Tag Archives: Parenthood

Peach Cobbler Cookies (Dairy free, egg free, peanut free)

 Who doesn’t love a good cookie? Cookies are one of my favorite types of desserts to eat and also experiment with. This summer when I was looking for something new to bring to barbecues, I stumbled across some recipes for peach cobblers. Since my son has dairy, egg and peanut allergies, he cannot eat dessert unless it is made by us or purchased from one of our reliable companies. Therefore, I tend to like to bring desserts to events so that he can be included too. Everyone deserves to be included!

The following recipe is a play on peach cobbler. It is dairy, egg and peanut free as well! Add some ice cream to the top or sandwich it in between two cookies! You will want to put those summer diets aside for this one.

However you decide to eat them, they are promised to be delicious and totally worth the mess on the counter.

 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup Vegan butter

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup applesauce

1.5 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract

2 Tablespoons dairy-free milk (We used almond, cashew, pea called Protein Milk by Silk because of its thickness and richness)

3 cups flour (We used organic, whole wheat but it can be substituted for a gluten free one)

1.5 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup chopped peaches (skinned and cut into tiny pieces)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Skin and cut the peaches into tiny pieces.
  3. Mix melted butter and sugars in a bowl.
  4. Add the extract, milk and applesauce.
  5. Add flour and the rest of the ingredients into another bowl.
  6. Mix both bowls together.
  7. Stir and fold in peaches.
  8. Grease trays with non-dairy butter.  Press cookie circles down with a fork. We made them about 2 inches in diameter.
  9. Bake for 16 minutes.
  10. Enjoy by themselves or with some dairy-free ice cream.  Our favorite to eat it with is vanilla cashew ice cream by So Delicious.

Legos For Days

It’s so incredible to watch the personality, gifts and talents of a child unfold. All are so distinct and special from each other, a great reminder of how each of us is our own unique person, even at a young age. A great reminder that all of us have our own God-given gifts and purpose.

As a special education teacher, it is my job to discover and teach to each individual student’s own talents and strengths. It is both my privilege and obligation to empower them against any challenges they may have or face. It’s part of my nature now to do this in the classroom. However, in the home, it is a bit more complicated at times.

Both my husband and I played sports for most of our lives and assumed that our children would want to too. And even though they are both so young yet at the ages of 2 and 5, their little but LARGE personalities and interests are already shining through …

I first saw this with my son. He may not be asking to go throw a football right now; but he is following in my husband’s footsteps of loving Legos. Since the age of 2.5, TJ has loved puzzles, activity sticker books, creating, building and taking objects apart. Literally, he could spend hours, and even days partaking in these activities. Proud Mama over here when he turned four and started to tackle legos made for as high up as 10 years old and older.

It’s all fun and games until you have 10 boxes of Legos and pieces all over the place.

That is when we created TJ’s LEGO room. While it now holds 40 sets and counting, it is much more organized these days, even if TJ takes it apart five times a day.

So while I can’t help but to be a little sad as we transform his room from baby giraffes and elephants to Legos for days, I also can’t help but to be proud of the amazing person he is and continues to become. A nice organization system amongst the mess helps the transition as well…

Madi wanted in on the fun too…

What Drives You Crazy?

Think about someone close to you.

What’s one thing that drives you crazy about this person whether it is a loved one, significant other, spouse, family member or friend? 

Or maybe there’s a few things?

As much as we would like to say, there is nothing.  With time,  most, if not all of us develop those pet peeves that can lead to inevitable arguments, disagreements, or situations.

The reality is they exist… and while compromise is a crucial part of any relationship, sometimes it is not possible.  Instead, it may require some acceptance on our part.

Accept it!??! That one thing that drives us crazy!?!?! Oh heck no!!!

But wait….

and hear me out…

The thing that drove me crazy for years was my husband’s love (aka obsession) for our grass. Perfect grass was not possible in the life of a family of two young kids and a Labrador. Yet, he spent hours relentlessly making sure that our lawn would one day be just that…perfect!

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In fact, one summer his deep partnership with our lawn, required many weekend afternoons caring for it.  Yet, after our basement flooded, we needed to have a lot of work done in the backyard to prevent future ones.  As our backyard was beginning to have more and more of the perfect set up for a barbecue or summer party, one patch of his beloved grass was destroyed by the workers. Therefore, any parties, barbecues, or actually … anyone near that area of lawn … was forbidden for the rest of the summer.

I tried… I really did… but when your husband comes home and runs to greet his growing patch of grass before his wife and kids…

…I admit I lost it! (A few times!)

That was until I took on a poetry challenge.   I love poetry and have been writing it for most of my life.  It had been around this time last summer where I wanted to push deeper with it… to push for a dream of mine a bit more seriously, the dream to be published

Therefore, I heard from a poet friend about an opportunity.   It required me to devise a poem base don a prompt and model poem.  If chosen, it would be published in an upcoming book. So what did I have to lose?

When I sat to review the prompts, one jumped out at me:

“For your own love poem, zero in on a single talent your beloved has.”

Right away, his grass jumped into my head.  His grass! My pet peeve – his passion…

Could that really been seen as a positive thing? A talent? This obsession that drove me mad!

The task called for me to learn about this talent and turn it into a metaphor.  Therefore, I sat outside on that late Spring evening, and asked him questions about terms I never knew existed. Or if I’m being completely honest, terms I never cared about. Or rather…never tried to care about…

Strangely enough, not only did a poem get drafted that was soon chosen to be published, but somehow something that drove me crazy for years turned a new leaf.  Suddenly, I did not feel so crazed over it either…

 

Grass

Who’s kept receipts anyways
things you’ve learned over these years
growth you’ve sang into the grass
never doubting sun and rain to not agree
what steps to grow what patience set free

why throw dough to someone’s stranger
when you can spread the seed or at least
you’ll start using the rototiller
sweating over the inches
spreading over the daunting dirt

so many weekends to foster new year’s lawn
fertilizer for the poking patches
tall fescue perennial rye
manual hose automatic display
and tools I cannot even say

sun and water and more seed
depend on you
to know how to apply
and bring back to life
lean on you never to die

– JK

 

For more poems and excellent poetry writing tips from this collection, check out the following book:

“The Practicing Poet: Writing Beyond the Basics” – Diane Lockward

 

In the meantime, try it out sometimes, embrace what drives you crazy about someone you love, learn more about it, and see what happens.   I did not know it at the time, but it was the perfect way to combat or rather extinguish many potential arguments.

Try to find out why they love “that thing” so much.

We may always have patches of imperfect grass that call my husband to spend hours tending to it… that make me want to pull the hair out of my head…

but at least we can appreciate the beauty of its growth more…

…at least I can appreciate the passion and man behind it…

…and hopefully we can have a few barbecues in the meantime too…

Little Big Shots (Part 1)

Walking into the new orthodontist office, the kids were entertained by two giant fish tanks. That was until, the doctor walked into the open-concept room filled with several other patients and introduced himself. As he shook my hand, he sat in his chair at eye level to my children.

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TJ, aka my handsome, but loud-talking son, walked right up to his balding head and shouted, “What happened to all your hair?”

 

Luckily, he made a joke back to explain as the other people in the room tried to contain their laughter.

And we chatted on the way home about what not to say to people … until the next time of course!

 

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Oh how kids say the darndest things …

The Name Change

The Art of a Messy House

In the midst of the mess, there is unprecedented beauty and nothing less. – Jen
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            When you ask someone to define beauty, most people will ponder for a bit before beginning to describe an emotion, individual, or quality that takes our breath away.  Not many people, would ineptly reply, “beauty is my messy house.”
That is where many of us are mistaken though.   Hear me out …
For myself, there was much of my life that I believed beauty radiated on the outside from what was beneath my layers.  But then again, that was also detrimental for most of my life. Because not only did I struggle with the reflection the mirror shined back at me, but I also agonized over the fact that the qualities that I wanted, I lacked.   Therefore, I labeled myself as beauty’s antagonist for more years than I would like to admit.  My own worst enemy …
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However, as the years continued to tick on and now fly on by, I realized how mistaken I was in every sense of the word.  I spent most of my life writing about these types of questions because my spoken words have had a way of failing me.  In other words, writing has always been much easier source of communicating for me. Although now, I’m getting better at both.
As an individual who battled with anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, anorexia, and depression at different points of my life, writing saved my life.   Let me rephrase that, God saved my life time and time again. In fact by giving me gifts of grace including my ability to write, I have gained a voice.
For like most, I have walked through more valleys in this lifetime so far to know that beauty is often where you least expect it.  For the beauty that lasts…the beauty that defines us … is the beauty that often our eyes fail to see at first. It is the radiance that often blinds us, coaxing or even forcing us to turn our heads before we can truly see beneath and passed it…
It.Is.Beautiful.
It is the vision without the lens.
It is what takes us deeper than aesthetic senses.
It is in the worst of days.
It is in the mistakes that try to devour our inner drive.
It is in the birth stories no one told you, or the ones that they should have never told you. (Until labor, those stories had me believing my son would come flying out…ha)
It is in the newborn book that never met your infant and wasted your tiny amount of mommy brain, taking a year to read.
It is in the maternity leave that left you in tears during it and then again when it ended.
It is in the discovery that your child is anaphylactic to dairy and allergic to everything else.
It is when doctors refer to your child as a sick child.
It is in the pregnancy that you never expected and barely survived.
It is in the kegel you were too depressed to even remember to try or even care about until you were housing dairy-free ice cream in bed. It is in thirty-five years plus of anxiety that no one could even begin to understand.
It is in the realization that your child may have OCD worse than you and it is up to you to break the cycle.
It is in all those moments that you realize that your beautifully cleaned and kept house you spent years building and maintaining really is maintaining you.
For it is not beautiful at all.
Instead, what you tried to avoid your entire life is in fact the truer essence of beauty. Beauty is not running away from or hiding our mess; instead it is embracing it.
For beauty is in the art of a messy house…
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and trust me… I am still working on perfecting ours…
but this is my journey to achieve just that:
The Art of a Messy House 
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