Friday, September 28, 2012

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Did you know that coconut is really healthy and good for you? The fat that is in coconut is very similar to the fat that is in our kidneys, so for kidney disease patients like me, its a super food. When I found that little tib-bit of information out, I felt like I could really incorporate coconut into my daily meals a little better. I already love coconut, this just give me a reason to eat more of it.

A favorite cookie of mine has always been Ranger Cookies from my Better Homes and Gardens cook book. They taste great but for some reason when ever I would make them, the dough would not stick together very well. That was not the problem with my tweaked recipe that I have adapted to become Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten free and dairy free)

1/2 cup coconut oil, room temp but not totally melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 Teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup gluten free flour mix (wheat flour would also work just fine)
1 cup quick rolled oats
1 cup coconut flakes
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Using your mixer beat the coconut oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, egg, and vanilla together.
2. Add the gluten free flour, rolled oats, coconut flakes, and chocolate chips one at a time until each is mixed well. Use a spoon to mix the dough if it becomes to hard for your mixer. This is the point I like to pre-heat my oven to 375 degrees.
3. Drop by rounded spoon full onto parchment lined cookie sheets and bake at 375 degrees 8-10 minutes.
4. It's tempting to eat them as soon as they come out of the oven- but wait for them to cool a few minutes or you will burn your tongue.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Update 2.5

I am excited to share this update with all my readers. Over 10 years ago I found out that I was having kidney problems and high blood pressure. So, for over 10 years I have been taking medicine to control my blood pressure every day. After Malakai was delivered last fall, I was taking 300 mg of Labetalol 2x daily and 5 mg of Enalapril. Today, I am so excite to announce that I am now only taking 2.5 mg of Enalapril. The does is so low they don't even make 2.5 mg tablets, so I have to chop my pills.
Image from
Not only has my blood pressure come down drastically, but my pulse has also come down a lot too. Back in November my pulse was over 90 beats per minute, and that's high. I have also lost 20 pounds since November. A lot of the weight was water weight, but I have lost all my pregnancy weight. I am very proud of myself.

This is so encouraging to me and I am so thankful that God is doing great things. He has placed people in my life to help me learn and research what I could do to help my health improve.

What have I been doing differently? I cut out refined sugar like white sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial sugars. I also have been gluten free for about a month now. I also challenged myself to not eat out for 30 days, so that eliminates a lot of processed foods. I have been exercising several times each week too.

A friend shared these encouraging verses with me last week:
Psalm 62:5-8 - "Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge."
Found on Pintrest.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Frustrated, Aggravated, Confused

Found on Pintrest, don't know where it came from, it cheered me up.

Frustrated, Aggravated, Confused. These words describe how I felt last week. I was so upset I cried in the car, I cried in the shower, and I cried with other people. I am feeling much better this week and I will let you know how things are this week too.

Frustrated: Last week we got an update on our homestudy. It has just been sent to the state office. LAST WEEK. At the same time last week, several other couples that went through the class have been approved for adoption from foster care. I can’t blame our case manager for this entirely, we did ask to start the process a couple of weeks later, but for it to delay us THIS MUCH? Matt said it a good thing we are not in a big hurry. 

Aggravated: Last week (on the same day) I got a call from the Maternal Fetal Medicine Doctor that we had seen in August. He wanted to let me know that he talked about the IVIg treatment with ALL the other MFMs and they would not prescribe the treatment. They agreed that it is a safe treatment, and should NOT CAUSE ANY HARM, BUT THEY DON’T HAVE ENOUGH EVIDENCE THAT IT WOULD HELP. What? That is insane. A research hospital that is so very much respected by other doctors will not prescribe a treatment that has no side effects because there is NOT ENOUGH evidence that it will help. I called my OB and he is supposed to schedule me an appointment with another MFM that has a private practice and hopefully he will be willing to help. 

Confused: Through all of this I was left confused. We have been praying that God would make it clear what we should do and what way of growing our family we should pursue and last week I felt so confused. I have been praying that God would make it clear what door I should walk through and I felt more like I was in a revolving door that just kept me going in circles.   

Peaceful, Content, Thankful. These are the words that describe how I feel right now.

Peaceful: I am at peace about all of this at this moment. Matt has encouraged me to not be worried and fearful about my kidney numbers and stats. Less important are the actual numbers and more important is kidney stability. Right now my numbers are looking pretty stable, low and crappy- but stable. That’s a really good thing. I am reminded that I serve a great and awesome God, and He can make the impossible things POSSIBLE.

Content. In April, we bought a little foreclosure outside of town at a steal of a deal. We spent a lot of time together fixing it up and remodeling and even though it is half the size of our city house, I am so content here. Last night, I told Matt that we spend more time together now than we did before and it’s been really great. Now we do so much more together, we are not just sitting in the same room doing different things, but we are doing more together.

Thankful. I am  so very thankful for all the people that God has brought into my life. I am thankful for my husband and his ability to make me smile, provide for us, and love me even when I am an emotional basket case. I am thankful for all the new friends God has brought into my life. I am thankful for this opportunity to share what I am going through in my life, and I hope that somewhere out there my story is giving someone else a little glimmer of hope that things will always work out for the best when we are able to Trust In God.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Monthly Cooking. DONE

On Wednesday, my sister and I did our big day of cooking. I would say it went really well and so far I have tried the Taco soup and Sweet and Sour Meatballs and they were both good.
Some tips to make the day go faster and with fewer problems.

1.       Prepare all produce that day before. Chopping, dicing, slicing, and mincing everything. This will make preparing everything so much faster. It also helps the onion smell to disappear before your day of cooking.

2.       Rinse your potatoes in the dishwasher on the rinse cycle. I had read about it somewhere else, and it works!
Picture found on pintrest.

3.       Gather enough containers and freezer bags before you start. We ran out and ended up using yogurt containers instead of driving 20 miles to buy more bags.

4.       Ask the butcher to cut all your meat instead of doing it yourself. 

5.       While you’re shopping for all the freezer meals, go ahead and buy the toppings and sides that go with it all. Like noodles, rice, chips, cheese.

6.       Freeze your bags flat so everything stacks nicely.

7.       Keep the vacuum close to clean up the floor.

8.       Wash and tidy up as you go. I know for me I don’t have enough large bowls to use a new one every time, and so we have to wash them often.

It went really well, and for both families we spent about $400 for the month, so $200 each. We did our shopping at Earth Fare and it’s great going in there and not guessing what is ok and what is not, they do that for you. Some stuff is more expensive and I will it at the regular grocery store next time but the meat prices were comparable, we paid $3.75 for ground chuck.

I wish I had more pictures to share, but my sister would not let me take any of her and then my battery died.
My kitchen has still not fully recovered and my house smells like a Chinese restaurant now. It’s ok, it will be better after I mop (I hope).

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I remember, when I first found out I was having kidney problems at the age of 16, several ladies coming up to me at church telling me that God could heal me if I would stop worrying and give all my problems to God. For a while I thought, well maybe if I show God that I believe He will heal me. If I show Him that my faith is great enough He will heal me. As time went on I came to a place of Peace with my kidney disease. God is able to heal, but he is also able to take this thing that’s bad and make it into something that’s really great. 

I’ve learned so much through having kidney disease, through each baby that I have had to give back to God, through every bad thing- God has shown himself faithful to bring us through these circumstances. I’ve been able to talk to others about what I have gone through and reassure them that they can walk through this time in their life. And even though some parts of my life are not perfect, there are other areas that are flowing over with love and greatness.

The biggest realization that continues to help me every day is that every day that I have to live is a day given to me by God. None of us are promised tomorrow, I could die young from kidney disease but we could all die tomorrow from an accident driving in our car. When I realized how lucky I am, I became much more forgiving, much more patient, much more loving. I think that what I have gained is something very hard for others to grasp. Now, don’t take that as my kidney disease is at a life threatening stage- it’s not. Take from this that the little things we worry about, the little things we get upset about, none of those things would really matter if tomorrow it was all gone.

I believe that God is going to work this all out, and he is going to heal me one day. I would ask that you would join in us in praying that God manifest His healing in my life. 

Genesis 50:19-21
19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

September Monthly Cooking

Tomorrow is the big shopping day. I have my list complete and my recipes ready and my organic produce order has been submitted. We are buying over 25 pounds of meat and lots of produce. The best thing about this month is that everything is crock-pot friendly. My sister said she wanted more crock-pot recipes because they make her house smell so good and I delivered. 

All the recipes I used come from Once a Month Mom website. OAMM is a great website that has several menu options for your big day of freezer cooking and they charge a small fee to use the complete menu. My sister says I am a picky eater so I have a hard time picking just one menu, so it’s easier if I make my own. Plus, she did not need 30 meals this month and I like to cook a few times a week so we didn’t need a full month of meals. The menus on the site give you breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals too. It’s a great site, if you have never taken a look at it you should hop on over there.

After my sister said I am a picky eater, I gave it some thought and discovered that she may be right. BUT since I cut out high fructose corn syrup, artificial sugar, gluten, and processed food, my blood pressure has dropped and my pulse has too. I have reduced my medicines a lot and I am hoping that I can quit taking blood pressure medicine all together. 

Here's the meals we will be preparing with a link to the recipe. If you want, I can e-mail you the shopping list too. After we prepare everything I will let everyone know how it goes.

Taco Soup Double Taco Soup
        Thaw. Put in slow cooker on low 4-6 hrs or high 2-3 hrs.
Buffalo Chicken double Slow Cooked Buffalo Chicken