Monthly Archives: March 2013

‘Twas the day before Easter

On the Saturday before Easter Morn

‘Twas a sleepless night, now I’m groggy and worn

Cant seem to shake felling lost and forlorn,

Not sure if I want to make it.

So I  called up my Dad, my heart feeling tight

And just hearing his love brings back the light

Makes me remember that things will turn out alright

As long as I keep the Lord at my center


Tired again, can you tell?  But thinking up little ditties cheers me up; almost as good as a hug.

Well, my folks must have been saying a prayer for me- cause I felt my spirits lift soon after we talked- still tired, but when I got home, I was able to council the aftermath of an argument– put a turkey in the oven- then supervise DK hiding eggs (it’s his turn, and will count as a scouting requirement filled) and then get everyone out to hunt in the beautiful weather.   Even Ryan joined the family, tho he didn’t hunt much, he’s not felling well today- but I did get him to eat a little fruit.   Then I sat with the younger three, and colored eggs.  All in all– I moved with an ease I didn’t expect thru more than I thought I would pull off today.   It was a good afternoon, the whole house was at peace.

So as Easter draws to a close, and I finally have some personal time with the kids in bed, I feel a deep deep gratitude.   I am so grateful for family, for their love and the convictions they bequeathed to me just by the way they live.  And I’m grateful for the gift of Love that the Savior gave to us… the reason for Easter in the first place.  His willingness to pay the dept of our weaknesses and pain,  and allow us to try again.  That’s something I need.  I need his help always, and I hope to be able to notice and be grateful for his care in my life.   I still do not know a whole lot in some things.  I have no idea how I am going to be able to make it thru the next month, let alone farther in the future.  But I do know He is watching out for me and my family.


I told him to look up- (can you see the egg behind him:) )IMG_3286IMG_3284IMG_3289



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Calling in Sick


Some days I feel capable and strong amid the chaos.  But today,  I just couldn’t do it all;  workload, taxi, health, and kiddy care and counseling.  So Mommy called a sick day- I called all the schools and excused the kids for the day.  They can have one more day of spring break, and I can slow down just a little.  Still had a plate full, including repairing issues that arise from my stress-induced moments of memory loss (totally embarrassing when that happens)  but I’m so grateful for the gift of hubby and family who lets me breathe and take that needed nap, and loves me anyway.  When all’s said and done- that’s the best gift they could ever give me.

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism | 1 Comment

A cup of comfort for my friends

Hot Chocolate on a Stick!


A clever candy that does double duty.  It makes great gifts (if any is left over after your kids find it) and you can make endless variations: besides adding the large marshmallows to the hot chocolate skewers.  Leave it plain for a darker chocolate,  roll the fudge blocks in crushed peppermint or cocoa, or drizzle them with white chocolate before packaging.   (My daughter loves just eating it plain like a fudge-pop.)
1 lb. semisweet chocolate
1- 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
4 T. butter
bag of flat “smores” marshmallows
Butter and 8×8 baking dish and lay a sheet of parchment on the surface.
Fill bottom of double boiler with about 1 inch of water, bring to boil- then reduce to barely simmering.  Put first 3 ingredients in top pot, put on top of first pot. Heat, stirring frequently till melted.  Pour into baking dish.  Smooth with spatula,  refrigerate till set.  Cut into squares.
On a wood stick or skewer- stack a marshmallow and a fudge square.  wrap in a candy bag, and attach a how-to label.


how-to label;

Hot Chocolate on a Stick!
to use-
heat up a mug of milk* and dunk the fudge and marshmallow stick into the milk, stir until the fudge has completely dissolved.

(* no more than scalding on the stove, or 1 min. in the microwave)


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Kitchen Moments- France

Well- our kitchen tour of France was about as successful as I could manage, all things considered.  I tend to cook with a French style of herbs and spices- so it was not that hard to put together a very good fish entree .   I went with Tiapia, and my oldest said it was the best fish I have ever done so far (quite the compliment) and that really helped me to not let my picky eaters bother me. But I was too tired to do the fancy cheese smothered veggies, or the Crepes and all the other fun stuff.  Some other time. (The kids did, however, like learning that their favorites- mac and cheese, french fries, and ice-cream- came to America from France with Thomas Jefferson)


Pan Fried Fish

in a large skillet, pour 3-4 Tablespoon olive oil;  add about 2 teaspoon minced onion, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/4 teaspoon garlic, a squeeze of lemon (fresh is best) and a little salt (adjust amounts to taste.)   Heat oil and herbs on medium high, while opening wrappings on 4 to 6 frozen fillets of white fish (Tiapia or Orange Roughy are our favorites- tho’ salmonn works up yummy too.

Cook till bottom goes opaque then turn and put a lid on the pan.  Check often and turn carefully if necessary- till color is opaque clear thru and juices are clear, and meat flakes easily- outside is ok to be gently browned.

Best when served right away, or refrigerate and make sandwiches tomorrow  (if there is any leftovers)

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, recipes | 1 Comment

the Gift of Pondering


Hello.  Believe it or not, I have had two whole mornings now of peace and quiet respite.   I love spring break.  Even though I have not moved forward as fast as I would like in cleaning and our Recipe world touring– I have come to admit to myself that what I really needed was just this space of time to rest and regroup, and get a bit done that I can’t during school days.

For instance, yesterday afternoon, I got huge piles of clothes folded.  I had been so barely hanging in there that it was down to pulling their clean clothes for the day from the basket in the laundry room.

And yesterday morning was Brand’s turn to go to the Autism Doc for official diagnosis (I love the big names they use– “Behavioral Pediatrician”)  And that was huge.  I had to leave all the other kids to babysit themselves (scary but they are officially old enough, and can handle it when needed- I just have to be ready to dry tears and fears when I get home) Then drive 44 miles one way to the doctors office,  Keep teenager from bolting, and drive all the way home again.

But it was good to do.  It felt very good on the heart, in a vindication sort of way, to find out that my suspicions were right on the dot.  He is every bit as Autistic (in the High Functioning range) as his siblings;  he has just had the blessing of his great brain being able to compensate for it till lately, as school rushes faster and faster towards needed social skill and fitting into the “normal” box.  It was weird, but even though I pretty much knew what was coming, I found that I still had to take off to the store after we got home; to walk off the full range of emotional upheaval, just as if it had been a total surprise.  Ah well.  Glad it’s done.

But before all that-  I had a whole early morning to myself- to watch the sunrise and spend time close to the Lord in pondering.   And I was even able to pull up my journal and record a very remarkable moment from Sunday, the day before.  I was not sure if I should post it- it is very special to my heart.  But I got thinking that maybe it would help someone else as much as it helped me.   So here it is, today’s gift of Pondering.
Sunday, March 10, 2013

This morning, in those strange moments between waking and sleep- you know, that time when you are not sure if you are thinking, or still dreaming– I had the most amazing string of scriptures fit themselves together to form a puzzle piece that I had never seen that clearly before.
It has been those sort of days, lately, where you go to bed in prayer for one of your kids, and you spend all night waking fitfully- in prayer- and fall asleep again still praying.  But since the problem is so beyond what you know – the prayer is no more that a single cry “FATHER, Help”   no other words come.    He is so struggling;  his migraines destroy all his abilities to think clearly for days after each episode, and when he is “all there”, he spends his time telling me about all his pains of the hopes and dreams that he can’t reach because of his loss of thinking abilities.  And I don’t know what to say.  I feel his spirit crying, and I understand what is happening, but no words come. I’m just stuck in a blinding, overwhelming, “not knowing”.

Well; this morning, these are the scriptures that insinuated themselves into my waking moments.  I’m not even sure they are all scriptures, I have tried looking them up  (the references are in parenthesis) and I found out that some are from conference memories as a teenager, and a couple I haven’t found yet.  I’m still looking, but I needed to get this out there for someone, so I’ll post it and keep looking later.
“Christ was sent to the earth – in part- that he may learn by his own experience how to succor His children…”  (Alma 7:12)
“Noah, Abraham, and Moses are all said to have faced Jehovah face to face as a friend…”  (Exodus 33:11) (Moses 7:4)
“The Lord repented of having made the earth… “ (Genesis 6:6)
“Moses interceded as a type of Christ” (I know I’ve heard this somewhere)
“As man is, God once was…” (Hugh W. Pinnock, Nov. 1984 Ensign ; and Spencer W. Kimball, April 1977 General Conference.)

And in my non-dream, it put itself together this way  in a flash of clarity as if in an answer to prayer–  Christ had learned so much before this wold was formed, that he could be trusted by Heavenly Father to Create our world , and govern it as the God to whom the prophets could talk to.  But much of it was still head learning- his heart had yet to feel it deep.  Then I remembered the thought I have had before,  that even the prophets have been given the challenge of difficult sons- none seem to have been exempt from this heart stretching experience of learning to love when it’s the very most painful thing in the world to do…. and it suddenly flashed before my eyes that there was a moment that Christ truly did feel how we feel.  Not just when he took upon us our mistakes in the Garden of Gethsemane, but in a very personal- blinding moment when the heart hits it’s current limit- he “repented” of his efforts to carry humanity to our Father.
At that moment, he had his Father, but he also had a friend.  A very human friend, who understood pain and love and  was there to comfort; and who told Him “it’s o.k., let me help.  Let me stand between them and you for a bit.”

And now here we are in our turn at mortality.   We hit our moments of blinding confusion and pain- and if we listen close to the Holly Ghost, he helps us to hear that Christ is there- fully aware.  He is ready to take his turn to whisper “It’s o.k., I’ve been there.  Let me stand between you and him for a bit while your heart heals from it’s stretching.  Keep your courage up and soon you’ll be ready to move forward again… and It’s going to turn out better than you could possibly imagine.”


Categories: LDS Mom of Autism, Midnight musings | 2 Comments

In the Kitchen- Spain

OK- I found the recipes, and we had fun browsing the tourist sites, but I’ll admit we didn’t try them all.  (I occasionally get hit with vertigo attacks, and then nothing happens for a while, this one was very top shelf- bleh.)

But I did discover that one of our favorite stand-by dishes was also a stand-by favorite in Spain!  The kids loved finding out that there was something they could eat and enjoy if they were abroad there- and that, really, is the whole point of all this. We ate it with extra chocolaty hot-chocolate, which was also a hit.   So, here’s the recipe

Spanish Omelet
The Spanish omelet, or tortilla española, is one of the most common dishes in this country. It is very simple to prepare, and most tapas bars and cafés serve variations on the classic recipe. This dish is made from potatoes, eggs and chopped onions and fried in a pan with oil and salt. Many Spanish families will serve the Tortilla de Patatas for any given meal throughout the day. The ingredients are fried and mixed in a pan with olive oil and salt. Once the omelet starts to solidify, the heat is turned up and the chef gives it a disc-like form, similar to a Frisbee. You will find slices of this tortilla at just about every tapas bar in Spain.


3 medium potatoes cut into half-inch cubes
1 medium white or yellow onion finely chopped
3-4 large eggs
1 clove garlic finely chopped
5 TB olive oil
splash of milk
salt to taste

I also would like to try these next recipes- they look like they would be comfortable on my kids “picky eating” issues if I am careful, but it will have to wait- it’s a doctor day.

Flan de Huevos
Wrap up your meal with some Spanish dessert. Flan de Huevos is a caramel custard.   Flan is one of the absolute classic Spanish dessert recipes! This sweet custard is found on the menu of nearly every restaurant. This baked custard originated with the Romans, but the Spanish took the idea and made it their own!
Original recipe makes 1 – 9 inch round
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt sugar until liquefied and golden in color. Carefully pour hot syrup into a 9 inch round glass baking dish, turning the dish to evenly coat the bottom and sides. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat eggs. Beat in condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla until smooth. Pour egg mixture into baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil.
Bake in preheated oven 60 minutes. Let cool completely.
To serve, carefully invert on serving plate with edges when completely cool.

Originating in Valencia, paella is a rice dish prepared with seafood. Of all the foods in Spain, this is the most popular. In this dish, savory yellow rice is combined with tomatoes, onions, peas, shellfish, squid, clams and chicken drumsticks. These ingredients are cooked in a large saucepan over an open fire with olive oil and salt.
The dish originated in Moorish times, but the Valencianos made it their own. The are two or three primary recipes, but like pizza, you can be creative with this dish and add lots of different recipe combinations.


2 cups callaspara or bomba rice (use medium-grain rounded Mediterranean rice)
about 1 lb of chicken wings and drumlets
about 12 fresh muscles
2 squid cleaned with their bodies cut into rings
about 1/2 lb clams
about 15 shrimp (uncooked and unpeeled)
1 onion chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 green pepper chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
about 1/4 ts saffron
about 6-7 cups of fish or chicken stock
about 2 TB of cognac or 1/2 cup dry white wine
about 5 TB olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
lemon wedges for garnish

Fritters with Chocolate Sauce”
Churros con Chocolate is a classic Spanish snack! You cannot go to a local fair or festival and not see numerous vendors selling these sweet fried treats. Churros con chocolate are also commonly served for breakfast! The churro is delicious, but the chocolate sauce puts it over the top!
This traditional Spanish food can easily be made at home! The chocolate sauce recipe is very easy to make and could be useful for other recipes.
Give this one a try the time you are looking for a fun treat!Serves: 4-6
Preparation time: 20 minutes


3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 eggs beaten
pinch of salt

For the chocolate sauce:
1 cup milk
2 ts corn starch
4 oz dark chocolate chopped
2 TB sugar


In a medium sauce pan bring the water to a boil with butter and salt. Add the flour and stir vigorously. The flour will come together into a soft ball. Remove from the heat and stir in the eggs until you have a thick paste. Heat the oil in a large skillet (about 3/4″ to 1″ in the pan). Put the paste in a cake decorating tube with a star-like fitting. Squeeze out 4-5 lengths of the churro into the hot oil. Cook on each side 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel to cool and then place the churro in a plate of sugar, lightly coat with the sugar. For the chocolate, add 1/2 cup of the milk to a saucepan and slowly heat it with the chocolate. In a small glass, mix the other 1/2 cup of milk with the corn starch. After the chocolate has fully melted, add the milk and cornstarch mix and the sugar. Stir and slowly heat until the mixture thickens. Serve the churros with a small bowl of the chocolate and enjoy!



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Still here

Does anyone mind if I don’t feel positive and encouraging today?


I have felt like the Lord’s hand must have been hard at work this last month, but I have been so tired, I couldn’t even put my thoughts together.  All I really wanted to do is cry to the stars.  The closest I could come was to keep up the courage quotes that keep me moving forward. I’m still not up to writing it all down.  Suffice it to say,  making it thru the last piece of 3rd quarter was really up-hill, and brought out the Autism in everyone.  😛

But now it is spring break where we live, and we had a lovely rainstorm all night, and utter peace is distilling into our house like the clouds I can see blanketing the sky.  The wild finches are all singing their excitement that our bird feeder is full, and it cheers my soul.

So- forward heart!  On to new adventures.    I have decided to pick up our home school “cruise” from last summer.  We are going to look up and test recipes from other countries.  We went thru the Mediterranean before, now we are going to ’round the horn of Spain and travel north.   I’ll let you know how it goes!  🙂IMG_1542

Categories: LDS Mom of Autism | 2 Comments

Lift up your Heads, the Promise is Sure.

I needed some comfort scriptures to start my day.


  • Jacob 3:2

    2 O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever.

  • 2 Nephi 9:3

    3 Behold, my beloved brethren, I speak unto you these things that ye may rejoice, and lift up your heads forever, because of the blessings which the Lord God shall bestow upon your children.

  • Doctrine and Covenants 9:14

    14 Stand fast in the work wherewith I have called you, and a hair of your head shall not be lost, and you shall be lifted up at the last day. Amen.

Categories: Courage quotes | 2 Comments

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