Category Archives: Life or Something Like It

Trying Hard: April 6, 2010

Trying Hard: April 6, 2010

Trying Hard: April 6, 2010.  I got word that there would be some additional paperwork that needs to be notarized (blech) and sent with my dossier. It isn’t atrocious paperwork like I’ve been doing.  Still, I’m ready for this thing to be out of my hands.  It needs to be in the hands of my agency and sent to Ethiopia BEFORE MAY 7th!

But God

Luckily (not luck, but Godly), I was able to put my hands right on the paperwork that I need and my sister is sending me the stuff that I don’t have so I can print it off and do all this rigor tomorrow (bank, notary, church, post office). It’s all okay because as I’m sweating in inappropriate places, thumbing through more documents, double checking everything….this song came to mind.

In His Time

In His Time was playing through my mind. I sang that song, in my hometown church when I was a child and here it is 20 years later, popping back up. How blessed am I to be a child of God and to know that all of these “delays” are part of His plan.

He loves me, He loves my son, but for some reason or the other, He has been putting up roadblocks in sending off my dossier. That is okay (remember to breathe)…He has His reasons and they are for good and not to harm. Praise be to Him

Remember when you are trying to do something and wanting to do it now-now-now, it is ALL in His time. Off to blow my nose and wipe my sweat…again. Love spring 🙂

In His Time

“He hath made everything beautiful in his time:” Ecclesiastes 3:11

In His time, in His time,
He makes all thing beautiful in His time.
Lord, my life to You I bring,
May each song I have to sing,
Be to You a lovely thing, in Your time.

In Your time, in Your time,
You make all thing beautiful in Your time.
Lord, my life to You I bring,
May each song I have to sing,
Be to You a lovely thing, in Your time.

 

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When Your Sister Says Move: March 27, 2010

When Your Sister Says Move:  March 27, 2010

When Your Sister Says Move: March 27, 2010.  I scramble and hustle!
When T Calls
T called and told me that I need 2 pieces of paper notarized and county seal. I had one done and the other, well, no clue as to what the paper was for. She, graciously enough, emailed me an already filled in copy.  Also, she told me to GET IT DONE AND GET IT MAILED TO HER! If I mail it to her, then she will go to Frankfort to have it state seal.
You have to have it notarized to verify who you are, you have to have its county sealed to confirm that the notary, is in fact, a notary and then you have to have it state sealed to prove that the county is the county in which the notary is actually a notary.
Mental To-Do List
Okay, so both papers notarized and I’m hustling to get to the courthouse to get it county sealed. Now, I’m wearing the pants and shirt that I had been painting in.  I had no makeup on, my hair all over the place, and my heel-less slippers. I’m rushing down the road.  The thoughts in my head are “I have to hurry, get this to the courthouse, get to the post office, pick up my passport applications while I’m there, get home, finish cleaning the house, make sure the kids are bathed.” I was in the process of remodeling my laundry…all the day before the social worker was to come and visit for our second part of the home study.
Slippers Versus Cow
As I’m driving down the road, I happen to glance at this farm and notice that two calves had broken through a fence. I, being the great Christian person I am, though I had too much to do in too little time, so I drove on by. Well, conviction ensued, and I turned around, drove up the long driveway and saw this sweet man, in his 70s working. I told him that his calves were out and that I’d be happy to fix his fence and get them back in their proper field.
Here I go, praying this doesn’t take long….walking through the pasture (in my isotoner heel-less slippers). I realized that I couldn’t get what I needed done from the angle I was going at it, so I walk down the road a bit and go into the neighbor’s yard…slushing through the mud and the muck. The calves were frightened, and they were running in a direction I didn’t want them to go in…towards the road.
Finally
I finally got them going in the other direction and instead of going back through the hole they already created…they created 2 more holes. Stupid, stupid cows! At any rate, as I’m fixing the fence, I looked down, and there was cow manure all over my shoes…not just a bit, a bunch. I scraped off what I could, fixed the fence, blessed the sweet man and off I went to the courthouse.
I got to the place I *thought* I was supposed to go and bless their hearts…they were CLUELESS! So, off to place 2 and there was a line, all the way out the hall. I finally get in the position to ask if I’m in the right spot and guess what? This was not where I was supposed to be. I had to move down into the vault. Off I go, to the basement and they do what I need for them to do! Praise God. Thankfully, no one mentioned my perfume of cow manure.
I rush off to the post office and mailed my letter.  Next, I got my applications.  Then, I headed home to finish my many things left to do before the social worker shows up.

Reflection: March 18, 2010

Reflection:  March 18, 2010

 

Reflection: March 18, 2010.  As I sit here, in my living room, looking out my window at this amazing day that the Lord has made…..I am thinking “what is my baby doing today?” Is he healthy, is he hungry, is he playing…who is loving on him at this moment? Does he know that his forever family is constantly thinking of him and praying for him?

I hear my children laughing and I know that there is a little voice that is missing and I can’t seem to get it out of my mind. Soon…soon…I will be seeing my beautiful rainbow family running through the yard playing with friends or other families. Making my life even more chaotic than it already is and loving every moment.

Will my quiver be full, in my finite mind after this little one joins our family? Who knows. I’m ready, I’m willing and my arms will always be open to whomever God decides to place with us. As tired as I get and as frustrated as I get…this is my mission field.

This is my joy and going/doing/mending/cooking/cleaning/errands. I love it. Some women are called to be great corporate giants. I’m a giant, alright…when I snap, they move 🙂 This is my purpose. Being a wife and a mother to many. This is what my God has called me to do. Praise be to him.

Review and Giveaway Beloved Teen Devotional

Review and Giveaway Beloved Teen Devotional

 

Review and Giveaway Beloved Teen Devotional Giveaway

At one point in my parenting career, I had 4 teenagers.  Clearly, I didn’t think that out too well LOL.  I’m now down to 4.  Yep, you read that right.  I still have 4 teenagers…one graduated to “adulthood” and another stepped up into “teenagehood”.

Lord, give me strength.

There are not enough books in the world that can help with the struggles of the teenage years, but there are some that sure do help!  This is one of them.  Zondervan seems to always publish stellar books, as a whole.  Beloved:  365 Devotions for Young Women is no exception.

I will be drawing a name on November 27, 2018, for one lucky winner.  You can enter by liking or commenting on any of my social media platforms (links in sidebar).  For now, I will go and teach one teenager how *not* to use an entire bottle of Axe body spray as deodorant…seriously…my house is like a fog of stink. :/

From Zondervan comes Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women:

Relationships, inner beauty, and chasing your dreams are all topics on the top of a teen girl’s list. So give them great Biblical role models to admire as they grow and understand who they are. Beloved is a topical devotional that uses the inspiring stories of girls and women in the Bible—such as Ruth, Esther, Mary, and Abigail—to encourage faith and confidence in today’s young women. Perfect for everyday use, Beloved will resonate with girls searching for truth and guidance.
—————————————————————————————————————————–

Here are the winner guidelines to use if you conduct giveaways on your blog:

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  The winner is subject to eligibility verification.

 

The Waiting Child’s Lullabye

The Waiting Child's Lullabye

The Waiting Child’s Lullabye is one of those poems that gets me right in the feels.

The Waiting Child’s Lullabye

KISSES IN THE WIND

I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, at least that’s how it seems.

I know you wonder where we are… what’s taking us so long.
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.

Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin…
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you, my darling, I’m doing all that I can do.

Very soon, you’ll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.

— © Pamela Durkota, written for Josh

Related Posts:

The Prophecy and the Call

Review and Giveaway: NIV Adventure Bible Polar Exploration Edition

Review and Giveaway:  NIV Adventure Bible Polar Exploration Edition

NIV Adventure Bible Polar Exploration Edition

Buy Link:  https://www.adventurebible.com/polaredition/

Review and Giveaway: NIV Adventure Bible Polar Exploration Edition with over 9 million copies sold, the Adventure Bible brand is beloved by Christian schools, churches, and families alike. Now, the #1 Bible for kids, including all of the trusted essentials loved by parents, is available in an exciting polar exploration theme!

Ready for a frosty Adventure? Embark on a fun, exciting trek through God’s Word with the NIV Adventure Bible, now in an all-new polar exploration theme! While on this arctic adventure, readers meet all types of people, see all sorts of places, and learn all kinds of facts about the Bible. And most importantly you’ll grow closer in your relationship with God.

Features

  • The same trusted Adventure Bible content in a frosty new theme
  • Full-color images of polar animals, arctic outposts, and icy landscapes throughout make learning about the Bible even more engaging
  • Life in Bible Times—Articles and illustrations describe what life was like in ancient days
  • Words to Treasure—Highlights great verses to memorize
  • Did You Know?—Interesting facts help you understand God’s Word and the life of faith
  • People in Bible Times—Articles offer close-up looks at amazing people of the Bible
  • Live It!—Hands-on activities help you apply biblical truths to your life
  • Twenty polar-themed pages focus on topics such as how to know you are a Christian, famous people of the Bible, highlights of the life of Jesus, and how to pray.
  • Book introductions feature arctic art and important information about each book of the Bible
  • Dictionary/concordance for looking up tricky words
  • Color map section to help locate places in the Bible
  • A complete text of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible
  • A thrilling new glacial cover on metallic paper

Confession

Hi.  My name is Brandi and I love Bibles.  I have a problem.  The first step to healing is admitting.  I admit I have a hoarding problem with Bibles.  This is a fantastic addition to my collection.

The illustrations are AMAZING and my 4 yr old, who does not have a Bible of his own (well, now he does), thinks this is the neatest thing ever.  I love when my kids love things that are all about Jesus!

A name will be drawn on December 7, 2018.  You can enter to win by liking or commenting on any social media post (links in the sidebar).  Good luck!

Illustrations


Here are the winner guidelines for you to use in 2018:

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  The winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Baked Chicken and Ranch Recipe

Baked Chicken and Ranch Recipe

Baked Chicken and Ranch Recipe.  This is not a great picture, but the family had already eaten the other 2 pans of chicken.  I did my best!  Big Daddy raved and raved over this chicken claiming it was the “best chicken” he has ever put in his mouth.  This chicken and my mashed potatoes became stars tonight.

Baked Chicken and Ranch Recipe

Boneless chicken thighs (you can use breasts) **noted to say I used the giant family pack**

Cornflakes

Parmesan

Seasoning

2 sticks of butter (could get away with one depending on how much chicken you cook.

3 packets of dry ranch mix

Bacon

In a bowl, melt butter.  Once melted, place in a shallow dish for dredging.  While your butter is melting, take 2 c. cornflakes, seasoning, and some good shakes of parmesan and run that through your food processor.  Place it in another shallow dish.

Spray your 13×9 pan(s).

First, roll out your thighs and cut off big pieces of fat.  I did keep some fat on it because Big Daddy likes the “cracklins’.”  Next, dredge both sides of chicken in butter, then in cornflake mixture.  Finally, lay in 13×9 dish.

Once all that was done, I patted in (on each side) the dry ranch packet.  I placed strips of raw bacon over the top of the chicken.  You can see how I did it in the photo.  The bacon grease seeps into the chicken and keeps it moist.

I cooked this at 350, uncovered, for 40 minutes on the middle rack.  For the last 20 minutes, I put it on the top rack to get the bacon crispy.  For the love…it was AWESOME.

 

Philly Cheesesteak Mac & Cheese Recipe

Philly Cheesesteak Mac & Cheese Recipe

Philly Cheesesteak Mac & Cheese Recipe.  Not a great picture, but at least I remembered to take one before we ate it.  Score one for me!

Now, I made A TON of this, so I’m going to try and trim down my recipe.  I’m quite certain no one but my family needs 2 – 13×9 pans of this.  We are freezing one of the pans, so there is supper for another day.

Philly Cheesesteak Mac & Cheese Recipe

Round steak

Water

Seasoning Mix

Beef Bouillon Granules

Montreal Steak Seasoning

In my Instant Pot, I put my trivet.  My round steak comes with about 3 in each pack.  I take that apart and I put one on my trivet.  Then I add some seasoning mix and some Montreal Steak seasoning.  I repeat until all my steaks are in the instant pot.

Next, I get about 2 cups of water (I will use this broth later on) and I mix in about 2 teaspoons of the beef granules.  I pour that over the steaks.  Place the lid, seal hit manual for 30 minutes (my steaks were mostly frozen).

Next Step

While the steaks were cooking, I got my elbow noodles going.  Again, I used the Instant Pot.  When I throw my noodles in there, I add a 1/2 stick of butter, seasoning, and enough water to cover however many noodles you use.  Now, pop on the lid, place on seal, manual, and I set it for 8 minutes.

While Waiting

3 cups finely chopped fresh spinach

2 tsp Montreal Seasoning

Seasoning Mix

Fresh mushrooms, finely chopped

1 T. minced garlic

1 onion, finely chopped

Orange, Red, Yellow pepper, finely chopped

2 T. butter

2 T. Quinoa Flour (or any type of flour)

1 c. beef broth (from the meat)

1 c. milk

Provolone, 2 c. chopped up

Mozzarella, 2 c.

2 cups cheddar (with more for topping cause I like cheese)

Saute up the first 8 ingredients.  Add flour and broth.  Stir till mixed well.  Add milk.  Boil till thick.  Once thick, add cheese.

Finishing It Up

When your noodles are done, you should not need to drain them.  If they need it, though, drain off excess liquid.  Mix the noodles in the cheese sauce.  Place in 13×9 greased baking dish.  Top with French Fried onions and cheddar.  Next time, however, I will use Panko for my topping.

Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.

 

Wonder From the Eyes of the Typical

Wonder From the Eyes of the Typical

Wonder From the Eyes of the Typical kid has inched its way into my brain.  I use the words “typical” and “atypical” in very loose terms.  For example, I may say my “typical” child did this or that meaning my biological child.  Now, I do not want to hear that I’m pitting my biological kids against my adopted children because that is crap.  I love them all the same.

In my world, there are no “typical” kids or people.  We are all a bit screwy from time to time.  That is what makes the world an interesting place to live.  Not being all alike, it gives places flavor and personality.

My Reason

My reason for using that terminology is because of the movie “Wonder” that I watched last night.  You can find a Christian review on this film at Plugged in Online to learn more about the different content of this movie.

They used the word “typical” in the film while referencing their oldest daughter, Via.  Their youngest son, Auggie, was born with a deformity.  He, too, was a biological child.  For the most part, I enjoyed this movie, though it hurt my heart.

My Thoughts

This movie did not depict the strain that raising a medically fragile child can have on a marriage.  The ‘parents’ seemed to get along great and there didn’t seem to be underlying anger/hurt/resentment towards one another.

That, right there, is why this is a movie and not real life.

Raising children with special needs, whether that is mental, physical, life-altering, terminal, etc. has a great deal of strain on any couple.  This is whether they are married, co-parenting, etc.  It is difficult.  I know why people do not stay married.  The all-consuming nature of special needs children is just that, all-consuming.

The Typical Child

What I feel they were pretty spot-on with is the feelings of the older daughter.  The child in the shadows.  The child you just let skate on and upward with because they know not to make waves.  These children have learned to problem solve, maintain, stay calm on the outside when their insides are screaming.

Guilt sets in.

Watching this movie had me thinking about my ‘typical’ kids and what all they have seen/heard throughout the years.  The pain is unbearable at the thought that I have swooshed them under the rug because I was busy putting out fires of my ‘atypical’ kids.

My kids needs range from minor to major things.  We have dealt with everything from Dyslexia to Mild Mental Deficit.  Splash in Reactive Attachment Disorder, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Deafness, and Ataxia Telangiectasia Like Disorder.  You will have my kids in a nutshell.

Be Careful Little Eyes What You See

My kids have seen SO much over the years.  I’m so blessed that they are so aware of God and follow (mostly) in His forgiving ways.  To think back, it makes me shudder to remember the looks on their faces when the violence would ensue.

I can still hear the still, small voices saying “mama stop” when I had had enough.  The fear that would splash across their faces when one child would rage for hours on end.  This child destroyed anything and anybody in the path of the tornado rage that was bearing down on us.

My kids didn’t have anyone over, it was not safe at times.  They saw me cry more times than I can count.  I have learned, over the years, to be mindful of catching my emotions before they run amuck.

Did I lose track of them, in those years?  Was there too long of a delay before I had had my belly full?  Did my other children go unnoticed because of the acts/behaviors of one or two kids?

Be Careful Little Ears What You Hear

The things my kids have heard are horrible.  The threats, the evil that has been spewed out, the anger that flows like lava…they have heard it all.  One day, in the midst of a storm (figurative not literal), I noticed my son.  God love him, he was corraling the other children to the back of the house.

What I realized, that day, was that he was moving them to safety.  He wanted to protect their little eyes and their little ears from all that was going down.  It was that moment that I took control back.

No more was I going to let Satan rule my house.  I was done, oh so done.  Everything that I was “taught” to do by the so-called foster care rules, my church, my family, friends, other caregivers, therapists, and doctors…nothing worked.

It was time that I saw the other little faces and I put a stop to the insanity that had ruled my home, mind, and heart for too long.  I began to stop seeking approval from those that did not have my family’s best interest in mind.  There were no more doctors, medications, therapists…I was done.

James 4:7

Submit to God.  Resist the devil.  He will flee.”  This was the verse that I would chant while the world raged around me.  We made tough decisions in regards to one of our children.  A decision that I tried to back out of, but my family and my physician said it was for the best.  Tough decisions are the hardest ones to make, but also are necessary for survival, sometimes.

Reflecting on our past 12 years is not all a bad thing.  I have to be mindful to capture the thoughts that are not of God and put them in the place they should be in.  He knew, from the beginning of time, the children that I would have and He has made perfect provisions for each of them.  I’m so thankful that He has guarded the hearts of our typical and our atypical kids from remembering everything.

Hang tough, fellow mamas in the trenches…God has our backs!

 

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