Sunday, May 6, 2018

The one constant in ife is change.....

Changing plans.... as always. We have said all along that if Sammie wanted to stay and graduate with her friends we would. She has been adamant that she didn't want too.....

That being said, now that her anxiety is being managed with medication she is finally settling in and realizing she has friends and that life is good here. She still thinks her school sucks.... but she doesn't want to leave her friends. So it looks like we will be staying in the Pacific Northwest for a few more years.....  at least as of right now. Add in that Karah is saying that if she stays here for Freshman and Sophmore year she will want to graduate here too. Who knows what the future will bring.

Just proves that nothing in life is ever definitive. I still wish I was closer to my oldest and the family, but just as we discussed staying in Kenosha for Tess to graduate, we will give the same option to my girls here. If they want to stay, stay we will.

So for now who knows.....

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Where we are now.... and where are we going

I am going to try and do better about this whole blogging thing. We are currently in Washington state, back at Fort Lewis (or JBLM) as it's called now. We have been here for a little over a year. The oldest is off at college (and some days are better than others for her). The middle kid has started to study for her AP testing and is excited and scared for Junior year next year. Our little baby, isn't so little anymore.... She is scared about next year and starting high school. She has also continue to grow her artistic talents and is turning into quite the painter.....

Jim, well he has decided to retire from the Army.... That's right, this Crazy Army Life is approaching retirement. The thought of being out and on our own is a little intimidating.... Where do we go now? Most people go home... but where is home? My family is scattered to the winds... Jim's are all in Missouri. Missouri is where we consider home, but.... it's a limited practice state for me.

I have been working as a nurse practitioner for over  a year now... I love it, I love being able to take care of people (although I do wish that I had magic googles to diagnose with and a wand to heal people). I don't always love my job (sometimes I'm quite slow and bored)... but I love my co-workers. My career is playing a huge part in where to go next.... Not every state allows me to work to the full level of my education. I want to work with Doctors, I love consulting and partnering with them.... I do this regularly. I don't want to have to have their permission to treat things though.... Which is where the problem lies... in the states we most want to move to (Missouri, and Texas) I would need a supervising physician. Someone to approve my charts and treatment plans.... Sounds like not a big deal, but it can be if you disagree with the treatment plan they want to do....

So where to next??? We are looking at the midwest because I want to be closer to family, and to my oldest.... that's one thing I have learned over this first year of her being away from home. Being so far away that we can't help in a crisis does not do this Mamma's heart any good. So any state in the midwest that is FULL practice is game.... right now, the focus is on Iowa. Yep, Iowa... all the Iowa jokes we have made over the years (and there have been many....) and that is where we are looking at the hardest. Jim and I are really liking the Cedar Rapids - Iowa City area.... it looks beautiful, about 5 hours from family (only an hour or two from our Iowa family) and from Chicago and Wisconsin friends. So many ask is the decision made???  NOPE, not in the slightest. Since we have a year until we can really start to plan the move (Jim's out date is next January) it's too soon to apply for jobs.

I am not brave enough to say that's the place and plan the move without a job lined up. It is most likely the place.... but first a job needs to be there. There are plenty right now, we shall see what next year brings.

Jim is planning a cross country hike from here to Florida.... to clear his mind after the military. So most likely wherever the move is too.... we will be moving while he's on the hike. So another move solo.... Just our life... still the crazy army life and soon to be the retired army life.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Pizza Soup and so long to plans of Hawaii!

Well the Army decided Hawaii was not the place for us to live next. We are currently in Limbo awaiting a new assignment. We are hoping to find out sometime in the next few weeks where we are going next. Tess is now living in Missouri with her Oma, looking for work and getting ready to start Community College. The rest of us are just keeping busy with school and general life.
I made some Pizza Soup today... and it was super yummy! I decided to share the recipe here.


Pizza Soup - a delicious tomato soup.

Large can of diced or crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
Can of diced seasoned tomatoes (italian seasoned)
Can of pizza sauce
Can of tomato sauce (8 oz)
Can of tomato paste
Chicken Broth (2 cups)
Italian Seasoning (your choice how much)
1/2 tbsp sugar
garlic (again how much you like)

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 cup of shredded Italian Cheese
Pizza toppings of your choice (I used mushrooms, onion, green bell pepper, olives, pepperoni, italian sausage)

Place the first set of ingredients in the crock pot (or in a pot on the stove). Cook on low for 4 hours. Then stir in the cheese. If you like cheese pizza wait 10-15 minutes then enjoy. If you like other toppings stir them in. I let mine cook for another 2 hours to cook the veggies through.

I served this up with garlic breadsticks and the whole family enjoyed. I also made a pot for my friend with lactose intolerance and just omitted the cheese.  How do you like your pizza soup?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Life Moves On....

Today in a search for a recipe I decided to revisit my blog.... and realized I haven't posted on here since spring. Life moves on.... We still have our good days and bad days. Some better and some worse.... Things have stabilized and gone crazy all at the same time.
Our eldest has graduated High School! We are proud of her, and about to miss her a lot.  She is moving out in a few weeks to live with her Grandmother in Missouri. Then she will start community college down there in the spring.
We are working on our paperwork for our next PCS (military move for those non-military who follow us).  As of right now the plan is to move to the lovely isle of Oahu! We have been trying to get stationed there since Jim joined the Army 18 years ago.... How fitting that unless something changes, it will be our last assignment before Jim retires.
I am about to start my final semester of grad school and then there will be some freedom in my life....

But, none of you follow me for all of that, you follow me for my cooking and cleaning suggestions. Today I'm working on my grocery list and meal plan. This weeks dinner plan is revisiting a blog post from years ago and making my Sloppy Joes :)  Feel free to look at the old blog and I will try yet again to post more frequently

Monday, January 25, 2016

Trying my best..........

This is going to be a real, honest, and painful post. If you aren't up for it, don't read on.

I'm failing as a mother. No, I don't mean that I'm not a good Mom, or I don't love my kids because I do and I know that I am a good Mom. But that doesn't change the hurt and pain I am currently feeling in my heart because of the struggles my kids are going through.

My teen, the wonderful girl who made me a Mom, is struggling with generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder. She is struggling, and at the moment she is losing that battle. She goes to counseling weekly (some weeks twice a week), she takes her medicine and yet she's not getting better. Some days we get a glimpse of our smiling happy girl.... but not often.  Most days it seems like she is getting worse.
She feels like a failure because she can't do what other kids her age are doing.... most days now she can't even bring herself to leave the house. She was switched to online schooling in an effort to help with her anxiety and she is doing okay in her classes. She was supposed to be in Band at the local school and as the school year has continued she has gone fewer, and fewer days. The Band director loves her, but he's about to fill her slot with another student.... I don't blame him for that. He has been patient for a long time, but has to consider the other students in the band. This is huge for her.... the feeling that she is letting them all down. That she is letting us down.
We tell her every day that we love her, that we are proud of her, that eventually things are going to improve for her.... I have to believe in my heart of hearts that they will.

I'm failing as a mother because I can't fix this for her.... Now, I know that is a completely irrational thought. This is beyond me, it's chemistry in her brain and nothing I have done as her Mom has caused this, nor can I really do much to help her beyond support her.

I am trying my best.... but this is hard. I doubt everything I am doing for her at this point. I question every decision I have ever made as her Mom.... looking for where I failed, how it got this bad.

The good news is, she asked for help. The good news is, she's getting help. The good news is, that even though things are bad right now.... she's still here. She's still talking, she's still breathing.

She had a lot of plans when she found out where the Army was moving us next, to graduate early and start college in the fall. I don't see that happening right now.... I forsee her moving with us, or if she is really that strongly objecting to the new location living with someone else in the family while she finishes up her last 6 months of school. I pray that I'm wrong..... I want her to succeed.
I want my daughter back.... I want to help her and I can't. This is a journey that only she can make.... and it sucks beyond belief to sit and watch her suffer.

I will keep trying, and keep loving her along.... This isn't easy, on a day to day it's a battle. This on top of the other's girls issues and Grad school for me may make me crazy some days. I find myself in tears on the phone with my closest friends as they remind me yet again that I am not a failure, that she is going to be okay.... I hear their words and I believe them for a time. Then I need to be reminded again.

If you have a friend who is struggling as a parent, or see a teen who seems lost along the way.... don't judge. You have no idea what their day to day life is like.... just because it looks like they have the perfect life doesn't mean they do. They are human and broken, just like we all are.
TO my friends who are there.... know that I love you and you are a lifeline to me in this battle for my daughter. Thank you for that.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Wow... Over a Year has passed

I haven't been on my blog in forever.... Not sure anyone still reads it.
A quick update and explanation on what happened, where did I dissapear to you ask?
GRAD SCHOOL!  I am working hard on earning my degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner, this on top of the busy life of Mom and Army Wife has made me scarce. 
That being said I'm going to try and do better about blogging ;0

Maybe once a week or so if possible. We shall see what happens?  Anyone out there?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

This week's meal plan..... with links and my grocery list

It's Tuesday... my menu planning grocery shopping day.  I sleep off my weekend on Monday so Tuesday is when I plan and normally shop while the teen is at bowling team (although today she's at home....). Here is this weeks meal plan with links to the recipes and my grocery list. That being said.... check the recipes for missing ingredients because I didn't include things I already had in my pantry like flour, spices, etc....

Tuesday - Spaghetti with meat sauce (no link, my own recipe).  I'm also going to double it and make a baked spaghetti to drop off at my neighbor's who just had a baby.

Wednesday - Geschnetzletes and spaetzle. We love and miss German food. I don't claim to be the best German cook in the world, but after living overseas so long we really enjoy it so I try to make it occasionally. This is the recipe I am using, she has a great homemade spaetzle recipe as well, but I'm going to buy mine this week.

Thursday - Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Soup. I have a narrow one hour window on Tuesday's and Thursday's to feed my teen between bowling practice and band practice. The crock pot comes in handy for those nights.

Friday - PIZZA NIGHT! This is a tradition at our house. Some weeks we make homemade pizza, some weeks it's frozen pizza and some weeks we order in. I don't know which this week will be.

Saturday - Creamed Chip Beef with Peas on Toast. Old school, my mom used to cook this, I haven't made it for the girls before so we shall see what they think.

Sunday - Dad's night.... This is the night that Jim plans and cooks his own dinner for the family. He's a great cook, but I don't have a clue what he is planning.

Monday - Normally a leftover night, but not this week. This week I'm planning Chicken and Biscuits. It's a quick meal and I have cooked shredded chicken in my freezer to make it with.

Grocery List

Caeser Salad Kit
Bell Pepper
Penne Pasta
Spaghetti Sauce (again, I make my own but in case you don't buy some!)
Crushed Tomatoes
Chicken Bouillon
Chicken Stock
Cream of Chicken Soup
Frozen Mixed Veggies
Chicken Breast
Thin Pork cutlet

Of course I need milk, eggs, bread etc... but this is the basic list for the menu.  Hope it inspires you, As for me, I'm off to the store.