3 Ingredient Meatballs!

I am forever in a search for an easy meal that doesn’t require a lot of ingredients or dishes to prep.  As a homeschooling mom of boys our house is often hectic.  My husband often ducks in for some food in the evenings then heads back to work till after the kids are in bed and I often find that I don’t plan it right we wind of ordering in or hitting up the drive through.  Enter THESE MEATBALLS!  They are true 3 ingredients,(plus rice if you choose) and just your crock pot, and your rice pot.  

ingredients-mbIngredients:

1 Bottle of Grape Jelly
18 ounces of Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce
2.5 lbs of meatballs – Frozen or homemade and pre fried

  1. Start by mixing the jelly and the BBQ sauce directly in the crocpot. It is going to look lumpy but trust me the jelly lumps will melt in beautifully!
  2. Next add your meatballs.  If you have a favorite frozen brand use them directly from the freezer. Being Gluten free we struggle to find a frozen meat ball so i typically make my own.  However Farm Fresh  Original has no wheat in them (although may NOT be certified GF) that we did use this time around because it was a busy school day.
  3. Stir until l meatballs are covered with sauce.
  4. Cover and set to high for 3.5 hours. Alternatively you could do low all day if needed I am sure.
  5. ENJOY!!

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Overall Opinions:

A: THESE ARE SO YUMMY!!! CAN I EAT THEM AAAAAALLLLLLL?!?!

Daddy: Oh yeah you can make these again!

E: YUP! Good!!!

Mama: Wait this is a home cooked meal, and I don’t think I even did anything.

The tried and true test growing up was “Should we make it again?” This was a unanimous YES!

If you try them let me know what you think.  Try something slightly different tell me that too!!

 

 

Oh Baby! (Shower)

I am not really a very good “Pintrest mom.”  I love things people put on there but I just never seem to make it on there or remember the ingredients when I do find something I like! So when it came time to plan a dear friends baby shower I thought I should probably hit up pintrest, but ya know what? True to style I never made it there!! None the less I think the shower turned out just fine without it!

Our Mom-to-be had chosen Purple and Yellow as her nursery colors so that set the tone of the decor, and the invites.  I like photoshop and graphic design type projects so this was a large part of my decorations.

First the Invites! Her bedding had owls so that was a definite for the invites because lets face it Owls are adorable!! I found some images and layouts I liked, then went to work drawing, recoloring, overlaying and mashing up various things to get this, the finished product. I have blurred out some identifiers for security purposes 🙂  We then wanted to use books instead of cards so we added another separate slip to the envelope.  We finished off the invites with Alternating yellow and purple Envelopes!BlogversionBookwormowlbluredforblog

 

 

 

When it came time for decorations I wanted to carry through with the colors, and decided to play on the books for cards. To do that I decided to use book quotes throughout the shower.  I took some famous or well loved book quotes/scripture verses and took to photoshop.  I then attached them to straws and inserted them into our base.  The base is a roll of toilet paper wrapped up with 2 colored pieces of tissue paper.

I wanted to have a few things that were specific to THEM so I thought I would do a welcome baby banner.  I had seen one online made out of racing flags but that didn’t suit me at all so as I was trying to think of an alternative it hit me ONSIES!!! I printed out the letters on card stock and alternated colors.  I then cut each piece of card stock into the shape of a onesie which was later hung onto twine with mini clothes pins.  Please Note again letters of the name have been removed. I was dubious as to how it would look once it was finished without anything else to go by but it was, in my opinion super cute!! I had hoped for larger clothes pins but these were the ones I could find and they did just fine! We hung it over the food table which had the best open wall space. (Name has been blurred out at request of Mama)

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A simple menu was created based on what various ladies wanted to bring, and Mom-to-be’s preferences.  In stead of a punch we did a Fruit Infused Water.  It is ULTRA Simple, and very refreshing best of all no added sweeteners/sugar.  It is as it appears; pitchers of water, filled with various combinations of fruit (we did raspberry-lemon, and strawberry-kiwi) add some ice and leave COVERED in the fridge for about an hour. Stir and enjoy!

The cake was adorable and done by a local bakery.  One of the ladies wanted to take charge on the cake and what a lovely job! The way they do it, is you bring in some photos and then they do what they feel fits best from the ideas given.  (Name blurred again)Bluredcakeblog

No shower is complete without games and we did a few. But one in particular seemed to cause quite a “stink” “Guess What Baby Ate! (Name That Poop)” had participants guess what baby foods had been poured into each diaper.

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All filled and Ready to go!

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Prunes!

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Corn!

Our prizes were simple and tailored to the ladies I know would be there.  We ended with all the ladies gathering around her to pray and it was amazing.  We had such a fun time, filled with friends, and laughter, fellowship,and the Holy Spirit’s presence.  A success indeed!!!

Relearning What Love Can Look Like.

As he shut the door to the bedroom all that was within me wanted to scream “stay out with us.. COME ON!!!!” but this year has taught me that by doing that, guilting him into staying out with us I risk ruining a good day and could even hinder or mar his relationship with our kids.

For many people that seems totally backward.  How could staying alone in his room be BETTER for us????  For my husband his sever depression has robbed him of so much, and by proxy us too.  But I learned that when he is drowning, when the waves of anxiety, agitation and depression rage around him his ability to cope is low or non-existent, so a well meaning hug or a game of “climb all over daddy” sends his body into panic, and that instinctive fight or flight sets in.  His response is less than ideal and the kids can’t understand it, so we have learned to reassure them of his love and that daddy is in bed so he can feel better and have fun with them another time, and he always follows through, so they are building that foundational trust, that he will stay true to his word.

This is not at all what I had envisioned our family life to look like but as I relearn what love can look like, I see that atypical as it may be he loves his kids just like any other dad, but that HIS love takes on a different face sometimes as he tries to balance the heavy weight of depression that is countering his love for his family.

 

The Day I Went to Planned Parenthood and My View of Phil. 4:19 Changed.

I have been feeling led by the Holy Spirit to post this, but have been resistant. He is telling me someone out there needs to hear my story to help change theirs. So here it is, painful, but honest and real. 

I don’t often speak of my Journey into Motherhood. They were desperate years and I honestly had few people who knew to help, so thereimages (7) I sat already into my 2nd trimester in the waiting room of Planned Parenthood. I was there because I had no other choice.  I found out I was pregnant in September, by October my husband had gotten laid off and thus we were left without insurance. I was very, very sick. Nothing was curbing the nausea and not an OBGYN office in town would touch me. A local pharmacist had told me that Planned Parenthood would see me regardless, and he was right! They never pushed termination; they gave me a urine test and helped me get Medicad. We began to praise God that these ladies were able to help me when NO OTHER individual or organization was willing to. He was already showing us that He was faithful to provide.

For most people a layoff with a pregnant wife would be scary, but they would pull from the savings account until they could replace it. We didn’t have that. When we moved here after hearing God lead us to come help with the launch of Vantage Pointe we used what little savings we had to get us down here. After his layoff we both applied for jobs left right and center on both sides of the border to no avail. We withdrew our entire retirement and began rationing it out to cover rent and food. As time went by and no jobs were had it became apparent that something else had to go. We had terminated cable and Internet early on, and so we woul only drive to church and back or to the store so as not use gas. Next came coffee elimination, then finally the food budget. Our money stretched and by the Grace of God, managed to eat one meal a day, and buy Aaron’s myriad of medications he took once he arrived home.

While I missed out on getting to have a glider ottoman, and nursery set up, or picking out baby clothes God lead us to Open Arms Pregnancy Center where we were given hope and the most wonderful gift of bottles, jammies and a nice warm blanket. A lady on Craigslist was giving away some items and a church family gave me a breast pump so I could express milk while Aaron was in the NICU. It would also sustain him for months after until my milk dried up and we had to use formula.

It was during that time that I began to re-evaluate Philippians 4:19

“And my God will supply all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.  I often confuse my wants for my needs. I wanted a beautiful nursery, a big dresser full of tiny clothes. But I didn’t NEED those things! He slept in his car seat beside the bed. It was hot that year he was born so he could get by in a diaper. Eventually we found a rocknplay and when he outgrew that he came into our bed until Ronnie started work and we could get him a toddler bed. Was it ideal, NO! But we managed. All were fed, with a roof over our heads.

Ronnie has been back in the US and to work just over 2 years. We have begun rebuying the items we sold to survive; dressers, end tables, furniture and dishes. As we meet other people struggling we can try and be an encouragement that things CAN get better. We can point to Gods provision of a few simple items that made a big difference.  

If you know us apart from my Blog you know we now drive BMW, BUT PLEASE know that it is 12years old. The back bumper is missing; there is no display screens, cameras, or navigation.   Some of the standard features no longer work, and it hates to start when it’s cold. (Not good in Upstate Winters). But it runs, looks decent and was the same price as the Ford on the lot beside it, with better space. We are now purposing to get out of debt, and stay out of Debt and are working through the Financial Freedom Seminar. God has been building a Life’s Message in us and we look forward to all that He has in store for us in the coming years.

Sometimes You Just Need an Iced Coffee

It’s no secret that IcedCoffee is what keeps me standing upright! Between kids, and course work, housework and church “stuff” I seem to be running around most of the time.  One day a few weeks ago it seemed i was even to busy to run and grab iced coffee… WHAT AM I GONG TO DO?  Enter this little bottle of bliss!

icedsqueezeRonnie had brought it home from Hannaford the other day and at first I thought it was a not so subtle way of telling me i need to spend less at the Coffee Shop, but no he said “its for those days that you JUST CANT!  For my night shift ladies (and gents) who like me have worked in facilities where you were not able to leave,or your a midwife and your mama comes first so skipping out to grab coffee with her dilated to 9cm might result in some un-pleasentries shouted your way.  THIS IS FOR YOU!! I was skeptical! I am loyal to my few iced coffee places and that is it.  But a bit of this little squeeze bottle added to icey cold water, then splashed liberally with half’n’half did the trick!  It saved my sanity AND my budget.  Now it says there are 10 servings per bottle, but I say there is more like 6 (I like my coffee strong.) It cost less than $4 making each serving ~$0.67 a serving.  This review WAS NOT sponsored, although I wish it were LOL 🙂 Seriously getting paid to drink coffee would be nice.  But either way if you are looking for an easy, and inexpensive alternative to store bought Iced Coffee you may want to give this a go!!

Bug Bites, and Emotion.

I’m kind of homesick for a country, to which I’ve never been before.

When Squire Parsons penned this song in 1973 he was referring to a longing for Heaven, but tonight it fits my mood.  I am sitting out on the porch, ants, mosquitos, and I am sure a few other creatures are taking the time to introduce themselves to my feet, legs, and arms.  The air is warm, with no breeze, and the heavy air tells of pending rain.  My children are settled in for the night (one in bed, one snuggling with daddy) so the only noises are those of bikes, cars, and people, bustling around our ever busy street. My heart is heavy for women I do not yet know, in a country I have never been, and yet tonight I feel a longing for them, I long for the heat, the sweat pouring off my brow as I sit at the foot of a laboring mama, a woman which God is calling me to serve.

Juxtaposition

“where are the Post Op Mattresses?” she shouted at me.
“I’m sorry Deb we are max capacity and are using all of them”
“this is UNACCEPTABLE!” she threw her hand up in exasperation.

She had every right to be upset our protocol was that all post op moms got special mattresses that made their beds more comfortable, and dispersed their weight a little more evenly.  I was an active participant in 70 births at the birth Center. 70 births and not one maternal or fetal death, no brain damage from hypoxia, no hemorrhages that were not well managed by medication or intervention.  We had excess supplies, three meals a day and snack packs for breastfeeding moms.  You could labor in a tub or a shower, with a ball or a bench. there was endless hot water, and copious amounts of clean icey drinking water.

Cross the equator with me, step outside the Air-Con and into Belle’s place of employment. Belle works in the Philippines where mothers and babies are dying daily, midwives are overworked, clean drinking water is a real issue.  Moms are malnourished, bleeding is catastrophic, birth is scary.  Post op mattresses don’t exist, quite honestly you are lucky to have a clean bed, or a bed at all. While the US complains that the eggs are cold, the 3rd world is dealing with infection, abuse, and death.

I love birth, births where moms are supported, babies have a fighting chance, and healthcare providers meet a minimum standard of knowledge.

I want that for everyone.  I want women globally to have a birth where they are safe, where they are cared for, where they have access to a skilled and loving midwife.  I want to be immersed in birth in places where birth is not a joy but a fear so that maybe, just maybe things will change.

everymother