Roast Recipe

Roast Recipe


Chuck roast (now, I used 2 cause I have 5 billion children, but I will tell you what I will do with it at the end of this post!)

Seasoning mix

2 packets Lipton onion soup mix

Worcestershire Sauce

1 can cream of mushroom soup



I use a HUGE pan, with a lid.  You could also put this in a crockpot.  I would not, however, use an Instant pot.  For some reason, when I do a roast in the Instant pot makes the roast tough.

Also, we buy our meat in bulk once a year.  So, all my meat is frozen and I do not thaw it beforehand. All that being said, put your roast in your roasting pan.  I think I added about 3 c. water.

On top of each roast, sprinkle seasoning mix and the Lipton onion soup mix.  Then, I take the can of cream of mushroom soup and I smear it all over both roasts.

Next, I douse the roasts with Worcestershire sauce.  Cover the roasts and slow cook at 250 all day long.

After a few hours, I did check it to make sure there was enough water.  I kicked the oven up to 350 for about 45 minutes and then turned it back down.

This meat was PERFECT.

Now What

Yes, I do have a lot of kids BUT they also eat a lot, that is one reason I make 2 roasts.  The other reason is, to refreeze.

I get 2 gallon size bags and put equal amounts in each baggie.  Squeeze out all the air and freeze.

I will use this for 2 dinners, next week (saving money).  One dinner will be beef and broccoli stir fry.  I can add some water chestnuts, soy sauce, cauliflower rice, and regular rice.  Mix it with steamed broccoli.

The next meal I will make is vegetable beef soup.  Add some tomato juice, marjoram, basil, oregano, seasoning, diced tomatoes, other vegetables, and potatoes.


Healthy Chicken and Rice Recipe

Healthy Chicken and Rice Recipe

Let me just say, that there is SO much you can add to this!  *When* I make this again, and I will, there are several things that I will add.  The reason why I didn’t this time is that I am “shelf” cooking.  We desperately need to go to the grocery, so I used what I had on hand.

I will be putting “optional” by each thing that I will use next time.  This can be loaded up with veggies and goodness.  There was one mistake that I made.  I put the rice in raw and it did not cook up well.  This is a technique that I use with Easy Brunzi Baseball Casserole.  That always works well.  However, this time, I had to add more chicken broth, cover and cook it longer.

Lesson learned.

Healthy Chicken and Rice Casserole

3 chicken breasts (I cooked these in 1 c. of water, with seasoning, and minced onions in my instant pot).  Once it was cooked, I cut it up in chunks. I used 1.5 c. of the chicken stock.  Next time, I will use 2 cups of chicken stock.

In a big bowl, I put all my chicken, broth, 1 can cream of chicken, a block of cream cheese, seasoning mix, 2 packets dry ranch, 1 c. rice (COOK THAT FIRST), and some cheddar.

Next time, I will add 1 steamed bag of cauliflower rice, possibly broccoli, fresh mushrooms, and chopped up spinach.  Oh, that would be so good.

I put all of that in a greased 13×9 dish.  The topping was 2 sleeves of ritz crackers with some butter in it. I ran that through the food processor.  Spread that over the top of the casserole and added a bit more cheddar.

Cook at 350 for 30 minutes, covered.  Then, I uncovered it for about 20 minutes.  It was really good.



Reflecting on Nesting Bird Wisdom

Reflecting on Nesting Bird Wisdom from my sister a year ago.  After a *tough* weekend, emotionally, I had my early Monday morning chat with my sister.  We chit chatted about nothing and everything, then we moved into what my triggers were from the past weekend.

A statement that swirls around in my head, from another friend, that I told to Tera.  My friend said, “Brandi, you have to have a release.  You have to find someone you can trust. Get this stuff off your chest.  Cry if you need to cry.”  My statement back to her was “I had that person.  She died.  Now I don’t share or talk.  I stuff stuff stuff it all down.”

Tera agreed with my friend.  We talked about the stages of grief.  Also, the fact that I have had no time to truly grieve anything over the past several years.  I’ve gone from one hit to another.  There has been little time to breathe.  Sadly, no time to grieve.  Sadly, there was no time to release the pain and emotion from everything that has happened.

Then, she took it one step further.  She said:

“Brandi, it’s okay to have birds fly around your head (referring, of course, to grief, depression, anxiety, etc), but you can’t let them make a nest in your hair.”

I agreed.  Then, I wiped my tears and got off the phone.  Next, I went to the bathroom.

This is what I saw:

Reflecting on Nesting Bird Wisdom

I texted my sister and asked her to define “Nest in Hair.”

So, my birds have nested and now it is time for them to fly south.

Bye Bye Birdie.

My Best Friend Forever is DigestZen

My Best Friend Forever is DigestZen.  It is the jam in my jelly roll.  The cheese to my cracker.  It is the be all and end all of my essential oils.  To add to its greatness, it comes in 3 different forms!

Everybody say HEY!

*Echo* HEY!


My Best Friend Forever is DigestZen

Like my yellow bowl? It has the BEST Loaded Dip in it and I’m snacking away! Recipe can be found on my blog.

Fun Factoid

I thought, moons ago when I first started in the oily life, that applying oils “neat” was the way to go.  You could get better results, so to speak.  Then, I used Oregano neat and burned the crap out of myself (it is a “hot” oil and not all oils are “hot”).  I thought diluting oils would weaken the oil itself and that I would have to use a ton to get the benefits.


Using an oil “neat” is all well and good BUT using it diluted is BETTER.  When you drop oil on your hand, it stays and absorbs in that spot.  Yes, you can rub it and let it extend a bit, but overall, it absorbs in that area.

When you dilute it, it has the same amazing benefits but it spreads to larger areas of your body.  Instead of it just helping your toe (neat), it can go (quite well) over your entire foot.  Just using that as an example.

General Rule

In a 10 ml roller bottle (pictured to the far left above), you would put 15 drops of your favorite oil or combination of oils.  Then, you would top off with a carrier oil.  Carrier oils can be olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, etc.) Shake and then roll on wherever you need it.

The foot is the best place to put any oils.  Down the spine or on the neck are good places too.  Temples for headaches…you get the picture.  I didn’t realize that.  Sadly, I would hoard and not use the oils I had because I didn’t want to run out.  Now, I know better.

Free Oils

By SIGNING UP to become a wholesale customer or a wellness advocate, you have the ability to have a monthly LRP order.  This order needs to be 125 PV (point value).  When you reach that PV, you AUTOMATICALLY get the free oil of the month.  If you place a 200 PV, then you get another incentive that ranges from oils to diffusers to rubs.

Also, monthly, there is usually a product that is featured (for April 2019) it is TriEase and that is 10% off.  Each oil that you purchase has a PV attached to it.  On the 15th of every month, you will be able to use these points to “buy” oils.  The trick to that is that you buy something inexpensive (there are DoTerra items that are like $6).  Then, you can use up all your points on whatever you want to use them for.

Building Up Stock

That is how I built up my stock.  By placing orders (my personal orders and then orders from other people) to reach 200 PV and getting the free oil of the month and then the free incentive.  Then, on the 15th of the month, I use my points to buy oils or stockpile my favorite oils.

By becoming a wholesale customer, you automatically save 25% off of all retail costs.  There is a $35 one time fee and then yearly, that fee moves to $25.  To avoid those fees, you can become an advocate (you don’t necessarily have to sell but it sort of just happens).  Either way…it is a good thing.


Reflecting on Second Opinions

Second Opinions Good or Bad

Reflecting on Second Opinions.  When it comes to my health…I ignore 99% of it.  The 1%, is usually the kicker.  I am down for the count until I can learn to listen to my own body.  Problem is, is that I do not have time or energy to listen to my own body because I have about 8 other bodies to be concerned about.  All that being said…my health is better because I’m learning how to take care of myself and I’m seeking guidance from our physician….when I’m there for another child 🙂  I’m sure that thrills my dr!

When It Comes to my Child

Then, there is Hunter….diagnosed with Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome.  After, almost 2 weeks (at onset), in the hospital, we got this diagnosis.  This diagnosis was the third and the fifth diagnosis for Hunter.  At the time we were seeking a second opinion, it had been 10 mths.  He was not any better than when we started.  Everyday is a struggle for him.  Everyday there is a new thing.  Everyday, there is a new challenge.

First Kindness, Then Not So Much

Our Dr was very kind to Hunter…he listened and responded to emails and calls.  I felt comfortable that we were a team with the mutual goal of working towards getting Hunter in remission.  Lately, however, I feel like it is me doing my thing and he does his thing.  I know that he is a good dr and I do not question the diagnosis (so stupid, I should have pushed for genetic testing).  I just want more and I want answers.  Simply stated, I want to understand.  The need for me is that I want it explained to me 1005 times so I will finally get it.  I read through 1300 pages of hospital records.  In my reading, I took notes, made charts and asked questions of my dr friends.  Yet, radio silence on our doctor’s end.

Did I Offend Him?

Somewhere along the line, I must have offended him.  Maybe it was when I mentioned getting a second opinion because the last email I received had the words in quotes “OMS experts” (that statement was made assuming this is what he had).  I must have ticked him off.  That was not my intention.  My intention was to get any and all eyes on my son.  I believe that someone, somewhere, somehow, at some point read something that may be the key to his remission.

Long-Term Effects

See, the longer he is symptomatic…the more brain damage is being done and that is not acceptable to me.  I want to prevent that if I can.  I want him to live a life that is full and one that he understands completely.  I have 2 kids that have brain damage from FASD because of the choices their birthmother made.  It is not my desire to have another child with brain damage as well.  To my core, it hurts my heart, to see him struggle to even hold a spoon or put a lego together.

Second Opinion, Third Opinion, and a Fourth (or Fifth) Doctor

At this point, almost 2 years later.  We have left that original doctor, who gave him his third diagnosis.  At this point, of this post, we did seek a second opinion.  Through a WRONG genetics test, we had a diagnosis of Ataxia Telangiectasia Like Disorder.  This diagnosis was carried for a year.  We chose to stay with this doctor, though I have feelings.  A year after meeting this doctor, we actually went for a third opinion.  This last doctor told us the truth of the wrong diagnosis.  We ended up going back with the third diagnosis.

Confused yet?

I hate to hurt feelings during this process….but this is not about me.  It is not about our current dr.  It is not about this lady we are meeting this week.  It is all about Hunter and his future.  I will do my best to move heaven and Earth and to get him the help he needs.

I stay confused.


Allergy Alternative

Here is another all natural Allergy Alternative.  This is one that I use, daily, as well.  I use these oils (I will share the recipe further on down the post) in a roller bottle.  By doing that, I can carry it with me, at all times.

Allergy Alternative

Another Lineup in my Allergy Defense

The TriEase is a softgel that consists of Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint. I take this daily instead of an OTC allergy med that makes me tired.  Actually, OTC allergy meds do not make me tired (though they do for most people).  In all honesty, they make me meaner than a snake :/  Benadryl makes me downright hateful.  Sadly, that is hereditary. It does the same thing to my mom and most of my kids.

In my 10 ml roller bottle (not pictured), I add 3 drops of each of those oils.  Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint, Breathe, and Eucalyptus.  Now, none of these oils are hot, so they do not necessarily need to be diluted.  I use this roller to roll under my nose and on my wrists.  Also, I wear it on a diffusing necklace, as well, when I go out.

Another Secret

I take a tissue, I fold it in half (longwise) and then I fold it in half again.  I use this roller to rub on the tissue, on both sides.  By doing this, I can just hold up the tissue to my nose and it dries it up.  I keep a tissue by my bed and in my Bible for church.  So, if you see me out and about waving a tissue around my face, you know that it is allergy season.


I diffuse this blend, as well.  Now, if you buy a kit, a lot of time the kit comes with the kit you choose.  You get HUGE savings when you buy a kit  PLUS you get a lot of the basic, essential, if that’s all you ever buy oils that’s okay because these oils cover everything.  (Did you like my long run on sentence LOL?)

The Home Essentials Kit is the one that I have bought, twice LOL.  It has Frankincense, Lavender, Lemon, Melaleuca, Oregano, Peppermint, Breathe, Digestzen (seriously awesome), OnGuard, and Deep Blue.  As well as, the petal diffuser and a booklet  This cost is $275.

Breakdown of Costs (Retail)..all are 15 ml bottles except Deep Blue

Frank:  90.67

Lemon: 14.67

Lavender: 30.67

Deep Blue (5 ml):  44

DigestZen:  44

Melaleuca:  28

Oregano:  29.33

Peppermint:  29.33

Breathe:  29.33

OnGuard:  45.33

Petal Diffuser:  62.66

That total is $447.99

So, you are saving $172.99!  Pretty cool.  So many more benefits including free oils monthly with and LRP order and more.  If you are interested or have questions, please head over to my DoTerra Website or email


DoTerra does have diffusers that you can buy and they are nice. *Cue I’m not a good person to sell things moment.* However, Amazon sells great HUGE diffusers at a fraction of the cost.  Unless you are buying a kit, head over there to buy a diffuser.  Then, you can head over to my site and get the individual oils you need.

Reflecting on my Facebook Posts from the Beginning

Reflecting on my Facebook Posts from the Beginning of our journey.  I mean, not all of them, but the ones that pertain to Hunter and our journey.  Boy, these are painful to reread.


Guys…needing prayers. Yesterday afternoon, Hunter (3) began shaking and was unable to walk. We went to Lourdes and they gave him antibiotics for zero reason and sent us home. Luckily, I have friends that are very wise. We were told to take him to the ER in Vandy. We finally got here around 1:30 and at about 5:30 we got a room (7304). Please pray that we can find the reason he cannot walk and why he shakes uncontrollably. Also…I am not able to be with my Lady and she is having a procedure done this morning. Please pray we find answers. I am not sure how much more I can spread myself. Please add Hunter and my Lady to any and all prayer chains and churches. Thank you. 


UPDATE: We are home BUT we are leaving again in the morning. One of his tests came back which indicates inflammation in his brain. We will be home for 5 days and he will be on high doses of steroids. Please pray that we find the answers. Also for my family left at home. I can see all my babies tonight but it is so hard to be away from them.


Got to see my kids, husband, mama and daddy, my Lady and a couple of friends. Also got to shower, pet my dogs and eat with most of my family. Now…back to Lville for a sucky 5 days of heavy steroids Still no dx. Sigh….holding onto the Rope. Pray for safe travels, easy placement of IV, my crew at home and for this time to pass quickly.


Waiting on dr #572 to come in this morning. Getting ready for round 3 of heavy steroids. Good times had by all. #not #day2nortonschildrenshospital #nosleep#overitalready #letsgetdxandgohome #sotired



Steroids suck on a kid but good on infection.
Baby is …. wowzer …. emotional.
No walking alone today.
His speech is beginning to be impaired….so there is that.
We are shooting to come home Monday if all goes well.

My baby took 10 unassisted steps tonight!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, Richie Clendenen, this was worth putting in color!


Please pray for my baby….he is not doing too well after his IVIG infusion yesterday. Extremely symptomatic and throwing up.


My boy is in a lot of pain…prayers for an easy night would be welcomed. Thanks.


V and I had to swaddle Hunter while I pulled his stitches out. He was so brave and then Noah walked in the room to watch.

H: Noah…..go away.
N: But I wanna watch.
H: No Noah….go downstairs, you do not need to see this.

Noah left the room.


Me: Kim can you keep Hunter overnight Monday night?

Kim: Sure what’s up?

Me: I just found out I have to take him to Louisville on Tuesday for his IVIG treatment and I need you to keep him.

Kim: Ok….but isn’t he the reason you are going to Lville?

**Pause of realization**

Me: Well crap…..forgot he was going.

Morning of champions.


Heard the words “Hunter is medically fragile” today by our pediatric neuro nurse……made me vomit in my mouth a little. Those words should not be in the same sentence. Sigh……


Brother calls for a bathroom renovation idea and I cry because it has been hard today… ugly cry where he couldn’t understand me. He was encouraging and led me to Jesus instead of letting me wallow. He said God knew he needed to call me tonight. Wow. Another part of my rainbow. Thank you, brother. I love you.


I lied. He is still up at almost 130 am. He has been in bed since 845 and he is still wide awake. I am about to lose my cool. OMS………I believe I hate you.


Sometimes reality sucks…..but then….there is Jesus. Pray for us as we attempt to head home. Safe travels and no vomiting would be nice. 


Please say a prayer as Hunter and I head off to Louisville in the morning for a couple of days. Tomorrow is IVIG day and Tuesday is chemo. We will also be retesting to check to see if he has any cancer markers and redoing a lot of bloodwork. Its gonna be a tough couple of days for him. Thanks 


He. Has. Been. Up. Since. 4 am. God give us both strength.

Home…..Bart and Ben rescued us. Victoria cooled my jets. Alyssa shoveled the sidewalk, finished and put away laundry, cooked supper and got my diffuser going, Noah shoveled the apron so we could get in the garage, Gigi cleared out the van, Daniel did his chores, and Jude….well, he is just cute. Jay texted to check on us and pray for us. So thankful for my husband, my kids, my family, and my prayer warriors.


Guess who was granted a wish from Make a Wish???????? So excited. Something fun for a change. Thank you Jesus  He knew we needed that.


One had their truck almost die.
One was told she possibly overdosed her son.
One picked up wedding invitations.
One applied for graduation from WKCTC.
One asked to see her birth mom for her birthday.
One humbled himself to help a friend in a crisis.
One listened to 4 chapters of the Civil War and remembered it.
One popped on his hearing aid like a beast.
One has had a rough day with walking/talking/eating.


Friends, Neighbors, Countrymen….lend me your eyes. I’m here to announce Hunter DOES NOT have Friedrich’s Ataxia (1000x worse than Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome) and as of now, he DOES NOT have Neuroblastoma. Thank you, Jesus!


‘Roid rage……it is alive and well today, in my house. Anyone want an almost 4 yr old for a while? He’ll be sitting by the mailbox waiting for pickup.


Well….that was like jumping naked into a nest of iridescent baby ticks. #rushour#Lville #45minutesfor2miles #overit #IVIGday

Related Posts:

3 Month Update

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Cinnamon Roll Cake

3 c. self-rising flour

1.5 c. milk

2 eggs

4 tsps. vanilla

1 stick butter, melted

Combine and mix all these ingredients.  Place in a greased 13×9 dish.  This is super thick, like a bread.  Do your best to spread it out, but mine was not evenly spread.


1 c. brown sugar

1 T. cinnamon

Spread over “cake” batter.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Allow to cool.


3 c. powdered sugar

1-2 T. water

1 tsp. vanilla

In a saucepan, bring this mixture to a boil. Stir for a smooth, syrupy consistency.  Add the water 1 T at a time.  You may need to add more than 2 T, so just eyeball it.  Once it is smooth, pour over cake and it will begin to harden, like a glaze.

I love cinnamon rolls and this Cinnamon Roll Cake fit the bill and my tastebuds loved it.

Related Posts

Gluten Free Larabar Bites

Beef Stroganoff Instant Pot

Reflecting on Paris and Holland

Reflecting on Paris and Holland.  My deepest desire is to go to Paris.  It has been a dream that I have had since I was young.  Art is one of my favorite things in the world.  I have a deep appreciation for all types of art.  My heart belongs to Picasso, Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Cassat.

Here I am, trying to explain what I desire and what I was given.  I am trying to learn to love where I’m at, even though it is not where I wanted to be.  This may not make sense to people who are not walking the path of being a special needs mama.  Those are walking it, get it.  Holland is not where I wanted to be…but I am learning to love it.

Flying Away to Paris

I can imagine being on a plane (I love to fly) and jetting off into the sunset.  My kids and pets are all well taken care of at home.  I have my fella and we are off!  There is a moment when I’m so excited, I can’t even stand it.  I can imagine being even more excited then when I went to Africa *cue heartstrings cause I love Ethiopia.*  As we travel, we eat, sleep, watch tv, read, and use the bathroom on this plane.  It is our home for however many hours we are on it. We are going to revel in this little getaway.

When I read this poem, Welcome to Holland, it reminded me of a trip that we ARE planning, eventually.  My mind began to wander and this is the scenario that I imagined.

In My Glorified Imagination, This is What Happened

We get the overhead notification that we are preparing to descend.  Finally, we are there.  We have made it, we have arrived.  We start to land and as the plane is screeching down the runway to make stop….we hear “WELCOME TO HOLLAND.”

Part 2 Uhm NO, Our Destination is Paris, not Holland.

Uhm, WHAT??????!!!!!!!!!!!!  Holland?   Uhm, no.  No thank you.   I know nothing and I do not have an itinerary.  Sadly, I do not have a place to stay.  I don’t know where to eat.  For real, I know nothing.  NOTHING.  I can picture myself asking the stewardess if this is a layover.  How long it will be before we arrive in PARIS, FRANCE.  Then, she says that this is our destination.

Our ticket is one way.  They will be adding our children/pets, onto the plane, over the course of the trip.  This is where we will live out our days until the Lord sees fit to move us somewhere else.  I had planned on staying in France for 10 days, not my life.  I certainly did not plan on LIVING in Holland and what the heck do you mean, you will bring our kids during the flight?????????

When we started on creating our family….we had definite plans.

Big Daddy wanted 1 child and I wanted 4.  We compromised on 3.  Our oldest was high strung, motivated, and determined.  She is also super sensitive to bright lights, noises, and does not care for lots of people.  Our second was a pistol.  She was creative, loved animals, told you like it was regardless of if it was appropriate or not.  She has a bit of a lazy streak and wanted things done for her more times than not.  Our third, our only biological son, was an easy baby until he wasn’t.

He was the first to crawl, he babbled, talked, loved eating and then he had his 12 mths shots….life changed.  Maybe that was when we were “packing” to go to Italy.  It was like shades pulled down over his eyes and he stopped talking, he threw lots of fights, he had sensory issues… was tough.  Our life was now full of speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.  It was hard.  The Lord guided us and helped us and allowed me to have a great deal of soaked in knowledge….and today, you would never know anything was ever wrong.

So…Victoria, we started planning the trip.  Alyssa, we started saving for the trip.  Then, with Noah, we got on that plane and we headed to Paris, France to see all the things we could see in a 10-day trip.

Then….there was God.

As we were flying, God saw fit to allow 2 more kids to join our crew.  These kids were older, than came from severe trauma physically, mentally, and emotionally…amongst other trauma and He thought it’d be a good idea to have Big Daddy and me to raise them.  It was almost like He threw me into the lion’s den as he did with Daniel.  I was totally unprepared.  Realistically, I thought I could love the FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder), RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder, Behavioral Issues, Dyslexia, Developmental Delays, Food gorging/hoarding/stealing out of them.  Sadly, I wanted to fix them.  Plain and simple.

While I was “trying” to “fix them”…..God showed up again.

This time, it was a brief detour, on our flight, to Ethiopia.  The trip there was ROUGH.  It was full of turbulence and engine problems.  We thought and we were told we would not make it BUT GOD had other plans.  We made it…..instead of a 24 hr flight, it would take us 15 mths to get from where we were (on a plane headed on vacation to Paris) to Ethiopia because He wanted us to add to our dysfunctional crew.  He was another older child and he had malnutrition brain, some behavioral issues, and we came to find out that he was deaf in one ear…not a little bit hearing impaired but deaf.  Again, I could fix this.  I could continue raising all these kids will “fixing” their issues and problems.  I was content, tired and overwhelmed but content.

But then……..there was God again.

Several years and tears from our first child to our sixth child…..I was sitting on that plane, wishing to be at our destination so I could have some respite and a time to breathe.  God decided to be my breath and to breathe for me…He did this in the form of our seventh child….our Zebra.

I thought the stress of trying to fix my FASD, RAD, ADHD, PTSD, Dyslexia, Learning Disabilities, Deafness, Autistic tendencies, Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome, blah blah blah was going to bring me to my knees…..oh, heck no….this little dude came into my life and turned it upside down.  He has taught me so much and he has given me such joy but he also went from a normal little boy to a medically fragile kid in about 4 hrs.  Please hear me say…..I would not change a thing with this little guy.  He brings us such joy and happiness….even in the midst of uncertainty with his health.

Part 3:  Welcome Home.

Part 3 Welcome Home.  My flesh screams and I’m hanging onto the armrests of my airplane seat.  I refuse to move.  This is my anniversary.  This is our planned TRIP.  We are not moving.  I do not want to stay.  Honestly, I would live in France, if I had too, but guess what?  I don’t have too.  We are traveling, that’s it.  No more, no less.  I sit there, stunned. Unable to move or comprehend what all I’m about to see/smell/witness in this country I have never planned to go too.

What I Envision Versus Reality

The door of the plane opens…we grab our luggage that is packed for France….and we get off the plane.  My first thought is the drabness of the airport.  The busyness of it.  I felt like I needed to wash my hands because so many people were touching me.  They were all speaking in different languages.  I found myself watching their mouths move, trying to read lips or get a nugget of information, but I couldn’t.  I couldn’t understand any person or sign.  There was also not a single person who spoke English.  I felt trapped in this foreign country.  There was nowhere, no one to guide me, no vehicle, no home, no food, nothing.

Overstimulated Moment

I picture us grabbing our stuff and trying to find our way out of that blasted, loud, big, busy airport.  There was a moment when I needed air.  Sadly, I was overstimulated by the news and anxious because this was completely out of our control.  Air, I needed to breathe fresh air and take a moment to regroup.  I was thrown into something that was not of my doing.  There were two choices, I could either curl up in a ball and sob or I could find a way through the fear and uncertainty.

Ray of Sunshine

As I processed this news, I felt a ray of sunshine hit my face.  I felt a cool breeze as we walked outside.  In one moment, I opened my eyes and from as far as the east is from the west, there were tulips.  I love tulips.  Honestly, I love the beauty of them, the array of colors, the smells.  Tulips come up every single year without fail.  Far off, in the distance, I saw windmills.  The most gorgeous background, I have ever seen in my life.

Reflecting on Paris and Holland

Absorbing my Surroundings

As we walk around, absorbing our surroundings, we think about Paris and what we will miss.  The art, the food, the atmosphere……all of our plans, all the cool things we would see….we had to mourn that because we knew, we were “stuck” in Holland.  Don’t get me wrong, Holland is phenomenally gorgeous, it is just where I wanted to be.  I don’t mind a visit, but why must we live there.  We had to mourn not seeing our family, our home, American food, the freedoms we had in America.  There was just a lot to process.

Once our mourning time was done and we settled into this new life….this new place with all these new sites, new foods, noises, smells.  We began to acclimate to our surroundings and we began to learn about the cultures and the foods.

Holland and Its Beauty

Holland has its own beauty, but it was not what we had originally planned for.  We had to learn to adapt and compensate for the things that we wanted to see in Paris and what we wanted from home.  It wasn’t bad…just different.  It was a change and I’m not one to like change.

I had to learn that I could not “fix” my children…only God could and will do that.  I had to learn to let go of control of what was and begin to love what is.  By mourning, so deeply, the loss of what was going to be a 10-day vacation to Paris, I was losing out on what was surrounding me.

Seeing Things from a Different Perspective

New colors, new foods, new scenery…..I began to love my new home and by loving it, I began to change.  Ironically, I began seeking God more and seeking help for my depression.  Also, I learned that FASD, RAD, Deafness, Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome does not define my children.  Finally, I learned how to love again…I learned how to love my God, my husband, and my children for who they were and not what I “envisioned” them to be.

Be open to change.  Be open to new things.  Stop trying to fix things.  Stop trying to control what you are not meant to control.

Live life and love without abandon.


Chicken and Orzo Recipe

Chicken and Orzo Recipe

Chicken and Orzo Recipe

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • Seasoning
  • 30 ozs chicken broth (can be broth or water/chicken bouillon)
  • 2 c. spinach, chopped
  • Cauliflower rice, 2 c. (I buy it frozen and thaw it)
  • 28 oz. diced tomatoes
  • 2 c. orzo, uncooked
  • Minced onion
  • 2 c. cheddar (reserve some for the top)
  • 1 can cream of chicken
  • 2 packets Italian dressing mix


Cook the chicken and then cut it up.  Mix everything in a giant bowl.  Place in a 13×9 greased dish.  This amount made that 13×9 and an 11×8 pan.  Sprinkle reserved cheese on top.  Bake at 350, uncovered, for about 40 minutes.

I didn’t have many children here, only 5 kids ate here.  We were able to eat the entire smaller dish.  The 13×9 dish, I wrapped and froze for next week!


**You can substitute Ranch packets instead of Italian packet.  Also, taco seasoning can be used as a substitute…maybe add a can of corn to that and make it Mexican flavored.**

Related Posts:

Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Mama’s Old Fashioned Tacos

« Older Entries