A Trip To Ikea

I hope you’re all staying warm! Just an update from our camp! There hasn’t been much to say, however, the blessings have been rolling in this week. I’m grateful and sincerely full of joy at all of the opportunities that have been made available. Haven’t stopped smiling since Friday! ^__^

Well, this season has been brutally cold to say the least! The littles and I have mostly kept inside our cozy home, doing some reading, drawing, baking, crafts, movies, etc., over the past couple of weeks. Rarely venturing outdoors, unless for playgroup, clubs, or groceries. Goodness gracious, it’s becoming more tricky trying to find ways to keep cabin fever at bay.

My body has never tolerated the cold well at all since the Dystonia diagnosis. The usual spasticity in my lower extremities and achy inflammation in my joints have made another appearance. One show I never hope for an encore. Praying that Spring will soon leave a sign. :) Sunshine, I miss your warm embrace! Haha.. ^__^

..But, to shake up routine & get out of the house for a moment, I drove the family down to Ikea (about a 35 minute drive from our doorstep! Woohoo!). The littles burnt off some energy in Smaland, while the Mister and I browsed around the ginormous place. He’s never been, but he seemed to really enjoy it (his favourite was checking out the kitchen displays, he loves to cook!) This man is extremely modest, he really underestimates his talent of crafting food. One of the many reasons I am so in love with him! He feeds his family well. :)

Speaking of which, my husband recently accepted a job offer with a wonderful company and enrolled back into college. I’m incredibly proud of him!

Congratulations, Sweetheart! <3

Bobbi Kristina, Our Hands, & Unconditional Love

KrissiWhitney

Unsure where to begin. Plain and simply, my heart is aching for the Houston-Brown family.

I’ve lost family members and friends to drug and alcohol addiction, it’s extremely painful to watch someone slowly disappear. Helpless feeling. My grandmother was a former alcoholic, sober for atleast 2 decades (she passed away when I was 14 years old due to lung cancer). My father has struggled with it in more recent years (during his separation with my mother) before I moved back to the United States.

For those who are making light and jokes of this family’s pain, you’re absolutely disgraceful and should be ashamed. In her time of need, we should show compassion, respect, and unconditional love for all involved. The same people who are extremely judgmental at the moment, will be the same two-faced people who will rise up and have nothing but “sweet” words to say about this beautiful lady, if Bobbi Kristina’s called home (God forbid).

Even though I grew up on one of the better Indian Reservations, the abuse of alcohol and illegal prescription drugs (OxyContin, Fentanyl patches, etc.) are still very much in circulation. There are some social service programs available in our communities, but not enough because it is still a very large issue for us. However, I’ve never witnessed any of our community members belittle, or turn someone away simply because they have made some not-so-good choices. Grabbing their hand, bringing them back into a supportive community, and creating healthy stepping stones. In mainstream western society, we’re taught they’re worthless and should be left to fend for themselves, hence, the cycle continues.

Who has not ever hit rock bottom? Made decisions we now regret? ….That’s fine, I will wait. ….Nobody? I didn’t think so.

He loves our imperfect ways, even when we don’t always follow on his path. Remember, we are not our mistakes.

God asks of us to love all our fellow neighbours 24/7, just as he loves us. Unconditionally. Without limit. Forever & ever.

So, why is it difficult for so many people to treat this family with dignity? It’s treacherous alone with media and paparazzi nagging their front doorstep, it doesn’t make it an automatic ticket into their private lives.

I’ve witnessed this family over the years, especially Bobby, lose and fight so much. His child’s mother is now gone, and now he is at Krissi’s bedside, not knowing what will come of the next hour. Whitney and Bobby have both sacrificed and given fans the very best years of their lives. Whitney has been resting for almost 3 years and is still catching ceaseless flack. Heartbreaking doesn’t even come close to describing this.

I sincerely pray the Houston-Brown family finds the peace, love, support, and comfort they need. Devastating circumstance isn’t easy for anyone, but it’s certainly not a time for blaming and subjective comments.

Ultimately, it’s our choice to use our hands for holding or pushing away.

Our family is keeping you, BK, and everyone in our prayers, Uncle Bobby!! xo

 

Best Pizza Dough Recipe EVER!

pizza

My husband and I enjoy baking from scratch. There’s just that extra special something which comes along with putting a little extra elbow grease in cooking for family. Those perfect imperfections! ^__^

I came across this recipe for pizza dough and it is absolutely out-of-this-world amazing! The crust is thick and bread-like, very fluffy in all of the right places. He’s made pizza four times this past week alone. We’re hooked! I felt the need to share it, because it would be a sin to keep something this tasty a secret! lol <3 If you try it, comment below and let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour, plus more for rolling (Chef’s Note: Using bread flour will give you a much crisper crust. If you can’t find bread flour, you can substitute it with all-purpose flour which will give you a chewier crust.)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 envelope instant dry yeast
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups water, 110 degrees F
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons

Directions:

Combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine. While the mixer is running, add the water and 2 tablespoons of the oil and beat until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.

Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, about 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cover each with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.

Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/pizza-dough-recipe.html

Contemplating DBS Brain Surgery

The very thought of brain surgery frightens me. As of lately, it’s an option that I have deeply considered, over and over. Pros and cons replaying like tapes in my head. The success stories that I’ve heard has me over the moon with a possibility of a cure one day, but it still doesn’t make the decision any easier. I highly fear what physical freedom I do have will deteriorate even more post-surgery if it’s unsuccessful, infection setting in shortly after (immediately have the wires and batteries removed), etc..

Albeit, I am totally familiar with my body now, even with the current progression, which has been slow and steadily getting worse over the course of the year. Physical pain has been increasing, where as, in 2012, I’ve rarely experienced it. It is tolerable, I don’t rely on any sort of prescription except for Tylenol on the rare occasion. Benadryl  and Ativan for when I do go into Status Dystonicus (administered through IV only, or it doesn’t work).

Autumn and winter have not been so merciful on my legs and balance, as usual. The task of typing this is making my arms burn & is beginning to lock up my left hand (with breaks!). Despite it all, I’m very grateful and blessed to say that I am managing the pain well for having generalized Dystonia. Yoga and meditation help tremendously. ^__^

For now, I may keep it as an option for the future. Keeping an open mind! ^__^

Moroccan Spiced Chickpea & Lentil Soup

image

Happy Sunday! I hope everyone is having a blessed day. It’s been a quiet one at our home. Hubby let me sleep in! These days are treats & very much appreciated after a long week. He took over the little ones’ studies for the afternoon and cooking. He’s absolutely the sweetest!! :) With that said, I figure it’s only fair for me to cook dinner.

I wanted something healthy and not too heavy. I found this very tasty Moroccan Spiced Chickpea & Lentil soup recipe!

It was fairly easy to whip up & was a hit with Bee. ^__^ Kai wasn’t too sure about it, but he ate all of it (we nicknamed it “Superhero Soup”). So, that may have changed his mind a tad. ; )

I was missing a few ingredients,  however, I improvised with what I had in my pantry. Recipe is below!

Try it & please let me know what you think! ^__^

Link: http://www.food.com/recipe/moroccan-lentil-and-chickpea-soup-211997

Eating Issues

I love to eat all kinds of dishes. Lately, it’s been pretty hard to try and enjoy a meal with on-going swallowing and choking issues. I also become tired very quickly from chewing, so snacks and frequent, small meals. Oh, on top of that, I have to avoid an overstuffed tummy. If I eat until I’m full, my stomach and esophagus are triggered to spasm until I get sick (sorry, only being honest! :)).

There is also a need to make sure I keep myself hydrated throughout the day, otherwise any food in my digestive tract causes severe muscle spasms in my lower abs. Jealous, yet? ^__^ Haha!

Small bites and shakes work in this obstacle course of eating. I’m beginning to be a little bit more patient with myself. :) Trying to stay positive anyways.

With the summer remission long gone, muscle spasms are clearly still progressing. I can’t wait for the spring to arrive.

I’m taking it one day at a time as usual. It’s all in His hands.

Thai Peanut Sauce

Hubby has a life-threatening allergy to fish and shellfish. If you’re like us, we are always finding new things to try. Thai peanut sauce is such an easy way to throw a high protein and healthy vegetarian dish together quickly that will make even the fusiest little smile. ;) lol As you can probably tell, we have a few picky eaters in our household. I usually prepare this once per week with a macaroni or even dress it up with stir fry noodles.

Thai Peanut Sauce

Prep Time:10 minutes

Cook Time:5 minutes

Total Time:15 minutes

Ingredients:

1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced and crushed
2 tbsp rice vinegar

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over low heat (mixture will become easy to combine as peanut butter melts). Continue stirring over low heat until ingredients are combined and mixture is smooth and creamy. This recipe is perfect as it is, but you may want to thin it out a bit with more water, depending on what you’re using it for.

I found the recipe at:

http://vegetarian.about.com/od/saucesdipsspreads/r/ThaiPeanutSauce.htm