Life Update: Crazy Days

So, I know it has been a bit since I’ve posted and I do apologize. To say that life has been crazy would be an understatement. We’ve had dentist appointments, another birthday (Ms. Caitlyn turned 13), house drama, and some baby news.

In our last life update post, we had just had Mr. Joey’s birthday and I had been working on getting some freezer meals entered into our Cozi calendar. (Yep, that’s an affiliate link and there may be a couple more scattered in the post as well.) The new meals that I’ve added to our rotation have been a big hit and many of them came from Jamerrill’s Large Family Table.

I have tweaked a couple of them to work for our family but everyone has loved them and I will soon be making them in bulk to put in the freezer. I’ve been holding off on another major Freezer Meals session because we want to get moved in so we wouldn’t be moving so much frozen food back and forth.

As far as the house goes we have had a little bit of progress:

  • the electrician has been out and finished his work
  • the electrical inspection passed… YAY!
  • the finishing crew fixed a few items but left a few to finish which we will tackle this weekend

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Now we are waiting on the skirting which is scheduled to happen tomorrow morning and then a final inspection scheduled for Monday. We are still waiting on our steps for the back door as the ones that came were the wrong size. You can see that the post falls in the center of the second door… we plan to replace these with French doors in the future and those steps won’t work!

Once we get the final inspection we should hopefully get the go-ahead to move in by Tuesday… woot-woot! We are so ready but we are dreading the move as well.

This weekend we will be installing the dryer vent which was missing and a couple of lights in the bedroom closets. Mr. Awesome is replacing the pull chain lights with a couple of ‘can lights’ which will be wired to their own light switches… hopefully, this will keep the kids from breaking the lights.

As I’m writing this we just happened to notice that the electric company is over at the house so we should have power soon!

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Over the weekend we made a trip to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. This was our second time visiting the park and the second time we had been blessed with tickets to go. Thank you Ms. Dorothy and Mr. Ron! We all had a great time and the kids have been begging to go again.

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I found this cutie in the gift shop and had to bring it home with me for the baby:

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The little trip over the weekend was much needed as Friday was an extremely stressful day… I haven’t really said a lot about any of this to anyone but I’ve decided to share this with everyone as we need all the love and support that we can get! It really does take a village to raise a child and maybe our experience can help someone else on their journey.

Friday was my first appointment with the high-risk clinic and it did not go anything as expected. We were at the office for almost 5 hours! I was already nervous because we had already had a couple of issues earlier. The doctors had already been telling me the risks of having a baby at ‘my age‘ and it seemed that they kept stressing the chances of having a baby with ‘issues’.

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The ultrasound had been scheduled first and when the tech went to get the doctor I was pretty certain that she had some concerns… the longer we waited for the doctor the more it weighed on me. After 10-15 minutes I just started crying… poor Mr. Awesome didn’t have a clue and when I told him my fears he just reassured me that everything was going to be OK.

The doctor came in and did the ultrasound again getting even more pictures and measurements from different angles. She ended up telling us that the nuchal fold measured a bit thicker than what is considered normal which indicates an increased risk for chromosomal abnormalities. She also said that the baby seemed to have a ‘small window‘ in the septum of its heart but that this can and often does close up on its own.

She then sent us to talk to a genetic counselor. That was another experience in itself! When I say I was an emotional wreck it may be an understatement. He did his best to comfort us and then to explain the different conditions that they were concerned about… he seemed a bit surprised to find that we already have an adopted child with Down Syndrome and that we were familiar with some of the other conditions like Williams Syndrome.

We went over the risks again and the statistics before being offered some other testing. We have no family history of genetic disorders and the biggest factor is my age. We declined all invasive testing and opted for the NIPT screening which would be back within 5-7 days. It seemed like a long time but the time really did pass by quickly. 

Sigh… after all of this I still had to see another doctor who again went over all the risks associated with my age… I’m 42 not 82! I was put on baby aspirin and told to continue my meds for the thyroid issue which reminds me that I need to call them back and get a refill on that! I really can’t recall what else they might have said as everything was pretty much a blur at that time as I was overwhelmed, tired, and hungry!

We went to eat before finding the lab and then got my blood drawn before heading home… we did talk a little bit about it on the way home and we both agree that this baby is staying put until it is ready to meet the world! The blood test results show that we are low risk for Trisomy 13 & 18 but at a higher risk for Down Syndrome… we also found out the gender but I’m not revealing that yet! 

As of right now we are still not planning to undergo any further testing, we know that our baby is in GOD’s hands and although we may not know the reason for these trials that we are enduring at the moment we do know that HE has a plan! Does this mean I don’t worry? No. I really felt that I was on the verge of an emotional breakdown but Mr. Awesome has been right beside me and has helped me through this.

This can be really scary because there are so many unknowns. Yes, it seems that the risk for our baby to have a genetic issue is higher than many but we love this little one already. No test or procedure is going to be able to change the outcome and we will love and welcome this little one into our family.

We have to focus on the positive that our baby seems to be very healthy on the scan… it was dancing up a storm! The baby’s growth seems to be on track as well and we did see little fingers and toes… I also thought I caught a glimpse of the gender but the tech said it was too early and she didn’t give me a picture… I was right!

We can’t let the tests and everything else suck the joy out of this wonderful experience. I’ve had to ask GOD for strength on several occasions as no parent wants to think that there may be something wrong with their child. This pregnancy has already played a much larger toll on me than previous pregnancies and I am just completely exhausted most days.

I’ve had to hand this pregnancy over to HIM because it is completely out of our control… there is nothing that can change what is or what isn’t and HE will not desert us. I even told the counselor that those issues wouldn’t be the end of the world… it would just be something a little different than what we expected. 

I mean, never in a million years did expect that I would be having a baby right now. It is a blessing to even be carrying this little life inside of me and for that, I am so very thankful. GOD has indeed been so good to us in so many ways and I must TRUST him and HIS plan for this child.

This has been my go-to verse for right now:

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Please just keep our family in your thoughts and prayers and I promise to try to reveal the gender soon!

Have a blessed weekend!

 

 

 

 

Life Update: January 3, 2020

Whew! What a time we’ve had over the past few weeks! I apologize for not getting to post anything on a regular basis. A lot of the recipes that have posted had been typed up prior to November, when my oldest daughter left for Kansas, and then scheduled to post later… good thing I did that or I wouldn’t have had the energy to do anything all month!

I’m having an OK morning so far so I wanted to go ahead and try to type up a quick post to fill everyone in on what has been going on around here! So just in case, you missed some of our most recent news, here is a quick update:

  • Mr. Awesome and I got married on Christmas Day with a surprise wedding!
  • We also officially announced that there will be a new addition to our family later this year!

Continue reading “Life Update: January 3, 2020”

Ginger Tea

This is another recipe that I have used a lot… especially when I was suffering from morning sickness. It is fairly easy to make and you can buy a big bunch of ginger and then peel and slice it for the freezer to make this even easier to make.

This recipe can be doubled or tripled if needed. This is very useful for when anyone has a bout of nausea or vomiting from pregnancy or the flu. You can also check out my Simple Ginger Syrup recipe.

Continue reading “Ginger Tea”

Simple Ginger Syrup

This recipe is similar to one the I found when I was pregnant with my second son. I suffered from some horrible morning sickness and this syrup and some homemade ginger tea really helped get me through those first few months. I later delivered a very healthy baby.

This can be used to sweeten drinks like tea and/or lemonade or used in a variety of other ways. I like to take the strained, sliced ginger root and let it dry for something similar to candied ginger. It is a little spicy though so be prepared if you pop a piece in your mouth. Continue reading “Simple Ginger Syrup”

Angel Food Cake

I can remember the first time I made this recipe… I was so proud of myself because it turned out so well. The recipe scared me because it seemed to go against everything I had learned about baking… a cold oven and an ungreased pan. I’ve had this recipe for quite some time and I believe it came out of a very old cookbook that we had in the kitchen when I was growing up.

This is really rather simple to make and you can save the egg yolks to throw in some scrambled eggs for breakfast. This is extra delicious when you pair it with some fresh strawberries but I think any fruit would probably be good with it.

Continue reading “Angel Food Cake”

DIY Playdough

I think every kid loves playdough and mine are no exception. I recently pinned a bunch of playdough recipes on one of my boards but as luck would have it I actually found one of my own recipes in my old recipe box… it also happened to be the last recipe in the box.

Don’t worry though because I’ve got recipes stashed everywhere in this little house and I have some packed away in the shed so I’ll get them posted… hopefully faster than it took me to get through the recipe box though!

I have also seen some new recipes that are using essential oils which would smell so good. You could probably use this recipe and omit the Kool-aid pack. You could also color them with some natural dyes if you desired too.

Continue reading “DIY Playdough”

Homemade Croutons

Forget the days when croutons were just for salad toppings. We love to eat croutons on our salads, our soups, stews, and we have even been known to eat them as a snack every now and then as well.

I know I have a recipe for homemade croutons somewhere around here but I’m not sure where it is but I’ll update this one if there is anything different about the way I made them the other day.  It just happened that my sister sent home some of the Quick & Easy Garlic Bread and it got pretty hard even though we had it in a Ziploc baggie.

Well, I really didn’t want to throw it out because it was really good and then I had an idea. When we did our last Walmart Grocery Pickup they were out of oyster crackers. I had planned to make Loaded Potato Soup that night as Mr. Awesome had requested it but we really like to eat it with oyster crackers. I had some regular saltines but decided to give it a try with some garlic croutons and they were a HIT!

I skipped a couple of the steps as our bread already had the garlic and butter so I simply had to cut it up and bake it for the most delicious croutons ever. I also keep a baggie in the freezer with scrap bread for making croutons and/or bread crumbs. Continue reading “Homemade Croutons”

Candied Sweet Potatoes

I think sweet potatoes are served in many homes around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here is a simple candied sweet potato recipe that we make on occasion. You may also like to try out Favorite Sweet Potato Casserole.

Continue reading “Candied Sweet Potatoes”

Baked Spaghetti Squash (3 ways to cook it)

This was something that I’ve been wanting to try but haven’t gotten around to until last weekend. I am so glad that my sister decided to go with this for dinner as I have been very curious and now I know that this dish will be making it to our table again in the future… it’s so easy to do as well!

You can use the cooked squash in almost any pasta dish and I can’t wait to give it a try with Mama’s Secret Spaghetti Sauce or with some Easy Alfredo Sauce, the possibilities are endless. We ate it with some Easy Baked Chicken, Sauteed Squash (we used a combination of other vegetables instead of the squash), and some Quick & Easy Garlic Bread (which I later made croutons with). 

I’m thinking this might also work well in place of the squash in our favorite Cheesy Squash Casserole or maybe even good as Vegetable Casserole. I’ve also read that Spaghetti Squash is good with a little butter and brown sugar… just the way I like my sweet potatoes!

Did I mention that spaghetti squash is a low carb pasta alternative? It also has many great health benefits that you can read about HERE. This fits in well with our Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle changes that we’ve been trying to implement!

Don’t throw out the seeds! Try them in this recipe: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


Baked Spaghetti Squash (3 ways to cook it)

Baked Spaghetti Squash (3 ways to cook it)

Ingredients:

  • Spaghetti Squash
  • olive oil
  • garlic salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

First, you want to wash off your squash and then cut in half. You can cut it in whichever direction you like as it will cook about the same… just make sure it will fit into your cooking dish.

Next, take a large spoon and scrape out the seeds and insides… kids like to help with this part. You can also roast these just like you can pumpkin seeds.

Turn the squash over and use a fork to poke a few holes in the skin.

Now you can lightly rub the olive oil on the inside and sprinkle with seasonings.

Choose a method of cooking below:

I have only tried the baking method so far so I can’t really testify to the other two methods… yet.

Oven:

Preheat the oven to 375.

Place your prepared squash in a baking dish or on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 30-45 minutes or until slightly tender. The cooked squash should dent easily when you push your finger into the skin. The skin will also start to darken a bit.

You may find that you need to let it cook slightly longer or a little less. The desired tenderness is completely up to you! 

Let cool slightly and then use a fork to scrape out the ‘noodles’.

Enjoy with your favorite sauce or dish!

Microwave:

Don’t oil or season your squash.

Place the prepared squash, fleshy-side down, in a microwave-safe dish. You may only be able to cook 1/2 of the squash at a time depending on the size of your microwave.

Add about 1/2 inch of water to the dish.

Microwave on high for 10-20 minutes, checking every 3-5 minutes for tenderness. The cooked squash should dent easily when you push your finger into the skin. The skin will also start to darken a bit.

Let cool slightly and then use a fork to scrape out the ‘noodles’.

Season to taste and enjoy with your favorite sauce or dish!

Crockpot:

Hang on to your britches because this is probably the most simple way to cook Spaghetti Squash…

You just need to clean your squash and poke some holes in the skin… don’t cut it in half or anything!

Just put the whole squash your crockpot and cover with a lid. NO WATER NEEDED although I think a little broth may add a bit of flavor.

Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours, just until tender. The cooked squash should dent easily when you push your finger into the skin. The skin will also start to darken a bit.

Let cool slightly and slice in half. Scoop out the seeds and then use a fork to scrape out the ‘noodles’.

Season to taste and enjoy with your favorite sauce or dish!


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Flash Sale and Quick House Update!

 I’m so sorry I forgot to post the links earlier… my brain has gone on vacation or something… lol!

Hey guys! Things have been SOOO CRAZY around here this week as our house is finally here and in the process of getting set up. I’ve been running around like a headless chicken trying to get the last couple of things taken care of.

I meant to post this sale yesterday… I’ve got make sure I grab a couple of these for myself as well... but I got BUSY and forgot! I’m so sorry!

1 Day FLASH SALE! Laundry Detergent 1kg

Continue reading “Flash Sale and Quick House Update!”

Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole

This is one of those easy, go-to recipes that can be made in a variety of ways. You could add some chopped, cooked meat or ham to this to make a hearty main dish. Continue reading “Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole”

Crockpot Applesauce

I don’t post a lot of ‘canning’ recipes on here because most of what I know about canning is in my head. I just do things the way I saw them done when I was young and I can’t really guarantee the accuracy of all of them.

This recipe here is a good one for canning and giving out as gifts though. It never seems to stick around that long here though because my kids LOVE applesauce and I love that I know exactly what’s in it. This recipe can also be used for the Crockpot Apple Butter! If you decide to use this for Apple Butter you may want to omit the sugar and seasonings.

(Affiliate Link: We like to use this handy dandy gadget to make things easier.) 

Continue reading “Crockpot Applesauce”