The world keeps going around and my life is spinning right along with it. I feel as though my main function in life is to cook, clean, and do errands for others. Hummm….I guess that’s what moms do, but sometimes I just want to be invisible for one day.
This next week, though, I will have a break. It is our 29 Wedding Anniversary (read about how we got married).
I made arrangements to go to Branson, Missouri for the weekend. Branson is a fun, family friendly tourist destination that has more shows than even Nashville, Tennessee.
We have gone in the past and always have an enjoyable time. And we will be ALONE! Oops…I’d better be careful or I am going to jinx our trip. It seems that each time that Fito and I go anywhere that something happens at home.
One time, a child ended up with an earache and we had to cancel the trip. Another time, the sewage backed up in the house (poor Matthew was the oldest at home at the time). I had to get him to call our plumber, get things fixed, and then he had to clean it up with the children. And they did a good job. Now that I think of it…maybe that was a good time to be gone.
10 years ago, we went to Branson, and Benjamin ended up in the hospital. He was actually life-flighted to a major hospital center 2 hours away from our home, which put me six hours away.
We were driving home frantically, not even knowing if he would be alive when we got home. My poor mom lived next door to us at the time, and she and a good friend had taken him to the emergency room and were worried sick.
It was in January and was during a horrible flu epidemic. We all assumed he had the flu as he was throwing up. Even the emergency room assumed thus, seeing he was dehydrated, they also started a glucose IV.
Then the blood work came back and his sugar was through the roof. By the time they got him to Wichita, Kansas, his sugar was over 1400 (a normal blood sugar is 70-120…super high is 300+).
Benjamin went into a coma, his brain was dying. I was just praying that if God was going to take him that he would at least let me say good bye to him. Our Bishop from church had driven to Wichita so that Benjamin would not be alone.
This was before cell phones in rural areas, so I had been stopping now and then and using a pay phone, but hadn’t been able to find out anything for more than an hour. When I got there, Benjamin was in intensive care and was still alive, but he did not know who I was, or for that matter, anyone else. He was just fighting for his life.
Benjamin, of course, was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. We were informed that something (the flu?) had attacked his pancreas and killed the cells inside. It was no longer functioning and was not making insulin anymore.
We were told that perhaps over time some of the functioning might return, but his never did. As far as we know, his pancreas is basically dead.
He takes a shot of insulin every time he eats, even snacks. He also has to check his blood sugar throughout the day, which means he has to prick his fingers six to seven times per day.
Clearly, this was one of the worst episodes in our life. I was seven months pregnant at the time and I was staying and sleeping in a hospital two hours away from home.
At least my college classes were on line, so when Benjamin was asleep, I would go and find a computer and do my school work.
Another interesting fact involved in this story, is the fact that on a whim (or prompting) I had taken Nutrition the previous year. I was a business major, but was always interested in nutrition…so I took the class.
When Benjamin was better, his doctor came in to teach us about the disease, teaching us to read food labels, count carbohydrates, determine dosages of insulin, and more. I already knew about simple versus complex carbohydrates, how to read the food labels and what the information meant.
Benjamin was allowed to go home two weeks earlier than normal because of the knowledge that I had accumulated previously, even before I knew why I would need it. This is what I call a “tender mercy” of God. He is in control and is always watching out for us and working to help us.
Other times Fito and I have been gone away from home have resulted in broken items in the house, a child hurt on the go-cart (which resulted in a hard spanking for the older child and a long grounding), a thunderstorm that left broken tree limbs on the ground and children hiding in fear.
At times, I wonder if it is even worth it to go anywhere, and now that my mom lives with us, I have to find someone to stay with her, which makes it even more difficult.
One trip, Fito and I had checked in to the hotel, were relaxed, and were about to be romantic, when my cell phone rang. It was an older child that had a problem and needed to talk.
After the conversation, I told Fito, “We will never be alone. Even when all the children leave home, they will still be part of us and our lives.” But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
At Christmas when we had everyone home; what a crazy wonderful time. The grand babies brought such a joy and innocence as little children always do.
To see my children be parents, and to see the other children be aunts and uncles; to see them playing with their nieces and nephew, and to watch them caring for them, feeding them, changing them. What a blessing; what joy.
This past weekend was a cooking marathon for me. We had two girls over to spend the night, had the dedication for our new church building, had company over on Saturday night, Sunday afternoon, and Sunday evening. Lots of meals.
I made two Spanish Turkeys on Saturday, Spanish Corn, Spanish Rice, Beans, and 21 loaves of Apple-Coconut Bread.
The recipe for Spanish Corn follows:
Spanish Corn (and Peas)
2 Cans of Corn 1 Can of Peas (if you want)
2 Tablespoons of Butter
1/2 cup of Heavy Whipping Cream
Salt and Pepper to taste
Sprinkle on some Jalapeño juice or Tabasco sauce to taste (I add enough to give it a flavor, but not enough to make your tongue or throat burn).
Cutting the corn off the cob, without a doubt, makes the best Spanish corn, however, from the can is really good, as well.
Of course, I used a #5 can of corn and added 2 cans of peas to make enough for a crowd.
I used the above meal for our company on Saturday evening, then after they left, I de-boned both Turkeys and put all the meat into one roaster pan.
I took all the extra broth and poured it into 6 canning jars (which are in the fridge right now waiting to be canned). I took the Turkey, rice, corn, and bread to church the next morning.
After church, we had a pot-luck which was a wonderful time to visit with old friends (and new ones).
Then we went home (after cleaning up at the church), and I started making Pupusas for our company. I had all 3 griddles going and made Pupusas, beans, rice, salsa, and chips. Fito made Slushies.
We visited with the 3 couples we had over and Fito kept visiting with them when I received a call from Douglas, my son. I excused myself and went to visit with my grand babies and loved ones.
When I came back an hour later, they were saying goodbye and our second set of company was coming in. Maria; her family, Felipe; and another couple came for dinner.
I made more Pupusas, heated everything up again and this time we talked about Home birth as this couple is expecting and looking at doing a Home Birth.
Six of my 10 children were born at home. Four of those with a midwife, and 2 with just Fito as the midwife. Under the right circumstances, a home birth is a very safe, healthy, incredibly spiritual experience that profoundly affects a woman and her family the rest of her life.
By Monday I was worn out. Thank goodness I still have not started all my classes and still had time to recuperate.
We made Chili, and chicken and mashed potatoes. Also, I took a Goulash out of the freezer for one day. Then another day, I took the leftover turkey out of the fridge to make enchiladas.
However, I really didn’t want to roll the tortillas after I fried them so I put some of the turkey mix and sauce on the bottom of the pan, then put a layer of the fried tortillas, then a layer of turkey, another layer of tortillas, and so on. (Just like you do with lasagna).
Then I put shredded cheddar cheese on top – lots of it. It was just as good as the regular enchiladas, just not as pretty.
Saturday, I made 21 loaves of Poppy Seed bread. I make the bread to have as thank you's. But I also make it to have for breakfast for Fito. He likes hot milk and a piece of bread for breakfast. I also like to have something sweet that is healthier than eating salty snacks or candy. The bread is perfect.
Sunday, more company. I wasn't planning on company, but then I see friends at church and cannot help myself. i want to be with them and visit them. David had put the Pupusa meat in the microwave to defrost and had melted the cheese. Also, there simply wasn't enough...so I had to switch gears and come up with enough food.
So I made Green Eggs and Ham (which is simply: Fried Potatoes and Scrambled Eggs.
We also had some leftover Goulash, which I put in a smaller pan, sprinkled a new layer of cheese on top, then sprinkled some water over it (as it was a little dry).
I put out salsa and chips.
Then I made coffee cake (from a mix...I cheated), and Blonde Brownies for a youth activity that night. we also had the poppy Seed Bread and Peanut Butter Cookies (which I had made during the week when Benjamin came...but was too tired to make cookies so I just put the dough in a baking pan and made bar cookies) However, they came out really moist and chewy.
[Sometimes as I am writing this blog, I just pause, sigh, and then think....wow, no wonder I am tired most of the time...]
The week went by. Laundry, cleaning, school, work, working on the computer, paying bills, and so forth.
It was cold most of last week and we had a fire in the wood stove the whole week. We have years of wood because of the tornado…(see good always comes from difficult times).
The boxed up Christmas decorations were finally put in the attic and Christmas cards finally all sent out.
Now time to gather stuff for tax time. Life continues.
May each of you be blessed as you continue, too, in your own life.
Sometimes that is all we can do….continue on…doing the best we can at that time in our life.
That is why organization is such a blessing. Many times we cannot control how much we make, or what our spouse or children do, or how our work or life is going, but we can bring order to a small section or part of our life.
It is one place or area or order where we are in control and feel peace.
May we all find more peace in the year to come.