Chicken Pot Pie! Wednesday, Sep 26 2007 

Here you go, have a piece of my childhood!  This is my mom’s recipe – it’s sooooo good!  And quick.  Some nights (like tonight) I subsitute the chicken with canned chicken breast because I dont feel like making chicken.  Dont judge me, the canned stuff is just as good. 🙂  Can also be doubled and made in a 9×13 pan.

 1/3 c. butter or margarine
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. dried thyme leaves (optional)
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
2/3 c. milk
1 3/4 c. cut up cooked chicken or turkey
1/2 c. Bisquick
1/3 c. chopped onion
1 (10 oz) pkg mixed veggies (corn, carrots, peas, etc)

Crust:
1 1/2 c. Bisquick
2 tsp. poppy seeds
3 Tb. hot water
3 Tb. margarine

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Heat 1/3 c. margarine in 2 qt saucepan over low heat until melted.  Stir in chopped onions and simmer for 1 minute.  Whisk in 1/2 c. Bisquick, pepper and optional thyme;  cook over low heat stirring constantly until bubbly.  Remove from heat.  Stir in chicken broth and milk, heat to boiling while stirring constantly.  Boil and stir for 1 minute.  Stir in chicken and frozen vegetables; heat through.  Keep warm over low heat.  Stir occasionally.

Mix crust ingredients until dough forms.  Gently smooth dough into ball on cloth or wax paper covered surface dusted w/ Bisquick;  knead 5 times.  Roll or pat dough into a 9″ square.  Pour chicken mixture into ungreased square pan and place dough over chicken mixture.  Cut slits in center and bake until crust is deep golden brown, usually 20-25 minutes!

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Enigma. Use it in a sentence. Tuesday, Sep 25 2007 

 Enigma.  No, it’s not a band.  That’s Enya, silly.

Last night Kim and I were talking about her son, and she referred to him as an enigma.  After I pointed at her and laughed for using such a big word, I started thinking about the word enigma.  You know what is REALLY an enigma? The soap scum in my bathroom shower.

How does a place that you use to get clean get so disgustingly, cringingly nasty over such a short period of time?  All you use in there is soap and shampoo, maybe shaving gel – all clean products.  Shouldn’t they just wash down the drain, leaving that the cleanest, sparkly-est thing in your house???  Not so much.

In Missouri we have hard water.  And my shower in my bedroom is one of those fiberglass stalls with glass doors – you have never seen soap scum and hard water stains until you see my shower after 2 months of not being cleaned.  I’m not going to lie to you, people, I only clean it like once every two months.  I hate cleaning, and I only do the things you can SEE on a regular basis.  Since my bedroom is usually laundry land, you are not allowed in there – so that bathroom is only cleaned once you can no longer go in there and tolerate it. 

So last night I bought a bottle of Easy Off Bam! at CVS for no reason other than I like the commercial.  I like a product that I can walk around using while exclaiming “BAM!” like Emeril on crack.  It has the power to remove limescale, folks.  (What is limescale?  Do I have it?)

Take notice when the product tells you to wear gloves while using it. They’re not pulling your leg – that stuff is strong! It’s possible my lungs have little holes in them now, after breathing that stuff in.  But I’m telling you, after I was done using it in my shower, I heard a hallelujah chorus in my head!  It got rid of all that buildup faster than two brand new Magic Erasers and half a bottle of Comet ever could!

Next time you’re in the market for a shower cleaner, let this commercial persuade you to do the right thing:

This ‘n’ That Wednesday, Sep 19 2007 

There’s so much going on I dont know where to start!

It looks like we will be going to Boston the first week of November now for Justin to see all of the doctors.  I’ll update on that if I get anymore info – we are currently waiting to hear if insurance is going to to through for that.

We are seriously, seriously blessed with the people God has brought into the picture with this.  The woman/nurse in Boston who’s job it is to schedule all of this stuff has just been great working with Justin.  She’s jumped through hoops to make the dr. appts as close together as possible so we can spend as little time as possible paying for hotel rooms and off work.  The radiologist that we saw here in KC is also amazing.  She referred us to somewhere else, and in her own time is STILL working with our insurance company to get this pushed through.  She is not even getting paid for her time – she is doing this out of the goodness of her heart.  I just am so happy to see that there really ARE good people out there.  

On another note, if you could add my friend Stacie to your prayers this week, it would be greatly appreciated.  She and her husband and kids are good friends of mine from Utah, and she is going through some potentially serious health issues right now.  I just pray that she has peace and faith as she goes through this, and knows that no matter what, everything is going to be ok.  If you all could meet her, you’d love her just as much as I do.  She is that rare kind of friend that you just know you can count on for anything.

 Um… what else?  The nursery is coming along!!!  This past weekend my mom and dad were awesome enough to come over and help us clear it out (IT WAS PACKED with Shutterbug stuff!!).  Justin and I painted it, and we went and got bunk beds, a crib, all of the mattresses and bedding!  Now Justin just needs to get it put together.  Poor guy.   That’s one way to rehabilitate his knee.  Make him carry heavy furniture up and down our two flights of stairs :X  Tuesday is the final homestudy.  I am GIDDY!!!  We met a couple at church last weekend that fosters, and they had a 4 month old baby they were caring for.  I wanted to eat him up – or steal him and take him home with me 🙂  He was PRECIOUS, and I can’t wait for our turn!!!

That’s about all I’m up to – I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying this beautiful weather!!  I LOVE FALL! 🙂

Legacy of an Adopted Child Saturday, Sep 15 2007 

I love this and wanted to post it before I lose it!

Once there were two women who never knew each other…
One, you do not remember,
    the other you call mom.
Two different lives, shaped to make your one…
One became your guiding star,
   the other became your sun.
The first gave you life,
   and the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love,
   and the second was there to give it.
One gave you a nationality,
   the other gave you a name.
One gave you a seed of talent,
   the other gave you an aim.
One gave you emotions,
   the other calmed your fears.
One saw your first breath,
   the other dried your tears.
One gave you up… that’s all she could do.
The other prayed for a child and God led her straight to you.

And now you ask me, through your fears,
   the age old question unanswered throughout the years…
Heredity or environment…
   Which are you the product of?
Neither, my darling.  Neither.
   Just two different kinds of love.

-Author Unknown

Protected: Ok, seriously. Friday, Sep 14 2007 

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Justin News Friday, Sep 14 2007 

Alrighty, time for another update…

Justin’s radiologist and endocrinologist want him to go elsewhere for this treatment because it’s incredibly important it’s done correct being so close to his brain and optic nerves, arteries – only the vital stuff you need to live lol

Our choices looked like Mass General (in Boston), Mayo Clinic or going to Pittsburgh.  Mass General has a unit that has Neurologists, Endocrinologists, Radioligists and every other kind of ologist Justin could possibly need to see all in one wing, and they specialize in the condition Justin has. That looks like where we’re headed.

Tentative dates are the end of October.  We’ll fly up and have him checked out.  We’re expecting to have to make a second trip  so they can then do the actual radiology.  If he has the fractionated treatment (the every day for 5 week stuff) he will just have that here.  However if he has the stereotactic, the gamma knife or whatever else they are really preferring to do, it will be there.  I guess that the fractionated treatment (the one that takes 5 weeks to complete) kind of sucks because it takes 5-10 years to make a difference on a tumor like Justin’s.  That’s a problem because it needs to take effect now, so his pitiuitary stops producing the growth hormone.  All of that growth hormone is bad on his organs and down the line if untreated would cause major problems.

Fun, fun, fun!!! 🙂  Hey, it could be worse.  It could be cancer.  He’s going to be fine, it’s just stressful to get to that point! 

Now to balance this out with HAPPY news, our final  homestudy is going to be on Sept. 25th – the date is set!  Woo hoo!! 

Thank you for your continued prayers 🙂

We’re FINISHED!!! :) Wednesday, Sep 12 2007 

We finished our foster care certification tonight!!!!  One of our final activities was really cute.  The instructor handed out a bunch of hardboiled eggs and crayons and had us decorate the egg however we wanted.  This was mine (yes.  I took a picture of it with my camera phone. You’d think a phone that you can surf the internet and send emails on would have a better camera.)

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Then you put them all back in a basket, and have to pick yours back out of the crowd.  Easy since they all look different.  Then she had us peel our eggs.  The lesson was that to God, we all look the same.  He doesnt see us by our shells.  What a good way to teach kids that we’re all the same regardless of skin color.  And coloring on eggs is fun.

Now all we have to do is wrap up the home study paperwork and we should get a placement.  We may have a little one in time for Christmas!!!  This is the first time in YEARS that I am actually excited about holidays.  I told Beth that I think I’d actually like to decorate for Halloween this year.  I’m even looking forward to putting up a CHRISTMAS TREE!!

It was a bittersweet night.  It really didn’t seem like it’s been 10 weeks.  We met some awesome people in class that I’ll kind of miss seeing once a week. 

On the way home, though, I had the most awful thought and it has stuck with me.  It’s 1:30 (am) right now and I can’t sleep because I just keep thinking about it.  Somewhere right now, our future child is probably being neglected or abused.  For us to get this precious child, someone else is mistreating them.  That makes me so sick to my stomach.  I think it’s awful that I’m suddenly focusing on that – I think I can honestly say I truly love whatever child or children wind up with us – foster or adopted – and I dont even know them yet.  I dont know their age, their race, what they look like or what they’ve been through, and I’m already sick that someone didn’t appreciate them for the gift that they are.  I guess that means I’m ready.

 On a much happier note:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KIM!!! 

You are one of the best friends I could ever ask for.  You have been there for me so much – I love you to pieces!  There arent enough good things I can say about you.  I’m sorry that you’re one year away from 30.  Better you than me.  (I’ll catch up in 5 months.  Enjoy being my elder)  Love you!!

So annoyed :) Tuesday, Sep 11 2007 

I’m so annoyed that I have to post this post… I may delete it later but venting is healthy and my photo friends will totally understand where I’m coming from on this one!

I had an aquaintence call me today – someone who has actually never really been that nice to me, in fact – and tell me she is going to start a photography business on the side and telling me she has some information she needs to get from me.  Seriously – her voice mail didnt say “I have some questions for you” or “I’d like to ask you some things” – it was “I have some information I need to get from you.”  NEEDS.  Not wants.  Like I’m her employee 🙂

I wasnt even irritated until I stood my ground and said, “I’m sorry, those are business secrets, I can’t give you that information” and she got SNIPPY WITH ME!  I should be able to say no without getting attitude… right?  GEESH.  I felt compelled to follow up with, “I dont even give my friends that info.”  Beth is like my freaking sister, and she would never even ask me what lab I use to develop pictures of her kids.  If she wanted me to process them that bad, she’d just give me the pictures and have me do it.  Ditto to Kim.  In fact, Kim HAS had me process pictures of her kids for her. 

Those who have been through this whole photography experience with me know how many sleepless nights, long work hours, overnighters and just general WORK I have put into this business over the past 3 years.  I did not just pick up a camera and start clicking.  You can tell the people that do just pick up a camera and start clicking – they are the ones who’s work never gets better year after year, or they just copy everyone elses work.  I digress…

My point is, people jump out of the woodwork wanting you to help them, teach them, give them your knowledge once you actually get a business rolling.  I want other people to succeed, but not at my expense.  Financially I’m still in debt thousands for starting a business.  I helped too many people and was too afraid of hurting feelings and saying no in the beginning – and now I pay the price for it!  I feel fortunate that I am able to do what I love for a living, but it is far from a cakewalk. 

If you have been nice to me, if you have helped me along the way – I will help you!  Just ask my co-collaborators 😉  There is nothing I do without emailing them and saying “Try this!!”  And they give me ideas and help in return! But, if you have been rude to me, if you have scanned my pictures and stolen them, or talked badly about me behind my back, heck NO I’m not going to help you!  And you should be ashamed of yourself for even having the gall to ask!

So that is todays soapbox.  Since I dont feel used by anyone that reads this, I dont feel bad posting this.  lol 

I should put a PS in here for the person that acquaintence knows me through – I KNOW you had nothing to do with this – dont worry 🙂  You probably want to backhand her as badly as I do… LOL

God works in mysterious ways. Monday, Sep 10 2007 

We’re still waiting to hear the results of Justin’s MRI/Catscan thingy, but he did talk to his endocrinologist today.  He really wants Justin to go to a hospital in Boston that focuses on the specifics of what Justin has for a second opinion before he starts any of this. 

Justin is currently looking into if our insurance will cover this hospital visit/tests and we will go from there.  One bonus about it being a hospital in Boston is that is where the majority of Justin’s extended family lives.  We could have free room and board, so it would alleviate some of the stress.  The part of the stress that can’t be alleviated is how I can’t afford to leave the studio behind in my busy season…  this is the time of year I make my money to pay studio bills for the rest of the year… so that is a little scary.  I’m almost thinking our Poland mission trip is not going to happen at this point 😦  The fostering will be helping kids here, and I know that God had a plan for us to do that all a long, but Justin was really excited about that Poland trip.  I’m sure we can still do that in the future.

So that’s the only update I have right now.  I should have more answers in the next week or two about what we are going to wind up doing.  Thank you for your continued prayers!! 🙂

I’m still here Friday, Sep 7 2007 

Just a note – if you’re trying to get ahold of me and I’m slow at responding, its because I have entered that time of year that makes me question being a photographer.  🙂  I have multiple sessions a day for the next month as well as allergies from hades, so I’m tired, grumpy and frazzled.  I still love you and will return to earth after the holidays. 

For those of you that put up with me during this time, I’m sure there is a special place reserved for you in heaven.

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