Sunday, March 2, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up – February 16th-22nd

The weather warmed up a bit this week, so we felt like a warm-weather meal.  I decided to make some fresh subs for dinner.

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Yum!  Smoked turkey, provolone cheese, organic tomatoes, red bell pepper strips, mild banana peppers, romaine lettuce, fat free mayo, and Italian sub sauce.  It hit the spot!

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An end-of-the week treat for dinner was the ever-popular homemade chicken nachos.

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Here’s what we used:

  • one pound of grilled chicken breast in bite-sized pieces
  • one small jar of Pace mild chunky salsa
  • one jar of Tostitos medium queso
  • shredded New Zealand grass-fed sharp white cheddar
  • one can organic pinto beans
  • organic grape tomatoes
  • romaine lettuce
  • Trader Joe’s tortilla chips
  • fat free sour cream

Blend together the queso and salsa in a saucepan until heated through and well blended.  Then I stir in the drained and rinsed pinto beans and add the grilled chicken.  Arrange the chips on a large air-bake tray.  Pour the heated blend over the top.  Then add the cheese.  Place in the oven on hi broil for a few minutes until the cheese is all melted.  Then remove and add the fresh cold ingredients before serving.  Yum!  This always gets devoured by the 5 of us.  I’ve made it with 96% lean ground sirloin, too, but we all prefer the grilled chicken the best.

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On Saturday morning, took the kids to another kids’ building workshop at Lowe’s.

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This time, they made a Claw game.  It had little cardboard “prizes” inside with hooks on the top so they could move the hook to grab them when they maneuver the string that comes through the top.  So cute!

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Holden was especially proud and reminded me that he’d always wanted to play the Claw game.  Smile

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Earlier that morning, I went to pick up my very first order from One Harvest.  We used to order from Angel Food Ministries years ago, but they were closed due to embezzlement by the owners.  That was a disappointing ending to a service that had helped a lot of struggling families.  One Harvest was started by two gentlemen who used to serve on the board of Angel Food, but who left when they suspected illegal behavior by the pastor who ran it.  One Harvest started in GA but eventually made its way up here to VA, as well.  I found Angel Food’s meats in the main box to be nearly as lean as my family needs (we all have hereditary high cholesterol), but I likes some of the other things they offered.  So to try out One Harvest, I decided to order the 10 lbs. of popcorn chicken chunks for $19 for my kids’ lunches, and the kids’ box of assorted heat-and-eat foods for breakfast and lunch for $30.

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You can see here what we received in the boxes.  I was impressed that even with so many ready-to-serve foods, they had some leaner choices, like turkey corn dogs and turkey sausage/egg/cheese on bagels for breakfast.  Plus, they included an instruction sheet with preparation instructions for everything in the kids’ box, and even some of the nutrition labels.  A lot of it was name brand foods like Tyson and Ball Park, too.  My kids were tickled to have so many treats and variety for their breakfasts and lunches.  I’m pretty happy with what they got! 

We already tried the popcorn chicken for lunch yesterday, and it was really good.  It had a nice crispy coating.

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The really downside to this week was that my mom got an official diagnosis of Stage IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.  In other words, she is terminal, and there isn’t anything they can do for her.  The lung cancer has spread to that fluid in the pleural effusion, called a malignant pleural effusion.  The doctor didn’t give a prognosis, but everything I’ve read says that this diagnosis without any treatment to prolong life has a prognosis of about 2-4 months.  The fluid they drain off refills so quickly.  They did surgery to implant a shunt with a catheter attached to it and sent her home.  A nurse comes to her house every other day to drain off the fluid, which amounts to almost a liter every 2 days.  This relieves the pressure on her breathing and helps her stay comfortable.

The blessing is that my mom is not in any pain right now, and she can live out the time she has left in the comfort of her own home.  She was so happy to be reunited with her beloved dog, Misty, and to be able to rest comfortably at home.

I’ve done so much crying and have made myself sick with despair…irregular heartbeats, eczema blisters on my hands and toes, a big fever blister on my lip, difficulty sleeping, and all kinds of nervous habits of years’ past that have resurfaced.  Recognizing this, I’ve prayed for my mom to have His comfort and peace that only He can provide, and I’ve tried to accept that this is something I can’t change or even affect.  I truly hope her passing is gentle and peaceful, and that perhaps she can just go in her sleep.  I know inside, she probably longs to be reunited with my dad and their oldest son who died as a child of pneumonia, and that probably gives her some level of acceptance in her fate, as well.

I love her SO very much.  I can’t imagine this world without her in it, but in a sense I’m already mourning to prepare myself for that.  I’m selling off some school books to raise some money in the event I can come up with a way to see her again.  I’m sad that my children don’t know her, but we are 1,100 miles apart.  I’ve considered taking spring break and driving all of us out there, but I’m the only one of my siblings who still has very young children, and I’m not sure she could handle that kind of disruption, especially now.  I’m so thankful I got to spend time with her a few months ago in the fall.  I enjoyed my time with her so much.  Here are some photos of us that were taken as I was leaving to come back home on September 3rd.

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I sure would appreciate it if you could pray for her.  God bless you, mom!

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See ya next week!