Sunday, November 22, 2009

Best Laid Plans

I heard a great story today in church (yes, I was paying attention).  It relates what it is like to raise a child with a disability.  As the speaker noted today, this could apply to any of our situations in life not just to raising a special needs child.

I always planned to live a long and healthy life; I never expected to get Multiple Sclerosis.  Instead of planning to go to "Italy and ending up in Holland", my life was planning to go "Finland" (I love cool weather) and I ended up in the tropical island of "Puerto Rico" and for those who know me, they understand my thermostat issues!  Thank you to Vikki who reminded me to count my every day blessings because at times, being in Puerto Rico is beautiful!


Emily Perl Kingsley.
c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mama's Holiday Wishlist

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme
TodaysMama and Provo Craft are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year? 

  • A roaster for big meals - the crock pot ain't cutting it anymore
  • Gift card to Kohl's - I need a bit of wardrobe updating
  • One day to scrapbook ALL DAY WITHOUT INTERRUPTION!
  • Someone to do all the holiday washing dishes chores
  • My family to have a relaxing holiday - no stress allowed!
What is your favorite handmade gift you have received?
  • Actually it is a letter handwritten from my dad to me when I was 9.  He wrote a note to me when he gave me a gold bracelet and it was just from him, not from my mom.  I still have the bracelet (though it is too small) and the note.  He rarely writes anything down so this is a treasure!
What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle?
  • I would love to make a quilt for each of my 4 children.  A beautiful one that will be handed down for generations, but with a small one I attempted, it is not going to be an easy task.
What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child?
  • I got a doll that is chubby cheeked and just darn cute.  She sits on my dresser today.
What items are on your kid’s wish list this year?
  • They want their own cell phones or an iPod touch.  They are all teenagers so this isn't a surprise. They won't be getting them this year. 
What is your favorite holiday food?
  • I love Cathedral Window cookies (chocolate and colored marshmallows) and Honey Baked Ham!
What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays?
  • I will be remaking a wreath this year that has been on my front door for the past 18 years.  It has fabric on it and it has faded a lot over time.
What is your favorite holiday movie?
  • I now love Elf but Miracle on 34th Street is my all-time favorite
Favorite holiday song?
  • Winter Wonderland
Favorite holiday pastime?
  • We put up the Christmas tree one evening while playing Christmas music.  Then, my husband dances around the room with my kids and then he likes to lay under the tree with the lights on.  It is Christmas.
To enter to win all these cool prizes below simply answer the questions in this meme, make sure to post links back to and Provo Craft (use this link: ) and tag your friends! 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Yummy Versitile Stew

I was watching Good Morning America last week and Jamie Oliver shared his basic stew recipe and variations on it.

Jamie Oliver's Basic Stew Recipe

I do not use alcohol in my recipes so the variations could include:

Beer/Ale: Chicken broth, beef broth, mushroom broth, white grape juice, ginger ale
Hard Cider: Apple Juice
White Wine: Water, chicken broth, vegetable broth, white grape juice, ginger ale, white grape juice
Red Wine: Red grape juice, cranberry juice, chicken broth, beef broth, vegetable broth, clam juice, fruit juices, flavored vinegar