. I will not yield on that because our friendship is a priority to me.
I opened Instagram and instantly the desire left. Isn’t that how sin is and the temptation is? Satan tempts you and plants that seed. He baits you and that noise become really loud, at times. When I yielded to temptation, the sting left. Yet, What Satan wanted you to do, you did. Regret sets in and shame set in. Now, in the past, I would have wilted in that knowledge that I screwed up.
Lesson Learned on Day 10 Social Media Fast
Not today, my friend. I owned it and I now know that it wasn’t really that important and that I have already been forgiven. Now, I realize that checking social media is not a sin. Seriously, I do. I did not make a covenant with God to be off of it. In fact, I just wanted to break a habit. It is much like eating a piece of cake when you are on a diet. You want it and see it. Then you can’t stop thinking about it till you eat that cake. Sadly, you feel like crap afterward.
Tomorrow is a new day. I’m going to make some phone calls, put clothes away, hopefully, get my heat fixed upstairs. Lasagna is on tap for supper, so I’m going to get that started bright and early. Heck, I may even shave my legs. What you won’t find me doing is scrolling on social media.
Onward and Upward friends. Day 10 Social Media Fast is done. Tomorrow is day 11! I believe that a 60 second moment of stupidity does not break me or my goals.
Day 9 Social Media Fast. Gracious mercy. Today, I did miss SM. It is Saturday, December 8, 2018, when I am writing this. Saturday’s are meant to sleep in and scroll mindlessly. Now, I did sleep in but there was no scrolling.
Our goal was to get the tree up and decorate it. That was a HUGE undertaking. All the kids were supposed to be here. They requested no formal dinner, just finger foods type things. I started cooking once my feet hit the floor. There really was very little downtime.
Cutting Teeth is Stupid
Bart had some fantasy baseball thing he had to do, so he was gone in the morning but came home sporting donuts. My tooth is still hurting like a dirty word. I’m cutting a wisdom tooth. How freaking stupid is that? Seriously, I am 46 yrs old. I should not be cutting teeth.
All About Food
Anyway, I made cheese dip, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, sausage balls, and Weiner winks. I also made a cheese ball and some of the best veggie/cracker dip ever in the history of ever. There was a request for chess pie and chocolate chess pie. We bought some chips and drinks. Bart made pizza egg roll type things. I ended up chopping up some ham and boiling hotdogs cause my kids eat like they are starving.
Making Our Way
We got the tree out and up, only to realize that none of the lights worked. It is a pre-lit tree, so there is that. We had some lights that we added last year, but most of them did not work either. Ben and Noah ran to the store and bought more lights. Those are the ones we got strung on the tree.
Alyssa ended up being stuck at work, so there was no decorating tonight. I didn’t want her to miss it and she felt bad because her relief didn’t show up. While we waited for her, we all played Euchre. It is a type of Yankee poker. The other kids colored and watched Christmas movies.
Life as I Know It
All in all, it was a fun night. We missed Alyssa being home, but they are all coming back tomorrow to decorate the tree. She was wanting to play Apples to Apples, so we will do that. That is a game that all the kids can play.
I love having a lot of kids…even though they are loud and frustrating. It is nice to relax and enjoy a night because it is hard sometimes. There are a couple of my kids that are escalated during the holidays because of past trauma. With that being said, the holidays can be rough around here.
Tonight was definitely an exception to that rule.