Monday, August 20, 2012

Meat Free Monday

Here we go!  Tonight's dinner is in the crock pot, love having dinner all prepped before 10am! (no, it's not the norm here!)

Our menu for tonight is Black Bean Soup and corn bread.  The actual recipe we follow is for a spicy soup, I cut back on the cayenne and skipped the hot sauce.  2 yr olds and cayenne aren't a good combo!

Spicy Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup Recipe

Here is the recipe:

  • 1 pound dry black beans, soaked overnight
  • 4 teaspoons diced jalapeno peppers
  • 1/2 diced red pepper
  • 6 cups chicken broth (veggie broth would work well too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce


  1. Drain black beans, and rinse.
  2. Combine beans, jalapenos, and chicken broth in a slow cooker. Season with garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, pepper, and hot pepper sauce.
  3. Cook on High for 4 hours. Reduce heat to Low, and continue cooking for 2 hours, or until you are ready to eat.
Serve as is or if you prefer a thicker base, blend a cup or two of the soup.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

She's Gone

Last week we had a huge decision to make regarding A.  We had requested that she remain in respite type care while we continue to work with her, going to therapy, family visits...  Our hope was for a very long transition home as she was therapeutically (safe) ready.  This was what was recommended by the staff during her most recent hospitalization.  Their opinion is that she is avoiding dealing the abuse and neglect she has experienced and as a result is beginning to repeat some of the abuses on smaller children and animals.  Huge red flags, right?!  The best advice we received was from the same hospital staff, which was, make it clear to the social workers what we were willing to do and not willing to do, and be prepared to walk away.  (a lot easier said than done!)  We did that, didn't expect a positive outcome, but we sure did hope.

A is officially no longer part of our family.  There is no plan to work toward coming home.  She is back into the "system" as a foster child instead of being a pre-adoptive placement.  We don't understand why they couldn't try to make this work, but we are not part of the decision making process.

We are packing her things.  Unlike other foster children we have had, her things are everywhere.  She was staying.  "Her" movies and mixed in with the families.  "Her" toys are blended in with all the others.  I'm trying to remember what were her specific Christmas, birthday,  Pictures.  Her pictures are everywhere.  I need to make an album for her to document these past 2 years.  E and J's wedding, she was a flower girl.  Her and baby E in their matching football wear.  Group shots that the kids surprised me with for Christmas this year.  So many photos.

I have been packing in bits.  Gather and organize until the emotions get to be too much.  Leave it for the day and come back to it.  Her room is beginning to look like a storage unit.

This is the most challenging thing we have ever gone through.  Both living with A and realizing we can not continue to do so.  We want her safe and happy, whether it is with us or someone else.  She needs to learn she is worth loving and deserves so much.

What completely kills me is we don't know if we even get to say good-bye.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Roll Call!

This whole blog world is pretty neat.  Writing is really a personal thing, but enter blogging and we connect with people all over the world!  I've been shocked to see how many people have found me.  Simple me.  But through shared life experiences we make connections.  This is SO cool!!

Here is a run down of the countries (countries!) you all are from:

United States
Nicaragua (hi Wendy!)
United Kingdom

Isn't it amazing?!  We all live our day to day lives, doing laundry, planning dinners, shuffling kids, working... But thanks to the web, we can connect with someone else who is sharing some of the same experiences and find out we are not alone.

So, don't be shy...say hello and let me know where you're from!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Meat Free Monday

We have a vegetarian wannabe in our house.  Not a bad thing.  It's opening our eyes to new meal ideas.  Because of a chronic illness, and to be perfectly honest, my not wanting to make that drastic of a change, we have let her go beef and pork free for over 2 years now but draw the line at poultry.  I know, chickens have feeling too.  It's amazing how having one person change their diet effects the whole family!  Steve misses it the most, oh the excitement on those rare (pun intended!) occasions that beef hits the dinner table!  

So, in an effort to make healthier dinners and broaden our eating horizons, we are starting Meat Free Mondays.  While it's the time of year to get yummy veggies at local produce stands, we are going to try to focus on plant based meals too.  Not every week, but it kicks the challenge up a notch.

We don't want boring meat free dinners, or the obvious pancakes every week.  I'll post our successes (last weeks Chipotle style veggie bowls were amazing!) and flops.  If you wanna join in the challenge, please let me know what your faves are too!

Tonight was rather boring, but I'll own up to it.  Just 3 of us were home so I let myself be a little lazy.

Meatless Monday Menu:

Potato and Onion Perogies (we love Wegman's brand), baked.

Roasted broccoli

Tossed salad