Saturday, December 8, 2012

I Still Can't Believe It!

Every day since November 7, 2012, I look into this angelic face and sit in utter disbelief. I wake up in the middle of the night and I smile that God has given us this little miracle. Thank You Jesus!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Not-So-Good Comes With Thanks

Hubby has been working since the second week of September. This is a very good thing! The not-so-good thing is that he will not get paid until the end of October! I am thankful that it is just a few days away.
I worked the past three weekends, another good thing. Almost all of the money I earned was spent on a bed. I had no choice, my soft-side-money-pit-leaky-moldy-waterbed had to go. Sleeping on an air mattress for the last few months has been miserable. Now I am very thankful to have a real bed, I'm hoping that my creaky neck and back agree with my choice of mattress.
Hubby finally got paid for a couple of days of work he did at the end of August. That bought us gas and him a bus pass so we could save gas money to and from work. I think it also bought an undetermined amount of lottery tickets, desperate times often lead to desperate measures. I think Hubby also got a pound or so of premium coffee out of that paycheck, I'm sure he is thankful for a few days of coffee that he chose, not just coffee that I bought because it was on sale.
Going to the grocery store is just as stressful as it always has been. We have to make our grocery budget stretch until the 9th of the month. Thankfully, we will have two paychecks before then.
I am still checking things off my list before I will be ready for baby girl to arrive. I have paperwork to do at the office, I need to vote, print and fax insurance and mortgage paperwork, I have food to prepare/freeze and then we are good to go!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy Feast Number Two Daughter

We did not make it from Austin to Georgetown today. I told the kids that we would go for a visit half way between Faustina's and Miriam's Feast Day. They are excited for cupcakes and presents for their baby sisters in heaven. We need a payday before trekking an hour North.
I would very much like to celebrate All Soul's Day at OLTR, I do not think we can plan on it this year, just hope to do it someday. I've never had a Soul Cake, I'd like to taste an authentic one before making an allergy friendly version for the kids. Maybe next year...

Monday, October 15, 2012

In October 1988, President Ronald Reagan Proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. "When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn't a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes."

I found out about October 15th Day of Rememberance on 10/15/09, the day I was told that, "You had what we call a 'missed miscarriage.'" Our baby was born to Heaven a few days later. It was the beginning of a devastating period of our lives. Two years later on 11/9/11, more devastating news, another miscarriage.

Tonight at our Church we will have a Prayer Service and Rosary for all babies born too soon.  I have been praying and praying that we have people show up. It is in God's hands now, but our two little Saints are interceding for us and know how important it is for families to not feel sad forever.

A little bit of Heaven
Came to both of you one day,
Then soon this little breath of God
Was suddenly snatched away;
The joy you built within your hearts
Has now turned into grief,
You feel that nothing found in life
Could ever bring relief.

Nay, parents, if you'll meditate
You'll find it otherwise,
The grief you have is really
But a blessing in disguise;
The waters of eternal life,
Have freed your babe of taint,
`Twas meant by God that you
Should be the parents of a saint.

Sister Mary Assunta, OSF 1962

Monday, September 17, 2012

What We Need

We have been blessed with gifts of so many things. Hubby's current job pays significantly less than his last one and much, much less than the one before that. We have food (Thanks be to God!) we can pay our utility and phone bills, Hubby's health insurance and medication as long as I work. If I don't work, we pray and rely on prayers from others. Gifts show up when we need them most and almost believe there is no hope. When the bank account is empty, we can't buy gas, laundry or dishwashing soap/detergent, paper towels, toilet paper, kitty litter, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, plastic wrap, foil, flea drops, chicken food, baggies, trash bags -- anything that is not food.
It has been the most humbling experience of our lives. Today Hubby and I recalled how many jobs he applied for and how few follow-ups to dead ends we encountered. I never imagined that I would have to take my beloved children to a public health clinic (This week, I spent 2 hours waiting for someone to no-show because there were no appointments available and my Number Two Son was sick). I never imagined that we would lose our private health insurance. Health insurance is not a luxury for a family with food allergies, asthma and immune deficiencies. So we have public health insurance. The application process was stressful and mistakes and delays were even more stressful. The system is intrusive, but we do what they ask, provide what they need because the love of our family comes before pride. The season is changing, we are praying that our situation changes just a the temperature cool, the leaves fall and the days get shorter.
St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, please continue to pray for us.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

This Actually Tastes Good Irish Soda Bread

Oven 450* to start, finish at 350*

You will need a large cast iron pot with a lid or an enameled cast iron pot with a lid

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup butter
2 cups plain yogurt

Put the butter in the freezer until hard. Mix the flour, salt, baking soda and sugar in a large bowl with your fingers. Take the frozen stick of butter and roll it around in the flour mixture and then using a box grater, grate the butter into the flour. Stir the mixture with your fingers, add the yogurt and mix and then knead until well combined and it holds together. Shape into a ball and cut a cross on the top. Let the loaf of bread rest for 15 minutes. Butter the bottom of the cast iron put the bread in, cover and place in the oven. Bake at 450* for 5 minutes and then reduce heat to 350* for 45 minutes, keep the cover on the pot the entire time.

This is my recipe that I have adjusted from several others and trial and error. Feel free to share, but please give me credit, Thanks!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lights Out

Last night was our first of of six "Lights Out Friday Night." I read about it on a blog as a sacrifice for Lent. Turn out the lights and turn off the electronics after dark. In hindsight, we should have planned better and discussed what it meant to us. Hubby thought it was a great idea, but his idea was different from mine. I got called in to work at the last minute. On my way out the door, I spouted off a list of chores, dinner menu, etc.. When I got home, it was already dark outside, so they lights were off and there were lots of candles, very nice. As is custom, the minute I walk in, the kids start with, "I'm hungry," and I ask, "Did Daddy feed you?" "No nothing." Due to a carrot experiment by Number Two Son, the large cast iron skillet needed to be washed and it was dark so we were having trouble finding the right scrubbie. I tuned to the stove and the clock light was out. Hubby had turned off all the breakers. I had forgotten to explain to him that the point of lights out was to LEARN to simplify, not FORCE simplicity on the children. I did use the over-the stove-light while cooking dinner and I screwed in the refrigerator light so I could see where the food was, but other than that, it was Light's Out Friday. Once the breakers were turned back on, the kids flipped the bathroom lights a couple of times, but they really had fun with the candles (note to self, buy lots more candles). While I was cooking, Hubby played around on the piano and then brought the Beatle's songbook to the table to try and teach Number One Son the words to "I am the Walrus." That ended in Hubby walking away and Number One Son in tears. Grumpy-because-I-a-still-sick Hubby and I-don't-know-when-to-not-be-silly Number One Son do not mix in the dark. After dinner we played a couple of games of  "Go Fish" that were truly excruciating for the adults. Number One Son kept trying to go out of order (sequencing issues, I guess) and Number One Daughter was just asking for cards, whether she had one of the pair, or not, but Number Two Son was absolutely joyful when anyone got a match. Three games of double-nine dominoes and Hubby and I were ready for bed! Next week we will plan much better! I never imagined that no lights or electronic devices would be so exhausting!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

We spent a lovely afternoon in Georgetown, Texas with one of our Priest's, Fr.James Martin, CSC. We would have liked to have had a remembrance ceremony earlier, but it took a very long time for the stone to be engraved and delivered. It was so kind of Fr. James to spend half of his day with us. He blessed all of us and said some lovely words, but I was distracted by the loss, the wind chimes, the wind, the cool air, the children and pain. Deciphering how I feel has been very difficult. Number Two Son told me, "I love you Momma, I'm sorry that your baby died." Number One Daughter and Number Two Son have expressed remorse for the loss and wanting another sibling. Number One Son has expressed remorse, but I'm not so sure he wants another sibling, he is a nine year old boy, after all. It is hard to be 44, knowing the statistics, and believing that my childbearing years have ended in two miscarriages. Fr. James shared that he had four siblings born to heaven and that he is looking forward to meeting them. I think about our babies every day, when we meet in Heaven one day, I'm sure I will know exactly how to feel.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Green Dip

My kids can not eat Spinach, so I usually substitute collard or turnip greens. This tastes better with turnip greens. The frozen variety we use has tiny little cubes of turnips also.
1 # bag frozen turnip greens with turnips
1 pint Daisy brand sour cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cook turnip greens according to package directions. I steam mine in boiling salted water for about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander, put paper towels or a dish towel on top of the greens, while still in the colander and then weight them down to remove as much water as possible. I use a cast iron skillet and a gallon jug of water. Let the greens cool down and then transfer them to a bowl and add the sour cream, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and pepper. Refrigerate for an hour or overnight. We eat Green Dip with baby carrots or celery sticks and on special occasions, sweet potato chips.
I made it twice over the holidays and even the non-allergic folks ate it up. Number Two Son ate it for Christmas dinner :)