Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Two of my favorite recipes

When I am feeling stressed I like to eat. Thankfully between nursing Grace and a thyroid that cannot regulate, I seem to not be gaining weight even though I eat like I linebacker. Now before you hate me for saying that you should also know that this means that I cannot sleep and am exhausted most of the time so don't be jealous, just be happy for me that I can eat my way through 2011's unending craziness.

I thought I would share two of my favorite recipes, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins - Provided by my neighbor and friend Pam VanDenburg

1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter melted
2 eggs
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas mashed up
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup "other stuff" - oats, nuts, seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, etc.

Mix the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, salt and baking soda) in one bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in a second bowl (butter, eggs, yogurt, vanilla and bananas). Combine the wet and dry ingredients. I always add a little milk to make it more moist, maybe 1/4 of a cup. Then fold in the chocolate chips and "other stuff".

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes in a greased 12 cup muffin pan.

I let Jack mix the dry ingredients. He really loves helping out. Also, I grease the pan by putting Crisco on a paper towel and rubbing it in each muffin cup. This works every time. My favorite "other stuff" is 1/2 cup of oats and 1/4 cup of raisins. Jack eats these muffins well most of the time.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies - provide by my Mother-in-Law, Anne Wiggins (this is Christian's favorite cookie)

Cream Together:
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup softened butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar

Add and beat together:
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups white flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add and stir:
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes

This is a favorite at our house. The only change I made from Anne's original recipe was to go from 1 cup of shortening to half shortening and half butter. I found another recipe that used all butter before I got Anne's recipe and all butter just made the cookies run together on the cookie sheet. I like adding a bit of butter because it gives a nice flavor. Play around and see what you prefer.

Hope you all enjoy the recipes. Happy eating!

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Big Question Mark

Today I am forcing myself to update our blog. I am in a space where I don't want to talk about it and I always want to talk about everything. This means I am not in so good a place.

Grace is out of her cast. Thankfully we are able to bath her and change her diaper and she loves life outside of the cast. Also, thankfully Grace's left hip (the one that was the worst to start with) is healed. The hip looks great and should not have any additional issues.

However, Grace's right hip is not healed. We are devastated. This week we met with Grace's surgeon and the hip is not set as well as she would like. Apparently there is something in the joint, maybe tissue, maybe something else. No one really seems to know what the specific issue with her hip is, but they do know it is not like it should be. This means Grace will spend 8 weeks full-time in a brace. Thankfully after a week she has adjusted to the brace and seems comfortable. After the 8 weeks we will see if she has grown and her hip has corrected itself. If not, we may be looking at an open reduction which is a much more complex surgery. Also, this means she would likely spend 6 to 12 weeks back in a spica cast.

To say that I am heartbroken is an understatement. But, the reality is that this is not about me. It is about Grace. Grace is a very special child. She has a sweetness about her that I have never possessed. She is gentle and patient and tough. She is an amazing person. I can see that already. I worry however that putting her through this challenge with her hips may change that sweet innocence. I worry that experiencing vast physical pain due to additional surgeries will destroy her gentle spirit. I do not want Grace's childhood defined by pain, casts, and physical limitations.

Right now we just wait. We wait for 6 more weeks of brace time. I will keep you updated on our sweet girl's progress. Please continue to pray for her healing and that our family is fortified throughout this time.