Thursday, April 28, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes

I distinctly remember...

Sitting on the couch holding my baby listening to Justin call the doctor’s office
The tenseness in the car as we tried to joke around on the way to the doctor’s office
The panicked look on the nurse’s face when she weighed Micah and took his temperature
The nurse practitioner leaving the room to get the doctor
Not checking out…just going straight to the ER

Watching them hook Micah up to IV’s and monitor’s
Being told different times that the helicopter would be there to get him
The doctor repeating what he was being told to do by UK
The lady in the hallway asking me if that was my baby in the room
Trying to eat the hamburger that our pastor’s wife brought me
Standing outside the ER watching them load Micah onto the helicopter

Trying to decide what to pack for a stay of indefinite length
Thinking about posting something on Facebook to let people know what was going on and then realizing we didn’t know what to post

Being told we couldn’t see Micah yet because they were still working on him
The nurse that very solemnly told us that Micah was very sick, nothing else
Crying as I watched my baby struggle to breathe
Seeing my parents in the waiting room

Sitting with Justin in the parent room we got to stay in that night wondering
Pretending to eat the next day while hoping that before Micah died they unplugged everything and let me hold him
Reading over the information on IVA that we were given
The resident that told us that she wasn’t going to leave Micah there to see what happened, instead she was going to send him to CCHMC
Realizing that Micah was only managing to maintain his heartbeat on his own; they were doing everything else for him
Sitting with our pastor and pastor’s wife while the transport team from Cincinnati got Micah ready to travel
Seeing the resident cry while she was watching me cry when we saw Micah before they left with him

But God was still there.

I also distinctly remember...

Justin asking me if I wanted to go to the doctor’s office or the ER and me answering the doctor’s office
Micah’s newborn screening coming in while we were in the room at the doctor’s office
Micah’s doctor setting everything up with Corbin and UK
Micah’s doctor praying with us before we left the office
The information given by UK to help the doctor at Corbin
The presence of our pastor and pastor’s wife
Knowing that our parents were on the way
The resident saying she was sending Micah to CCHMC because they could help him
The phone calls from people letting us know they were praying for our family
The comforting words in my Bible that helped carry me through
My husband’s support and the comfort of our marriage

(We took him to the doctor’s office Wednesday morning, April 28, 2010, one year ago today.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chili Pasta

After a long day, Justin and I wanted something quick to eat after church. After searching through the cabinet, we didn't come up with any of our normal meals. I finally found some favorite ingredients and thought I'd try something new. Why not? This was the birth of our chili pasta.

3/4 box penne pasta (or pasta of your choice)
1 pound hamburger
1 can black beans
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. taco seasoning blend (I have one a lady from church gave me; it has much less salt)
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Brown hamburger in skillet with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. When hamburger is browned, add beans, taco seasoning blend, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Cook for five minutes. Add tomatoes and vinegar, cook for 5-7 minutes or until mixture simmers. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add sauce and stir! Serve with parmesan cheese.

We also thought this would be good served over corn chips or tortilla chips instead of pasta. I might would make it spicier next time too. In case you hadn't noticed we love spices!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Weekend Whirlwind

Justin had Good Friday off work so we took Micah to the park! He hadn't been before and he loved it! It was so cute. The baby swing was his favorite! I went down the slide with him but he wasn't impressed so I didn't bother doing it again. But the swing was the stuff! I think he's going to like roller coasters because he loves anything that swings him around or "drops" him.

Saturday was Micah's birthday! I can't believe he's already been with us for a year! He's such a precious boy and we love him dearly!

I made him some cupcakes with his special flour and everybody else a chocolate cake. His grandparents and uncle came up and two of our friends came to the party as well. He got the cutest presents and he's enjoyed them all since then!

He made a huge mess with his cupcake! It was fun to watch but I'm glad I don't let him do that every time he eats!

Micah went to see our family doctor on Monday for his one-year checkup. They said he looked great. They also said he was the size of the average 18-24 month old!

I'm so thankful for our little boy (I know my husband is too) and I appreciate all the cards and well-wishes that he got! He's so loved! I'm very thankful that God gave him to us!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

World's Best Pasta Sauce

Ok, so maybe it's not the world's best pasta sauce, but it's definitely my best pasta sauce! Justin and I both loved it! Micah ate it without the hamburger, and he was a pretty big fan too :)

1/2 onion diced
2 slices bacon, chopped
2 can crushed tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes with oregano, basil, and garlic- pureed in blender
1 can tomato paste
1 pound hamburger
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1-2 tsp. salt
1 pound pasta of your choice (I used penne)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Saute onion and bacon in medium-sized pot until bacon is cooked and onion is translucent. While they are sauteing, brown hamburger in skillet with garlic powder, basil, red pepper flakes, and cayenne pepper. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and salt to onion and bacon. Stir well. Drain hamburger and add to tomato sauce. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and return to pot. Stir sauce into the pasta until all the pasta is coated. Add cheese and stir until melted. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Why I Read My Bible

I've had the habit for years of reading my Bible daily, and I'm very thankful that it is a habit and I don't even consider not doing it. But why do I read my Bible? Why do I take the time when I could be sleeping or getting something else done to read? One of the reasons is that I never know when I'm going to need it! What good does it do to get in a tight spot or a catastrophe or sometime when I think I need God and then decide that I need to read my Bible? Am I just going to flip it open and read somewhere?

Sometime when I was pregnant with Micah I started reading through Psalm before bed. I used my little Bible that I carried to church instead of my normal Bible that I use for reading. I also used the same blue pen to underline and make notes (I'm weird like that). The night Micah was four days old I read Psalm 138:3. It says "In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthened me with strength in my soul." That was the verse that really stuck out to me that night. Little did I know how much I was going to need it. That next morning we took Micah to the doctor because I knew something was wrong with him. He went from there to Corbin ER and then they flew him to UK. At that point we didn't know what was wrong with Micah or what was going to happen. The staff at UK was not optimistic about Micah surviving the next forty-eight hours. I had to lean on God. That verse was on my mind that whole day. God knew I was going to need it, and He worked it out so that I would read that verse the night before I needed it.

The night Micah spent at UK I read Psalm 139. That chapter has the verses that talk about how God formed us in our mother's womb and how we are fearfully and wonderfully made (13-16). As wonderful as those verses are, they aren't the ones that stuck out to me. Instead verses 11-12 gave me hope. "If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee." God can make even the darkness light. Not only that but when everything seems darkness to me, it's light to God. "the darkness and the light are both alike to thee." God was not confused. He wasn't looking at Micah and thinking "Oh man, what am I going to do now??" He knew exactly what He was doing. In my confusion I could rest on God's presence and plan.

The Bible is so precious to me. And I never know when I'm going to need it! There's a very vivid reminder to me in my little Bible. When we packed to go to UK, I took my other Bible that I read from, not my little one. Psalm 138 is the last one that has notes in that blue pen. I did finish reading Psalm but not in my own bed in my little Bible with my blue pen. But the words are true anywhere, in the "normal" days of life, in the last few days of pregnancy, in the NICU of the hospital, or in whatever situation of life you're in. Go read it for yourself!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tortillas and Quesadillas

A wonderful lady in my church taught me how to make homemade tortillas and they are amazing! I made them one time and Justin requested that I never buy them from the store again! That's a success in my opinion. And they are super easy to make! Any leftovers freeze easily and you can quickly reheat them in the oven.

Tortillas (makes 12-15)
3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 tsp. salt
~1 cup warm water

In a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and butter. Slowly add water until the mixture forms a stiff dough. (Don't add all the water at once; you probably won't need it all. You don't want the dough to be sticky.) Lightly knead the dough and shape into a ball.

Divide the dough by pinching off small balls with your thumb and finger (see picture).

You are aiming for 12 tortillas. Set the balls of dough in rows and cover with a damp paper towel or damp dish towel.

Let dough sit for at least 15 minutes. Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle over medium heat until hot. Press the outside of the ball of dough until you have a disk with a small hump in the middle.

Roll out the dough into a circle. Getting a good circle will probably take some practice :)

Cook the tortilla on each side in the heated skillet. You'll know it's done because it become slightly puffy and brown. Repeat for the rest of the dough.

Justin and I really enjoy chicken, mushroom, spinach quesadillas. They are simple to make. You can use the same filling that I make for the topping on the Alfredo Pizza found HERE. Just cook the onion, chicken, mushrooms, and spinach as specified and don't worry about the rest.

The only thing you will need in addition is cheese. Monterey Jack, Colby, Cheddar, or a similar mix all work well.

On top of one tortilla, layer 1/4 cup cheese, some of the filling (if using all 12 tortillas, I portion out the filling into 6 servings) and another 1/4 cup cheese. Top with another tortilla. Fry in skillet coated with cooking spray. Flip halfway through cooking, when tortillas are browning and cheese is melting. Coat the skillet with more cooking spray before you flip the quesadilla. Repeat until all are cooked.

We serve them with salsa or ranch and you could also do sour cream if that hits the spot for you!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Busy Days

Monday and Tuesday night of this week Justin, Micah, and I traveled over the mountain to a church right outside Knoxville, TN, for a Bible conference. It was a nostalgic trip for us because we played their school's ball teams in high school. The conference was great; we were really glad we were able to go and hear the preaching. Tuesday afternoon I was also able to attend a ladies tea with Mrs. Cindy Schaap. She's the pastor's wife at FBC Hammond and one of my favorite speakers. It was such a blessing! My wonderful husband hung out with Micah for an hour and a half so I could go. Isn't he the greatest?

Micah's Cambrooke food arrived this week too. Cambrooke Foods makes special low-protein foods for people with metabolic disorders. The food is very expensive, but thankfully our insurance pays for a lot of it. This will be such a help in feeding Micah! I'll use the flour as an example. One cup of regular all-purpose flour has 12 grams of protein or 840 mg. of leucine. This is a problem because right now Micah only gets 800 mg. of leucine per day. The Cambrooke flour has 12 mg. of leucine in a cup. So 840 or 12? I'll take the 12! This will really come in handy as Micah gets older and starts to eat more. The only thing we have used so far is the cheese. Justin and I both tried it and it's really good! But it doesn't melt well so I'll be looking for another alternative for some foods, like macaroni and cheese. It's essential for that dish that the cheese melts :) I have a couple of options in mind to try. We also got "chicken nuggets" that are "made with the finest mushrooms." I also intend to try these and learn to make them myself. They're roughly two dollars per nugget. I think I can do better than that!
Micah's favorite part was the box! He's really been enjoying it and it's still in the living room!!

On another note, Micah's 1st birthday is one week from today! I can hardly believe it!

We also went to the Faculty/Staff Dinner at UC on Friday. Micah stayed with our pastor's wife and we had a great time! The food was great and the time with Justin's colleagues was fun as well! They're a great bunch of people!

It's been a great week and tomorrow is Western Sunday at church! We will have a great time! Come out and join us if you're in the area!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Alfredo Pizza

I've had an idea for several weeks now to make an alfredo pizza with chicken, spinach, and mushrooms; and I finally put it on the menu! We loved it! Doesn't the picture look delicious? (Ignore the piece that's only mushrooms; it was Micah's.) So I thought I'd share the recipe.

Pizza Dough: the recipe for my pizza dough can be found HERE.

1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
2 chicken breasts, cubed
2 cups fresh baby spinach, ribboned
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
2 cups alfredo sauce
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper

Prepare pizza dough according to recipe. Saute onions and chicken in oil. Add garlic powder, salt, and pepper (your taste). When chicken is almost done, add mushrooms and spinach. Cook until spinach wilts. Spread 1 cup alfredo sauce on each pizza crust, divide cheese and toppings between the crusts. Cook until cheese is melted and dough is golden. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Goal Check!

The beginning of April seemed like a great time to think about my goals for the year. We're already a quarter of the way through the year and I wondered how I was doing. The main word for this year is "consistency." The things I feel are important enough to invest my time in need to be done on a regular basis, none of them are one-and-done items. So how am I doing? Let's start with the positive. I'm doing great in some areas! I'm practicing piano consistently, at least five days a week, normally more. Normally this happens during Micah's nap time (we have a keyboard with volume control!). I'm also working on incorporating baby play time into my schedule at home so I have plenty of time to play with Micah and still get my work done.
Some areas I'm not doing well in at all! Mostly exercise. Oops! So I have a new plan. There are some ladies at church that go running in the mornings before Micah is up and starting Thursday, I'm going with them! That will also help me be more consistent in getting up early. I did this for quite a while before I got pregnant with Micah, but I must admit I stopped when it was about 15 degrees outside and we were running at 5 in the morning. Now it's warming up for the spring and we're going at 6:45! That's much better for me.
Hopefully I can take a few minutes every month for the rest of the year and see what I need to change. And maybe, come December, we can see some progress and set new goals for 2012!