Dusting off the old blog

Good morning!

It has been a long time. Since the introduction of iPhones in my life, it has been hard to make it on the blog. We have been doing well. A lot of things are changing which is why I decided to get back on here, to keep people up to date with the goings-on.

We celebrated our 11th anniversary last December. Bentley is in 3rd grade, and Marseille is in 2nd grade. The kids and I are care takers  for a dear friend on Mondays and I teach yoga at the main library downtown on Friday mornings. We are enjoying our season of family life right now. It is probably the easiest it will every be!

The biggest news is …

We have put our house on the market and are moving to Charlotte (as soon as the house sells). We are ready for a change in our lives. We will be closer to Danny’s family, the kids are uber excited to be by their cousins. The medical care will be easily transferred to the doctors in Charlotte, since most of our doctors are already in contact with them. We are also excited about being apart of the church there too! Yes, we did just build a house two years ago! We are sad to leave this area, but excited for the new memories we will make in Charlotte. I am soaking in every breath-taking view of the mountains right now. Leaving our close family friends will be hard too, but thankfully we will not be too far away! This move is bitter-sweet.

Medical news is…

The kids are doing well on their growth hormone. They have grown roughly 4″ since starting at the end of last summer. We are so grateful to experience this growth and the running out of shoes and clothes due to it!

At their last round of blood work, our nephrologist checked their cholesterol and found it to be super high. High for an adult high. So he recommend that we change our diet. Hummm, somehow I don’t think that is the problem. His major recommendation was to cut out tea and dark soda. Thank you, Doctor but our children have had soda about 3 times their whole lives to date. Again, I am not thinking that this is the problem. Stumped, sad and feeling a little overwhelmed by all that information lead me down an old familiar path. Thankfully, God provides strength to these dry bones. He causes life to spring up from death. So, with fresh faith,  I have cut out pretty much all fats, bumped up the soluble fiber, omega-3 vitamins, and lots of fruits and veggies. The kids are adjusting well, they really are such good patients and kids!

Lastly, the ultrasounds showed that Bentley’s spleen was enlarged and there is concern for esophageal varices (basically a domino effect from kidneys- liver- spleen- esophagus; portal hyertension). Marseille is not far behind Bentley. Our doctors are talking about if a scope is a good action to see what is going on. In the meantime, we have added a low dosage of beta-blocker to their meds. This has proven to be a wrinkle our daily schedule because I have to record their blood pressure and 1 1/2hrs after taking the medication. Our lives have not been very schedule friendly due to getting the house on the market, so there have been some late nights in the Roberts’ home. We are getting into a timing rhythm between meds-vitamins-growth hormone- and blood pressure.

I will say that this has been a stressful time. My mind “knows” it, and my body has been reacting but somehow in my mission-mode, I miss it! The kids and I have been taking walks almost everyday, and I have kept up with daily yoga. Between those two things, some essential oils, shea butter, apple cider vinegar, and bulletproof coffee. Oh yeah, lots of prayer! I have been able to laugh and cry, all at the same time with everything that is going on right now! Which is encouraging.  Moving and Meds… the beat drives on.

Bentley’s Lego Party

Today, we had Bentley’s Lego Party! The time flew by and all the kids had fun!

There were games, coloring, food and laughter!

They played:

-Building Legos – everyone contributed to making a building

– Colored Lego minifigures

-Lego drop (into a bottle)

-Hot Potato Lego

The Menu

-homemade pizza rolls (they were the hit)

-chex mix

-fruit salad

-carrots (not quite a hit)

– Lego cake

Bentley opened presents and everyone received goodie-bags.

The goodie-bags were my favorite part to make. I made homemade play-dough and put them in spray painted baby food jars, marshmallow pops, gum, stickers and a cup. I spent under $5 for all of it! The kids were super excited about the goodie-bags!

I found most ideas on Pinterest and some I made up. I spent all week making the decorations and most of Friday making the cake and pizza rolls. Seeing all the kids enjoying themselves adds to the enjoyment of having a party.

Bentley had a great time and that’s what matters most! He kept thanking me for all the decorations, and I thought that was really sweet.

After the party, we cleaned up and headed downtown for a long walk through the park. It was an excellent day!

xo, nikki :)

“Lobster Killer…

lobster killer… lobster killer.” ~Julie and Julia

I did it. I cooked a live lobster.  The night before my birthday, I pulled out my Mastering the Art of French Cooking and found Lobster Thermidor, the recipe that was shown in the movie Julie and Julia. I finally read the book in September and I think that is what provoked me to desire to do it… and cook dessert crepes for the first time. Hey, if you are going to do it, you might as well go all out, right?

I was a little nervous as I was holding the lobster and getting ready to put it in it’s death bed, a delicious smelling death bed. Because the lobster had been hanging out in the fridge, it didn’t put up a huge fight. When the kids and I picked him out  it was feisty… just the way we wanted it. He was especially angry on the car ride home.

I would like to tell you that I copied Julia’s recipe to the T, but I didn’t. There was one step that I could not bring myself to do. Believe me, I added every once of butter that she asked for! Everything was going dandy and almost too easy. The came time to split the lobster and this green goo and stuff came spewing out. It smelled awful, I was gagging a little too. Julia wanted me to put the green goo back into my beautiful sauce. I couldn’t do it. I actually rinse all that rancid smelling stuff off all the meat! Besides that, I copied Julia and had wonderful lobster dinner!

The crepes were hard for me. I have made Vietnamese crepes with my dad and great aunt, but I’ve not made French crepes yet. I guess it doesn’t help that I was using all dairy free alternatives so the kiddos could enjoy my birthday dessert, since we weren’t having cake (I’m not a big fan of cake). I made enough for the our dessert and we had peanut butter filled crepes for breakfast the next morning.

Overall it was a great birthday experience!!

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xoxo, nikki :)

My next birthday, Chicken with Mushrooms in Port

A little bit of school

I have wanted to do school and yet, I’m not quite ready yet. We started doing a little bit of Five in a Row. You read the same book five days in a row and do activities based on the book. My problem is I haven’t sat down and made a true lesson plan, so I am winging it on Sunday evening. We’ve only done a couple weeks, but as a friend recently shared with me, we are going to be doing school until they are 18, let’s enjoy right now. So, with that in mind, if we do school we do, and if not that is okay too. The books that we have read so far are: Goodnight Moon and Corduroy. The kids really love it.

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xo, nikki :)

Passport Olympics: Espana

Ole! The Gipsy Kings, even though they are French, serenaded us with their flamenco music. We enjoyed Chicken and Mushrooms in Sherry, unfortunately we didn’t have mushrooms… but as Julia Child would say, make no excuses! I butchered the chicken myself… I still can’t believe that I can do that without gagging now! This recipe is a keeper. We all really liked it!

xo, nikki :)