Friday, April 27, 2018

Two Breakfasts For One

When the rest are at work and school, and there's only Charles and I at home, I am notorious for not eating. I don't enjoy cooking and Charles and I both have enough Gingerich genetics to easily do without or go with very little. It's not really the most healthy habit, because then we end up being starved at odd hours when it's easy to grab some quick snack to tide us over until the next meal.

Recently I've fixed myself two yummy breakfasts that I sort of made up and I got the notion to share them with you this morning. All of you homeschooling mommies or those with a busy row of toddlers or those heroes who get up and fix their school children a big breakfast can feel free to roll your eyes and skip over the bizarre idea of making a breakfast just for mom. Someday you might be odd, like me.

The first one is this....

No measurements here, of course. I just heated butter in my iron skillet, threw in a couple handfuls of frozen hashbrowns, sprinkled them with a few seasonings and fried them a couple minutes. Next I added some spinach leaves to the butter on the side, sauted it a bit, then mixed it into my tators. Last, I cracked two eggs into the empty side of the pan and fried them to taste. Two pieces of toast on the side, and there you have it!

It looked pretty and it tasted delicious too.... Except, that particular day I ended up getting two phone calls before I got a bite, so it was a little on the cold side.

The second one is a twist on creamed eggs over toast...

My mother-in-law is a native Virginian and grew up on cornmeal gravy. I'd never heard of it either, but I love it! It's basically the same idea as brown flour gravy but you use white cornmeal instead of flour. For my personal plate full, I put several tablespoons of vegetable oil in my little pan, added about an eighth cup of white cornmeal (I didn't measure but that's probably close) and salt and pepper to taste. I stirred that together with a fork and browned it a bit, then gradually added milk and whisked and cooked until it was gravy consistency.

I put two pieces of toast on my plate, cut up two leftover hard-boiled eggs I had in the fridge and sprinkled them over the toast, then poured the gravy over top. Yum.

I didn't bother to share either of these creations with Charles; he wouldn't have wanted them anyway! It's kinda fun sometimes to do something a little extra just for oneself.

Got any little extras you like?


I wanted to thank all of you for your encouragement after my last post. I got feedback from a number of you, all encouraging and blessing, and it meant so much! I'm finding out that there are lots of people who have been in the ministry of foster care over the years and it's so good to hear their input and stories. Thank you.

I'm sure you'll hear more about this subject from me down the road. Sometime I'll tell you about some people in the foster care trenches that I have greatly admired who probably planted more seeds in my heart than I'll ever know. Also, a few of you thought it would be interesting to hear more about "Module VIII"... I'll keep it in mind.

Many blessings on your weekend!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Things On My Mind

As of today, Chris and I have 27 hours of Foster Care classes under our belts and 9 more hours to go. My brain is cram jammed full of terms like 'Primary Family', 'Safety Script', 'Arousal Relaxation Cycle', 'Triggers', 'Child Protection Team' and that all inclusive answer to almost every question involving foster care -- 'It Depends'.

I've been keeping kind of quiet about this over here, I admit. It's something that I really never saw coming, to be honest. It's not some dream I/we have always nourished; not some idea we've had for years. It had crossed my mind a time or two, just because there's some people we know who do foster care and the county we live in has a desperate need in that area. But a while back when Chris nonchalantly threw out the idea that maybe we should consider foster care, I think my mouth dropped wide open. It just wasn't something I had ever imagined we would consider.

About a month ago, we attended an information night. It turned out that the meeting they had advertised hard for in order to spread awareness brought in exactly two people: Chris and Bethany Eicher.

We sat there with four members of the Guernsey County Social Services team that night and listened to staggering statistics and heartbreaking scenarios. We heard how the number of children coming into care in our county has more than doubled in the past two years due to the drug abuse going on. The same cannot be said of foster care homes available and you could hear the pain in their voices when they shared the difficulty to find placements and the devastation of needing to separate sibling groups and send children to other counties.

We came away from that meeting a bit overwhelmed and with an even lower sense of feeling qualified for the job. But we also came away with a deep impression of "Why not?"

Do we not feel a call to be the hands and feet of Jesus? Is there not a tremendous need right here before our eyes? Is there any reason to not at least make ourselves available to pursuing this idea? Why not?

And so, we enrolled in Pre-Placement Training and have spent the last three Friday nights and all day Saturdays sitting in a conference room, taking in information. To say the least, it has been stretching. Stretching and eye-opening and quite, quite interesting.

Frankly, I think all parents could learn a thing or two from taking Module VIII: Helping The Child Manage Emotions And Behaviors. It's not just foster kiddos who could benefit from some of this training.

So, now you know what's been consuming my mind lately. I still have lots of questions and feelings about all of this. We're still holding this idea loosely, waiting to see what God has for us; how He will choose to lead. Just because we take classes doesn't guarantee we will ever actually foster children but we're open to that; we're making ourselves available. It's a bit of a struggle for me to consciously keep my hand in the open position.

It's felt a little scary and somewhat unnecessary to put it all out there for everyone to see. A bit like the early weeks of a pregnancy, perhaps, when you're not sure if you want to tell people yet or not? So I haven't talked about it -- which, in turn, has seemed to effectively shut off my ability to talk about anything at all! But I'm kinda tired of hiding over here in my corner. I believe in honesty and openness and I sure would welcome any prayers you feel led to pray on our behalf. We don't know exactly what we're doing in all of this but we're pretty confident God does.

Monday, April 9, 2018

'Cats and Lilacs'

It is one of those "Cats and Lilacs" seasons around here. So many things tumbling around in my mind but none of them are things to elaborate on at the moment. The longer I don't push through and just write something, the easier it is to just be quiet. The odd thing about being a person with a need to write is that, while it is easier to just be quiet, the longer I am quiet the more restless and unsettled I feel inside.

And so, since I have no cat pictures and no lilacs blooming, I will show you the pictures that I do have.

We've had sunshine...

And snow....

 And rain...

And flooding...

All in the course of a week.

We also had two birthdays in nearly a week's time --

Jennifer turned 10 on March 30th. Her birthday wish was a trip to the American Girl Doll Store in Columbus. She was thrilled to have her dad promise a day together making her wish come true. At the last minute she opted to invite her sister along. They were two excited little girls!

Charles turned 5 on April 7th.

Remember the Curious George story a while back? I turned it into a book for his birthday. He loved it!

The incredible thing was that after several months of being missing, "Curious George" was found two days before Charles' birthday!

His sisters had great fun decorating his cake. They did a super job.

In other news, there's always new ideas and new projects happening at this house. Jasmine has gotten into playing with sourdough.

She's turned out some tasty muffins...

And some yummy crackers...
and some flops.

Her starter is finally looking healthy enough to try bread!

In spite of snow again this morning, outside the grass is beginning to turn green and on my daily drive to school I see more and more glimpses of tiny, green leaves. Inside, our windowsills are full of tiny seedlings, just waiting for warm enough days so we can plant them in the dirt.

So, there are my 'Cats and Lilacs'. Maybe one of these days the reminder rant or the emotions over another's crisis or the curious ways God leads will turn themselves into blog posts. For now, I really must run along and take care of laundry and get my hungry child some lunch.