Wednesday, December 29, 2010

This Miracle Business

Since finding out the diagnosis of my eldest son and eldest daughter I have gone from feeling frustrated to feeling overwhelmed to feeling defeated.  To most people Cohen and Hannah seem just fine.  They are loving, sweet and playful. Most people don't know the daily (sometimes hourly) struggles they face.  Regular tantrums are seen as just a phase and open defiance are met with awkward giggles.  I try to explain that these are just glimpses into the bigger picture.  But most people want to reassure me that everything is okay.  Yet I know the diagnosis and I see that even though their actions may be similar to other children the outcome in the long run won't be the same.  This is difficult to explain to most people.  

When you adopt a child you hold that baby with one hand and hold their dreams with another.  You hope that you can be the difference that their little life needs.  Most times you don't have a lot of information about birth parents and sometimes what information you have is sketchy.  You are just so in love with that perfect baby you can't bring yourself to think about what could be wrong.  You are just so thrilled to "have" a baby!  
I often share the story about when I first found out we were going to be Cohen's parents.  My heart leaped out of the car and then rested back in it's place.  I quickly realized Cohen wasn't mine.  I handed him over to God.  Somewhere along the way I think I may have taken him back. (Sorry God!)  I spend huge amounts of time wondering if God knew what he was doing when he chose me as Cohen's parent.  He must have not had his thoughts straight because he didn't realize how impatient and easily annoyed I get.  How could he think that I could be a good enough parent for our children?  My incessant worrying reveals my lack of trust in God to provide (emotionally) for our family.  
So when I look at the scary future in front of me I realize that I can't find what I am looking for.   There will always be scary statistics that tell me that most likely my son or daughter won't make it and most likely our family will fall apart under the pressure and most likely they will have devastating relationships with their siblings.  But today God tapped me on the shoulder, pulled me into the shower with tears mingling with the beads of rain, and drew me to his feet.  There I laid down my business and requested nothing short of a miracle.  Now all I have to do is trust him and act on his promises to me.  
Perhaps, instead of wringing my hands with worry, I need to get busy with what I can control. There's always something I can do to bring order to my situation. It's not a distraction technique ... it's an act of faith.  Jesus is still in the business of miracles, and I definitely can't do those.
Dear Lord, forgive me when I focus more on my own limitations rather than Your power. There is nothing too great for You. Help me to turn my thoughts away from what I can't do, to what You have placed in front of me. I trust You to do the rest. In Jesus' Name, Amen.  (From Encouragement for Today Proverbs 31 Ministries)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It Just Isn't Cool!

I have been harbouring this hatred in my heart for a week now and I need to release it.  You know the feeling when the very sight of something just sets you off.  You see it in the corner of your eye and you must close your eyes just to get through the rest of your day?  Well I have such a feeling about something I don't even want to name.

Cool Whip.
How appropriate for these two to co-habitat. 

Two tubs that have more in common than you know!  


There I said it and I never want to say those words again.  Well maybe just for today.  I am sorry for the millions of people I am about to offend.  I just can't take it anymore.  I feel so passionate about this that I wish they could just ban the stuff.  It is false advertising and it makes me sick.  You can't make a light soft drink and hide caffeine in it.  So why can you make an oil product and then masquerade it around as a dairy product?  I'm just saying... well asking.  It's wrong people.

This all started when my mother asked me to make my trifle for her work party.  I love making trifle it is is super easy, pretty and delicious!  I gave my mother the list of things I needed over the phone.  When it came time to discuss the whipping cream I went into great detail.  It must come from a carton in the dairy section right next to it's cousin half and half.  It must make a sound when you shake the carton and it must CERTAINLY not come in a tub!

I thought I was clear.

My mother arrived with the ingredients for the trifle and lounging in the plastic bag were 2 tubs of cool whip.  I have no words... well maybe just a few.  I mean how could she bring that impostor here.  First it was the fake butter.  And now this.  I think my mom is trying to kill my passion for food.  I'm not sure why.  But the Cool Whip must go.  This house isn't big enough for anymore tubs!

(By the way if you want the Cool Whip let me know and I will give it to you.  As long as you live locally you can have it! I promise I won't judge you - openly.)

I just exhaled.  I feel so much better.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Laundry 1 Mommy 0!

There are lots of perks to living with my mother.   My children grow up surrounded by love and get someone who is like a mommy but much, much better!  My children love living with Grandma and most of them don't know childhood any other way.

But sometimes I get the feeling that my mom is embarrassed to live with me.  Call me crazy but she rarely invites her friends over and doesn't entertain much any more.  She is always going out for dinner and rarely brings friends back!  I think I have figured out why none of her friends have graced our front steps - LAUNDRY!

These are clean socks that haven't found a home!  I tried to entice my son to play a matching game with them but it didn't work!

Laundry is the beast in my life.  I just can't seem to get a handle on it.  The whole invention of laundry is very deceptive.  They give you these machines that you just throw clothes into but nobody tells you that when you pull them out they just don't put themselves away.  Nobody tells you that a family of six will never ever have empty laundry baskets.  My mom has continually gone out to buy laundry bins because I keep filling them with clean clothes and never have ones to put dirty clothes in.  It has gotten so bad that I am now using my bassinet as another laundry bin.  (Sorry Ella-Shilloh!)
I realized that Kiran is seen often without a shirt.  I just want to say that it has nothing to do with the laundry situation and everything to do with the boy gene! 

Before our fourth child I used to manage to put away the laundry within the week they were washed but now clean clothes lay folded in baskets until they are pilfered through for long lost pyjamas and mismatched socks.

Speaking of mismatched, my mother cannot understand why she must be greeted with piles and piles of laundry when she comes home.  She walks into the family room and just shakes her head.  I hang my heavy head in shame.  Laundry 1 Mommy 0!  My mother makes suggestions  and I just sink further into the couch hoping she won't notice the new pile that has grown in the baby's chair.  (Where is my shame?  Where is my dignity?)  I have to find a way to conquer this laundry demon.  I fear that people's suspicions about our weird homeschooling family will be confirmed when my children come to church in their underwear turned inside out!  Help! Quick before I lose one of my children to piles of laundry!

Don't even get me started on these things!!!

How did you conquer the laundry demon?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Santa Who?

So I have been going down a road I am not to familiar with lately.  My eldest son has decided that Santa is real and to add insult to injury his Choir teacher cemented that thought by telling him that Santa is real!  Well if the lady at church says it then...  I conceded by telling him that we all have our right to our opinions and we also have the responsibility to respect the opinion of others. (Even if it is so wrong:)) So all weekend long I have been getting questions like:

Do reindeers fly?

Did Santa come to our house already?

Is Santa God's helper?

( My youngest son even squealed while looking out the window because he thought he saw the big guy!) I give up!

From a girl who grew up knowing very little about Santa  and never believing in him (sorry if I ruined it for you adults out there!) I now have to engage in daily conversations about the whereabouts of this man with a belly made of jelly!  I will tolerate these conversations but all the really cool gifts will always be from me! Sorry Santa!

Where are you kids on the Santa reality meter?

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Monday, December 13, 2010

She's So Pretty!

So this is a totally frivilous post.  Don't say I didn't warn you.  You are about to land in Lala land for sure now! I just wanted to tell the world that Ms. Ella-Shilloh has gone out and gotten her little ears pierced.  If you could see me you would see that I am grinning like a silly monkey sitting on a heap of bananas!
Such a small thing to make a big fuss about!

I got my ears pierced when I was only a few days or weeks old.  I think my grandmother did it.  I can't get the story straight.  Anyway, the minute Ms. Shilloh got those sparklies on her cute little lobes I just could not stop staring at her.  All I kept thinking was "She's so pretty... oh so pretty..."  Silly isn't it?  As I sat there on the mall bench admiring her shinies my thoughts paused for a moment.  Was it totally wrong for me to indulge in such a frivilous thing?  What have I done to my daughter?  Have I reduced her to an object to be accessorized and admired?  Thankfully those thoughts didn't hang around long because those sparklies were so darn distracting.  "She's so pretty ...oh so pretty..."

Silly, but too good not to share!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Eating our Words

Okay, I have to explain.  I am a big time snob when it comes to butter.  I can be heard saying "butter is better" even in my sleep.  But yesterday I had to eat those words with a big dose of margarine.  My mom brought over some "butter like" margarine from her Black Friday shopping trip.  She thought it was butter because of the packaging.  I was a little suspicious when she announced that it cost .97 cents per package.
The suspect in all it's deceiving packaging!!!
We decided to make cookies for our neighbours.  So I took out the individually wrapped sticks of deceptive margarine.  We followed this recipe from Martha Stewart.  It is a great recipe but you need to make sure you under cook the cookies a bit.  I used mini marshmallows this time instead of the larger ones.  No biggie.  It still worked!  The only other thing I would recommend is mixing the cocoa powder and the icing sugar first for the frosting.  Make sure it is really well mixed.

About the Margarine:
I was a little nervous at first because the sugar and margarine did not appear to mix well in the beginning.  It took a little longer for the fluffiness of this combination to materialize.  But I turned up the speed and waited- something I am horrible at! It worked out in the end.

 Another mini nervous breakdown occurred when I added the eggs and milk.  The margarine hardened into little bits.  I kept on mixing and added the flour and cocoa butter mixture.

Another confession: I used the margarine for the frosting too.  I had to mix it in quite a bit but it was great!  The frosting does harden a little bit (after a while) but it is still spreadable.

The verdict:  It always comes down to taste.  I can honestly say that the flavour was....well...hold on I am taking another bite...oh goodness crumbs...licking my lips...sigh...okay it was DELICIOUS! Maybe I don't have a well trained pallet or something but the flavour was the same as the butter ones!  (Hanging my head in shame.)  If I do find this margarine on sale at .97 cents again I will buy it for recipes like this. Don't expect me to use it for my Cinnamon Bun recipe or my Christmas pound cake either!  I have to maintain some shred of my snob status!

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Gee Whiz! I'm Thankful!

White blankets of snow
Christmas music all day long
Making pancakes with my littlest baker
Sweet sounds from a baby trying to join the conversation
Upcoming Christmas baking with the girls!
Snapping out of it!
Waiting to hear from God.

You've go to love the black Santa!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Some Crazy Christmas Spice!


That's me in the big hair and equally big smile. I call this my Crazy Spice look!  My mother is in the background probably shaking her head!  I love this picture because it reminds me of joy of Christmas.  I had just come to a new country and was home sick but the simplest things made me smile.  From taking a picture to the new experience of having a cold Christmas to putting tinsel on a tree.  Smiles.  All around!