Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Son

My son ... 18 years ago today your biological mother brought you into this world.  You would not know for many years what kind of damage had been done to your brain and thus to your life before you were born.

My son ... 18 years ago you fought to enter a world that would not be kind to you because of the brain damage you suffered.

My son ... 18 years ago today Dad and I didn't even know each other.

My son ... 18 years ago today I had no idea that in 8 years we would be welcoming you into our home as our son.

My son ... 8 years ago you had been living in our home, your new home, for one month.

My son ... 8 years ago we had no idea that in 6 more years you would be moving out of our home and we would lose contact and parental rights forever.

My son ... It has been 3 years since you've lived with us, since we've been able to spend quality time with you.

My son ...  I'm sorry you weren't able to stay living with us.  We fought until there wasn't anything left to fight with.

My son ... I would give my life to make you whole.

My son ... I would sell everything I own to give back what was stolen from you -- your innocence, your sense of safety, love, the brain cells that were damaged by alcohol.

My son ... You will be my son forever, beyond the day you die.

My son ... Today you turn 18

My son ... today the world will see you as an adult, treat you as an adult, give you access to things that are adult and judge you as an adult.  It's your job to show them that since you are an adult, you're going to make positive adult choices instead of the negative adult choices that people are expecting from you.

My son ... Welcome to a new world:  adult.

My son ... I LOVE YOU!  I will never give up on you.  Please don't give up on yourself.

Romans 8:28-- And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

That means the mess that has been made of your life (by yourself and by others) is not out of God's realm of fixing.  If you give your life over to him completely, repenting of all your sins and putting yourself in God's and following his choices, he can make something good come from your life.  He will "repay you for the years the locusts have eaten--the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm--my great army that I sent among you."  Joel 2:25.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Caramel Apple Baked Oatmeal

Disclaimer:  This is not a food blog.  I don't take pictures of what I cook.  So this is a plain, no pictures post.  

I've been wanting to try baked oatmeal for a while now.  I've had different fruits I wanted to make use of but never had the energy.  But decided today was the day although some of the ingredients were made before today.

A couple weeks ago I took the apples I bought at the orchard and made some into chunky applesauce and froze it.  I didn't even peel the apples.  I cut them up, filled the crockpot and let them cook.  Once cool I put them in jars and froze.

Last night I saw a post about making homemade caramel sauce  and I thought I'd give it a try.  Only I didn't have sweetened condensed milk in my pantry so I made my own which is what I usually do since I don't keep it on hand. 

So today ... finally ... I decided to make baked oatmeal for supper.  I'm trying to think of new ways to get food into Lilyana.  It's been a very frustrating battle.  So I had seen this receipe  a while back and knew I would go back to it when I finally did make the oatmeal.  Then I realized the recipe required yogurt.  I didn't have any in the house.  I almost waited until Dan came home to send him to the store.  Then I remembered the caramel sauce I made last night and hit upon caramel apple baked oatmeal.  So my adaptation of the above recipe is as follows.  This is what I did today ... next time will probably be different. 

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (I used the chunky applesauce I had made)
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (I always use applesauce in place of oil in baked recipes)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups apples (in my case I used the chunky applesauce I had made)
  • heavy cream, whipped or plain (I don't ever have this on hand, so I used more caramel sauce on the top of my portion)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a second mixing bowl, whisk together the applesauce, caramel sauce, milk, oil (or more applesauce), vanilla, and eggs.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients onto the dry, and add the apples.
  6. Fold gently to combine.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden.
  9. Serve with cream, whipped or not (or more caramel sauce).
Lilyana, of course, took one look at it and declared it yucky.  Sigh.  So I heated up a pancake for her.  I don't like oatmeal that you eat for breakfast but I liked this.  It wasn't overly sweet so you could possibly add more sugar if you desired more sweetness but it was good.  You can also mix it up the night before and bake the next day.  I'm thinking it would be a good one for guests.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

God is Good

I wanted to complain

when my husband was gone all day and our daughter desperately wanted daddy's attention

I wanted to complain

when our daughter wanted to be outside in the cold and wind

I wanted to complain

that I wasn't getting any work done.

But then I reminded myself to be grateful
I wasn't a single parent
Our daughter is able to play outside
I have a job I love
God is good

I still FEEL like complaining but will not be guided by my feelings and remember

God is good ... all the time!

Friday, September 2, 2011


I just realized today there are some milestones happening this weekend.

We have lived here now for five years.  I don't know whether it's amazing-good or amazing-bad the enormous amount of things that have happened in those five years.  Now that I think about it, some of both.

One amazing-good thing is Lilyana which is another milestone.  Our little miracle baby will officially graduate from the church nursery.  Okay, so our church doesn't have nursery graduations but this will be her last official Sunday in nursery.  I say official because she's been attending preschool Sunday School all summer and she will be in first service nursery two Sundays a month because we are volunteering.  She started attending nursery at 8 months.  She would fall asleep on the way to church and we would lay her in the portacrib until she woke up.  She could barely sit up on her own.  I would put her snowsuit or some other padding behind her to cushion her fall.  She has come a long way. 

My parents will celebrate 53 years of marriage on Monday.  Three years ago when we celebrated their 50th she was only four months old and tiny.  This picture below shows the entire family except for our son Seth.  Now my brother has moved to Las Vegas, and my sister has moved to St. Francis, KS.  We are now even more spread out than we were three years ago.

Now she is 3 1/4 years old and taking on the world.

A weekend of milestones.