Easier To Navigate

I’ve gone ahead and re-organized everything so that hopefully this blog will be easier to navigate. I re-categorized everything and have added a drop-down widget to the right that groups all of my posts into categories and sub-categories. Now it should be easier to sift through everything…

Where did Spring go?

This weather is really starting to peeve me off. This time last year we were all ready heading off to the local parks on a daily basis. Normally it is in the low to mid 60’s this time of year. Yesterday and the day before there was hail and snow mixed. Nothing that sticked of course, but c’mon?! We live in the desert and it is officially Spring so this is just obnoxious.

Today looked promising. It was sunny, there was no wind (we get A LOT of wind here), beautiful blue skies and low 50’s. Camden and I decide to go to a nearby park and eat our lunch there. We pack up some snacks and head out. We go to the post office first and then to the store to grab a few items. By the time we get to the park it is windy, raining and completely cloudy and soooooo cold with the wind (with wind chill about 10 degrees). Bah! Camden is crying and upset, I’m annoyed. What does a mom do?

Well, we brought Spring inside. We decided to make some chocolate covered strawberries to cheer us up. Boy did they ever. These were sooo good. Just melted some Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips in our double boiler, dipped the fresh strawberries, put them on parchment paper and then in the fridge to harden. Mmmmmmm

Traditional German Potato Pancakes

This morning I was aching for something different for breakfast. Eggs have been really turning me off lately. I decided I was craving German Potato Pancakes and hunted the ‘net for a recipe. This is the one I settled on. This recipe serves 6. I halved the recipe and we had more than we could eat. They were yummy! :)

RECIPE:

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Mix in potatoes and onion.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. In batches, drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the potato mixture into the skillet. Press to flatten. Cook about 3 minutes on each side, until browned and crisp. Drain on paper towels.

Tips:

-After you shred the potatoes if you think it will take you awhile you can store them in a bowl of cold water (this will help prevent oxidation). When you’re ready to mix them with the egg/flour mixture drain in a colander and then squeeze all the water out with paper towels or a cheese cloth if you have one. Even if you don’t need to keep them in the cold water I would still squeeze them in paper towels to remove excess moisture once you’ve shredded them. I didn’t do that with mine and I think they would have been crunchier if I had.

-After frying the first batch I decided I wanted more flavor. I added some onion and garlic powder. Next time I would probably just chop some more fresh onion and use fresh minced garlic. I also sprinkled the finished ones with a bit more salt.

-Traditionally potato pancakes are topped with sour cream and applesauce. I am sad to report that apparently I am not a traditionalist. I tried it and prefer mine with warm pure maple syrup. My daughter likes to dip hers in ketchup. They can also be savory and topped with cheese. Some like sour cream and chives. They are good for breakfast, lunch or dinner as the main course or as a side.

-These turn out best with fresh, raw shredded potatoes.  If you use the store bought pre-shredded kind make sure you get rid of the excess water as best as you can and add more flour.

-I started frying these with an electric skillet but found they worked better on my regular frying pan.

-You can pre-make these and then reheat them in the oven.

 

The Paradox of Our Age (Time)

Someone shared this today during Church as part of their message. This is the second time I have heard this piece and I connect with it each time. No one knew who the author was. When I got home I was intent on finding a copy of the writing and the author. I went to search this piece out on the net so that I could share it on my blog. I found the piece and the original author.

The Paradox of Our Age

By: Dr. Bob Moorehead (1995)

“We have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less; we have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, yet less time; we have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, yet more problems; more medicine, but less wellness; we take more vitamins but see fewer results. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values; we fly in faster planes to arrive there quicker, to do less and return sooner; we sign more contracts only to realize fewer profits; we talk too much, love too seldom, and lie too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We’ve conquered outer space but not inner space; we’ve done larger things, but not better things; we’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less; plan more, but accomplish less; we make faster planes, but longer lines; we learned to rush, but not to wait; we have more weapons, but less peace; higher incomes, but lower morals; more parties, but less fun; more food, but less appeasement; more acquaintances, but fewer friends; more effort, but less success. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication; drive smaller cars that have bigger problems; build larger factories that produce less. We’ve become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, but short character; steep in profits, but shallow relationships. These are times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure and less fun; higher postage, but slower mail; more kinds of food, but less nutrition. These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; these are times of fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, cartridge living, throw-away morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to prevent, quiet or kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. Indeed, these are the times! “

 

Before you give the author of this piece too much credit you should know his own paradox. No, it wasn’t written by George Carlin and no it wasn’t written by an anonymous student that witnessed the Columbine tragedy. For a piece that I find so much truth in, I am disappointed to find that the author itself was a living paradox. A pastor. A man whose life should be centered in bringing those around him to know and love Christ was actually a man lost in the very depths of hell. The true author, Dr. Bob Moorehead, turned out to be a pastor that was a sexual molester of male members in his congregation. He quickly resigned when 17 allegations of abuse surfaced in 1997. I guess it is just one more item to chalk up to the “paradox”. Actually it is quite fitting that something written today that could hold such perception and truth would be written by someone who hides within the darkness of our times. In my own words, “This is a time when cowards stand forward as men; a time when those who stand in darkness, purport to live in truth.”

Autism: The Musical

So I stayed up until three in the morning last night watching this documentary. It was moving and brought me to tears several times. It was uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time. I can only imagine the living Hell that these parents have to call life and yet they carry on and fight the fight and are blessed with moments of happiness and big and small triumphs. But the rest of us that don’t live with these children want to turn our heads and ignore the issue, it’s not my child we say. So who will take care of these thousands and thousands of children when their parents are gone?

For me, one of the most poignant parts of the film is where one of the mothers, Hillary, says to the others that the issue of Autism isn’t a civil rights issue (as one parent asserts that it is), it’s a values issue. She very passionately points out that until these children are valued as real and living human beings that nothing will change, not the chemicals in the vaccines, not the research, not the schools’ ability to incorporate a real learning environment, and not the insurance companies. If anyone has this quote please let me know so I can paste it here. The streamed movie doesn’t let you skip around.

Such a powerful movie. I hope you will find the time to watch it.

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Up to 1 out of 50 Children May Be At Risk for Autism

Below is some interesting information in the recent developments of the vaccine-autism link.

The following information was shared in a conference call between the CDC, several leading experts in vaccine research and executives in America’s Health Insurance Plans to discuss childhood mitochondrial dysfunction and its potential link to autism and vaccines.

Undoubtedly more developments will be coming up over the next several months. Thank you so much Adventures in Autism for staying on top of this. This blog is such a wealth of information that narrows down my internet searches. David Kirby is the source who broke the information on this conference call.

Here is the full article. Here is the PubMed Portugal study that is getting the CDC to take notice (full abstract HERE)
Here are the bullet points of David Kirby’s article broken down into a more easier to understand manner:

“I realize my Huffington essay was rather long and complicated. Here is a brief synopsis of just SOME of the larger points raised in the piece. I will probably alter this a little, but it hits most of the main topics. Please feel free to circulate – DK

Up to 1 in 50 children (2%) may have a genetic mutation that puts them at risk for mitochondrial dysfunction.

● Up to 20% of all children with autism may have an underlying mitochondrial dysfunction

● Children with mitochondrial dysfunction are more likely to regress into autism between the ages 1 and 2 years, if they have fever or illness from viral infections or vaccines.

● The CDC is aware of this difficult situation and is taking measures immediately to address the current national vaccine schedule.

● The genetic susceptibility for mitochondrial dysfunction in autism is inherited through the father, not the mother, as previously thought, and is not rare at all.

● The DNA mutation might not be enough in itself to confer cellular dysfunction, and many doctors believe there is an environmental trigger as well.

● They note that thimerosal, mercury, aluminum, pollution, pesticides, medicines and prenatal alcohol exposure have all been shown to damage mitochondria.

● Other doctors believe that a corn-byproduct based diet in America has put children in a constant inflammatory state, thus making the DNA mutation more pathogenic.

● While some children with mitochondrial dysfunction regress into autism following fever and illness from a viral infection; other kids, like Hannah Poling, clearly regress following a reaction to vaccines.

● The exact percentage of people with vaccine induced autism is unknown. But even a 1% rate could mean 10,000 Americans with vaccine related autism, at a cost of many billions of dollars for lifetime care.”

**Also interesting. Of the 30 children with regressive autism that were screened ALL 30 of them had the same biochemical markers as Hannah Poling (the one they say is such a rare situation).

“The biochemistry of 30 children was studied intensively, and in each case, the results showed the same abnormalities as those found in Hannah Poling, participants said. Each child had moderate elevations or imbalances in the exact same amino acids and liver enzymes as Hannah Poling.”

** Autism: The Musical ** HBO has just released a new documentary called Autism: The Musical. It is streaming for free on HBO for the next week if you care to view it.

Let Me Hold You Longer

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A few days ago we made a library trip and chose “Let Me Hold You Longer” as one of Camden’s three books to read to her before bed. I didn’t pre-read it but it looked good so we grabbed it. I sat down tonight to read it to her and I choked up. I had to stop and fight tears every few lines to prevent myself from having a major emotional mommy breakdown. I’d like to blame it on the pregnancy hormones but I’m not sure I can blame that.
This last week I have been going through all of our digital photo’s (3 1/2 years worth) and prepping them for a digital scrapbook that I am going to make on blurb.com. This is the coolest website ever that lets you publish your own books. I have a million ideas for what I want to make. First project is to make Camden’s baby book. This will be much faster (and cheaper) than scrap-booking and I’ll have it done by the time the new baby gets here. Plus it is professional quality printing. Anyway, the point is that while looking over the pictures I have been very brokenhearted. I find myself oohing and awing over all of Camden’s baby and toddler pictures and I ache for her to be little again. I know she is still young but I feel like I lost part of her, if that makes any sense.
So, here is the poem from the book Let Me Hold You Longer by Karen Kingsbury.

Long ago you came to me,
a miracle of firsts,
First smiles and teeth and baby steps,
a sunbeam on the burst.

But one day you will move away
and leave to me your past
And I will be left thinking of
a lifetime of your lasts…

The last time that I held a bottle
to your baby lips
The last time that I lifted you
and held you on my hip.

The last night when you woke up crying,
needing to be walked,
When last you crawled up with your blanket,
wanting to be rocked.

The last time when you ran to me,
still small enough to hold.
The last time that you said you’d marry
me when you grew old.

Precious, simple moments and
bright flashes from your past-
Would I have held on longer if
I’d known they were your last?

Our last adventure to the park,
your final midday nap,
The last time when you wore your favorite
faded baseball cap.

Your last few hours of kindergarten,
those last few days of first grade,
Your last at bat in Little League,
last colored picture made.

I never said good-bye to all
your yesterdays long passed.
So what about tomorrow-
will I recognize your lasts?

The last time that you catch a frog
in that old backyard pond.
The last time that you run barefoot
across our fresh-cut lawn.

Silly, scattered images
will represent your past.
I keep on taking pictures,
never quite sure of your lasts…

The last time that I comb your hair
or stop a pillow fight.
The last time that I pray with you
and tuck you in at night.

The last time when we cuddle
with a book, just me and you
The last time you jump in our bed
and sleep between us two.

The last piano lesson,
last vacation to the lake.
Your last few weeks of middle school,
last soccer goal you make.

I look ahead and dream of days
that haven’t come to pass.
But as I do, I sometimes miss
today’s sweet, precious lasts…

The last time that I help you with
a math or spelling test.
The last time when I shout that yes,
your room is still a mess.

The last time that you need me for
a ride from here to there.
The last time that you spend the night
with your old tattered bear.

My life keeps moving faster,
stealing precious days that pass,
I want to hold on longer-
want to recognize your lasts…

The last time that you need my help
with details of a dance.
The last time that you ask me for
advice about romance.

The last time that you talk to me
about your hopes and dreams.
The last time that you wear a jersey
for your high school team.

I’ve watched you grow and barely noticed
seasons as they pass.
If I could freeze the hands of time,
I’d hold on to your lasts.

For come some bright fall morning,
you’ll be going far away.
College life will beckon
in a brilliant sort of way.

One last hug, one last good-bye,
one quick and hurried kiss.
One last time to understand
just how much you’ll be missed.

I’ll watch you leave and think how fast
our time together passed.
Let me hold on longer, God,
to every precious last.