Sunday, July 31, 2011

Make That All Medical Professionals...

My parents and brother came up to see us on Saturday! We had a great time with them and they enjoyed playing with Micah.

My brother gave Micah a ride.

They brought him a basketball, football, and soccer ball.

Dad read Micah his favorite book!

We had even more excitement Saturday night. Justin was reviewing his Sunday school lesson and I was making desserts for church when I picked Micah up. He needed a diaper change so I asked Justin to stir my blueberry filling while I took care of that. As soon as I laid Micah down I realized that his g-tube was on top of his diaper. That's not where it goes! So Justin came to help me and we attempted to insert a new g-tube. We've done it before so we weren't that worried about it. However, we didn't really know how long it had been out. It could have been up to an hour which was long enough that the tract had closed sufficiently for the g-tube to not fit.

Justin called Micah's metabolic doctor (have we mentioned how great he is?) and he told us to take him on to Corbin and have them call pediatric surgery if they had any problems. So off we went. Thankfully, a graduate nursing student came out when we arrived and realized that the g-tube tract could close (it only takes 3 hours) if they didn't fix it quickly so we were taken on back to a room.

I realized that I have a serious love/hate relationship with the ER in our local hospital. I hadn't been back since Micah was there when he was five days old and really sick. That hit hard when I walked in. I'm glad we weren't in the same room!

We heard the two comments that we always hear from people who have never seen Micah. 1. Wow, he's really big for his age! 2. He looks just like his dad! Then everybody said "Why does he have a g-tube?" Isovaleric Acidemia was not what anybody guessed. :)

The first doctor that came in said that he was not comfortable trying to stretch the g-tube tract back out. (We told them how they did it at CCHMC.) There were eight people that ended up in Micah's room to watch the other doctor. Thankfully, they were able to get it back in and we came on home!

I'm so thankful for medical professionals! Especially the ones who work night-shift in the ER!

I still managed to finish these awesome desserts for church today! Everybody loved them!

Coconut Pecan Cookies

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Favorites: Great Doctors

We have been blessed with some awesome doctors for Micah both locally and in Cincinnati! I'm so glad that he gets to see professionals who really care for him and know what they are doing!

He went for his 15 month checkup today. He weighs 27 pounds and he's 34.75 inches tall. That's a big kid!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Menu Planning

We like to eat around here. We also like to eat other places. :) And since I love to cook we could easily spend an outrageous amount of money on food. That's not our goal so I use several strategies to spend less money on groceries.

1. I shop at Aldi for the bulk of our groceries. I do get a few things at Wal-Mart that they don't carry at Aldi.

2. I only shop twice a month, except for picking up perishables. We have to go about once a week for milk and fruit. (And occasionally something I forgot.)

3. I plan our menus. I use Microsoft Works Calendar because I don't use it for anything else. The nice thing about the Microsoft Works Calendar is that it has a "Notes" section where I can list the cookbook where the recipe is located. I only plan our suppers and we eat leftovers or something simple (like grilled cheese) for lunch. I plan a complete meal for every night and write the ingredients for that meal on my grocery list. This helps prevent me from having to run to the store for one or two items that I forgot.

How This Saves Money

A. This saves money because I can look at the menus and see that I've used a lot of chicken. If I put any more chicken dishes on the menu then I will need to buy another bag of chicken. Probably not what I want to do.

B. I can also look at the menu and see that I'm going to have leftovers of something, say rice. Then I can use rice for a side with other dishes so I don't have to buy something separate.

C. I can tell if I've planned too many expensive dinners and change some of them.

D. I can space out similar tasting meals (Mexican, for example.) That doesn't save money but it does keep the food from being boring!

The great thing about menu planning for me is knowing what I'm going to cook. If I didn't have a menu, every afternoon around 4:30 I would start staring at the refrigerator and the cabinets. And I wouldn't find one single thing to cook! Some people can work on the fly like that but I'm a planner. I would frustrate myself unnecessarily. Plus my hubby likes to know what we're eating; I think it gives him something to look forward to!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Berry Trifle

I adapted this recipe from one I found in a Taste of Home cookbook. I always stayed away from trifles because I was afraid they had cream cheese in them. (I HATE cream cheese.) I've been informed that very few of them contain cream cheese so I'm hoping to overcome that reticence to make/eat trifles. I love these trifles and you can use any type of berry that you would like.

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup cold water
1 tsp. almond extract
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups heavy whipping cream,
1 angel food cake, cut into 1 in. cubes
2 cups fresh berries

In a large bowl, beat the milk, water, and extract until blended. Add the pudding mix; whisk for two minutes. Chill in refrigerator while you whip the whipping cream to soft peaks. Fold whipped cream into pudding mixture.

Place half of the cake cubes in a trifle bowl or large serving bowl. Top with half the cream mixture and half the berries. Repeat layer, positioning top layer of berries in a pretty pattern!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Favorites: Road Trips

Road trips with my guys are so much fun! Today we are going to Cincinnati so that Micah can participate in a photo shoot for the Genetics Department at CCHMC. They are working on some new publicity :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Micah's Meals

I'm trying to be more creative with Micah's meals so I thought I would showcase this week's suppers.

Chicken Mushroom Melts
Micah had the piece on regular bread. The french bread was from the deli and didn't have nutrition facts. I left off the chicken and used Cambrooke cheese.

Taco Salad
Micah had a carefully measured amount of beans with carrots, mushrooms, black olives, and cheese. (This would also be great with shredded zucchini.) He loved it. We did switch to a tortilla because the crunchy chips were a little much for him to manage in large quantities.

Alfredo Pizza
I measured the alfredo sauce, used mushrooms and spinach for the topping and used his Cambrooke cheese. Most of the protein is in the bread dough and I would make a low-protein crust to cut the protein count further.

Stir-Fry with Rice
I measured the amount of rice Micah ate and stir-fried carrots, mushrooms, and broccoli. I topped the veggies with our classic stir-fry sauce!

Micah has these pizzas a lot! It's a crescent roll with tomato sauce, mushrooms, olives, and Cambrooke cheese. He'll have this tomorrow night at my friend's birthday party. Everybody else will be eating pizza too!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Video Resources

We attend the best church! Now that I've said that I hope you feel the same way about yours! My husband and I have learned so much since we started attending six years ago and we love serving there. You too can benefit from the great practical preaching that we hear on a weekly basis by visiting the video archives of our church website. You can also view our services live by visiting the media stream page. Feel free to browse the sight and see the great things our church has to offer!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Chicken Mushroom Melts

These quick chicken mushroom melts are one of my husband's favorite dishes. The only problem is that we never have leftovers!!

3 chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 package of mushrooms, sliced
1 loaf bread of your choice (I used garlic-parmesan french bread)
2/3 cup cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. soy sauce

Saute chicken in pan with small amount of oil. Add salt, pepper, and chili powder. When chicken is almost fully cooked, add mushrooms and soy sauce to pan. While chicken is cooking, broil bread in oven until toasted.

Spoon chicken mixture onto toasted bread and top with cheese. Return to oven until cheese is melted.
Micah ate the piece made on regular bread. I didn't use the french bread because it didn't have any nutrition facts; therefore, I didn't know how much protein was in it.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Favorites: Aldi

A few months ago, Justin and I decided to try shopping at Aldi. It's about a twenty minute drive up the interstate but we only shop twice a month so we decided not to worry about that. And the verdict is that we love it!!! They don't have name brands and they don't have a huge variety but the prices are great and the food is too. The produce is much better than Wal-Mart's too.

And by the way, they only take debit or cash. That's a vital piece of information. Especially if you don't carry cash and need to activate your new debit card. Yup, really happened.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Service with a Smile

Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Ps. 100:2
We are all called to serve. Romans 6:16 tells us that we may choose whom we serve but we still serve. Since I have purposed to serve the Lord, I love to find instructions for how to serve Him. God says to serve "with gladness." That tells me that my attitude matters! It's not enough that I do what I'm supposed to. I need to be who I'm supposed to be while I'm doing it! Websters 1828 dictionary defines gladness as "Joy, or a moderate degree of joy and exhilaration; pleasure of mind; cheerfulness." Wow! Now sometimes when I picture serving I think of a downtrodden, miserable soul who suffers through her work. That does not fit this description! Just doing what we are supposed to bring us no honors in God's book. (Read Luke 17:7-10 if you don't believe me.) God wants us to have joy in serving.

Cheerful while changing diapers, washing dishes, paying bills, playing with blocks, cleaning toilets, ironing (even the ironing!), cooking supper, getting up in the night, etc. God didn't exclude some service from being done with gladness. Even my least favorite tasks should be done cheerfully.

How can I be cheerful in my work? Have joy in my service?

1. Be thankful! Some nights when I've just put Micah in bed I still have work to do. I might need to wash the dishes, make formula, clean up the stuff I made formula with, finish some laundry, etc. You get the idea. I can be miserable because I want to go sit on the couch or I can be thankful. I can be thankful that I have food to dirty the dishes, a little boy to make the formula for, the formula to keep my little boy healthy, a washer and dryer in our home so I don't have to go to the laundrymat. Get the idea? When I spend my time doing the work telling God how thankful I am for all those blessings the time goes by much faster and I'm happier too.

2. Spend time in the Bible. I'll never know what God expects from me if I don't read His Word. I need to know what God says about His kind of lady and the work I have to do. I need to be filling my mind with good things that encourage me to have the right attitude. And I must say that most of modern culture points me to the exact opposite. What I take in influences my attitudes strongly.

3. Smile. Even if I don't feel like it. Some days just aren't up days when I wake up. But you know what? I've found that if I smile, pray, and go on about my day as if it were an up day it usually becomes one. And even if I am having a down day I don't need to smear that over everyone who comes into contact with me. Let them be cheerful! It might rub off on me!

I really can choose my own attitude! Thankfully, I don't have to be cheerful on my own. God lives in my heart and guides me in His way. And that's something to be cheerful about!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Baked Hash Browns

Baked Hash Browns! We didn't used to have hash browns until I experimented with this recipe (and learned the soaking technique from Tyler Florence!) We normally have this when I fix breakfast for dinner but it would be great at breakfast too! Just shred and soak the potatoes the night before and you'll be ready to go in the morning.

5 medium potatoes
2 tsp. seasoning salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. each garlic powder and onion powder
1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Shred potatoes. I use my food processor. It might be my favorite kitchen appliance!

Put shredded potatoes in bowl.

And cover with water. Let soak for at least 20 minutes. It won't hurt them to go longer. Soaking helps remove the starch and gives the hash browns a better texture. If you do want to fry them, this step is even more important to keep the hash browns from being a sticky mess.

Drain the water off the potatoes and wring them out in a clean towel. Really. Squeeze them. Get out as much water as you can.

Place potatoes on a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with seasonings and cheese. Combine well and spread into a thin, even layer. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until potatoes are brown and cheese is melted. Serve hot.

I forgot to take a picture when they came out of the oven. That's all that was left of that big pan!


Justin, Micah, and I went to Columbus, OH, this past weekend to attend a "Cooking Low-Protein" workshop. We made it into a mini-vacation and had a great time! Some college friends of ours live in Columbus and graciously opened their home to our family. We had a great time catching up with them!

The workshop was sponsored by Vitaflo, a company that specializes in metabolic formulas, and conducted by Malathy Ramanujam. Malathy's son has homocystinuria. She has actually developed her own line of products that are low-protein and sold at . The workshop was mostly focused on making low-protein breads and other carbs.

Justin was able to spend some time talking the Vitaflo reps that attended the event. Vitaflo is actually based out of the UK and they are working on developing some new products but had not found many people in the U.S. with IVA. These two reps cover 8-12 states and do not know any other families with IVA in those areas! (The rest of the families there were all dealing with PKU.)

It was interesting to talk to the other parents that attended the workshop. I learned a lot about PKU and got several good recommendations for low-protein foods.

There is a similar workshop in Mason, OH, in December that we are hoping to attend.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? 1 Cor. 4:7

For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. 2 Cor. 10:12

Men compete loudly and physically. Ladies are much more likely to keep a scorecard in their head comparing themselves to other ladies. “Am I as pretty as she is?” “She sings better than me!” “I can’t play an instrument.” “Children like her better than they do me.” “I’m skinnier than she is!” Or even “My life is so much harder than hers.” “She’s has more spiritual husband than I do.” “Her children are always well-behaved and I struggle with mine all the time.” (There are some competitions you don’t want to win!) And we give ourselves points or take points away depending on what our answer is. The problem is that these questions and answers are based on our scale of importance instead of God’s.

God has given us all the positives that we possess. God has given us all the trials that we suffer too. Why would we act like we are anything special? Instead we need to use all our talents, abilities, attributes, and even trials to give glory to God.

What do we know about each lady?

-We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Ps. 139
Each difference is expressly designed by God. Would we insult Him by insulting His creation?

-We are the temples of God. 1 Cor. 3:16
God dwells in each of us, regardless of height, weight, color, etc.

-We are individuals with different talents. 1 Cor. 12:4, 12-31
None of us can do everything so everyone must do something. For everything to get done we must all do different things.

-We are God's masterpieces. Eph. 2:10
God views each of us as worthy of His time and energy.

-We are becoming God's good works. Phil. 1:6
Remember that God is not finished working on us! (That includes that person that drives you crazy!)

-We are the lights of God. Matt. 5:16
We can darken that light by our fighting. We only shine as we are working for God!

-We are promised God's help for whatever He calls us to do. Phil. 4:13, 1 Thess. 5: 24
It's too much to do on our own. Lean on God's strength.

-We can adorn, instead of blaspheme, God's Word by our behavior. Titus 2:5, 10
What a heavy responsibility. People will form their opinion of the Bible based on our lifestyle!

-We are servants of God. Rom. 6:18
As servants, it's not about us anyway. Let's forget ourselves and serve others!

Each of these things is true about every single one of us. Are we going to argue that I am more God’s masterpiece than you are? That God will help me more than He will help you? That my talents are more important than yours? Of course not! In light of the Scripture these arguments are ridiculous. What if every lady concentrated on serving God right where God has put her? What if every lady focused on encouraging other ladies to do the same instead of competing with them? I think our families, our husbands, our children, our churches, and our workplaces would all be different. Let’s rise to the challenge of being God’s lady.