Baseball Beef Stew

This was one of my Twitter posts this week.

Can I just tell you how great that beef stew tasted!  For those of you who are not enduring a very cold spring, then you may not be able to fully understand the depth of this bone freezing cold that has penetrated this area!  It may look nice out, flowers blooming, grass greening up,  but I can assure you it does not feel anywhere near spring when you are standing at a ballgame for over 2 hours!  Saw this on our local weather forecast.

 

Geez 1983!!!!!!  I was just out of high school….so yes it’s been a long time since it has been this cold!  (And really don’t feel the need to let me know you weren’t even born in 1983 or you were in kindergarten then!)

And since we may have a few more days of this cold I thought I would share my fave beef stew recipe.  See at Jesus and Dark Chocolate you can get more than just biblical insight, stories of dealing with Early Onset Alzheimer’s, family moments to share……you also get cool recipes!! 🙂

Baseball Beef Stew for the Crock Pot

Throw ( that is baseball lingo for carefully place) the following items in your crock pot:

  • 4-5 med potatoes cut into quarters
  • As many petite carrots you think your kids will eat
  • 1 -2 stalks of celery chopped and cut
  • As much chopped red onion as you like ( I use about 1/4 of a medium onion)
  • 1 can of tomato soup
  • 2 cans of water
  • 3 packets of beef broth granules ( or 2 cans of beef broth, then eliminate the cans of water)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 lbs of beef stewing cubes

Heat on low for 7-8 hours.

E.A.S.Y and delicious!

~Enjoy with fresh bread or biscuits


Hoping for warmer weather next week!  Ready to grill on a regular basis!

Play Ball!


I hate mornings

I recently reset my alarm clock to 5:30am.  The reason, I wanted to hit the snooze 3 times instead of 2 before I get up.  Tell me that makes a lot of sense.  But that is my mentality these days!  Every school morning for the last 5 month I feel as if I am stuck to the bed like velcro, slowly trying to pull away from my beloved haven of rest!

So as you can see I have morning issues!

Here is the problem, I used to LOVE mornings.  I was a morning person, I rose with spunk in my step and a smile on my face.

So what changed?

Curt is now still in bed, snoring away.  He would always get up on school mornings before me.  He would eagerly await for me to pop my eye open so he could turn on Fox News or CNN for his morning news fix.  I would often awake to his usual morning rant about some news event ( remember he was a World History teacher).  Well I now miss those early morning rants, they have been replaced by snoring or just silence.


So as I start each day, I am confronted  the new normal we are living with.  I am reminded that my husband can no longer work due to the rages of Early Onset Alzheimer’s.  That is why I don’t want to get up….I am reminded right away of what we are now dealing with.  I just want to hide under the cover and wish it all away!


BUT then one morning I read this in my devotional book, Streams in the Desert.

~” The morning is a critically important time of the day.  You must never face the day until you have faced God, nor look in the face of others until you have looked into His.   You cannot expect to be victorious, if you begin your day in your own strength alone.” ~

I still have my alarm set for 5:30 am, BUT I do have a different attitude about facing mornings.  I really was trying to  begin my day on my own strength or should I say my own weakness.  I had lost sight of facing God in the mornings and committing my day to Him.  I am now working towards relying on His strength, wisdom, and guidance more each day.  🙂  So let us rise and shine together on this Monday morning!

Praying for us???  Well……………

Life is a bit crazy for this momma……spring is always crazy with Madi playing lacrosse and Tyler playing baseball.  It just gets a bit crazy for my overworked brain.  So I would relish prayers for wisdom, good use of my time and a few needed moments of down time.

Both pictures by the way were taken by Curt


The process has started to apply for Social Security Disability.  I had to fill out a fairly lengthy and detailed form about Curt’s deficiencies.  It was kind of weird.  But it’s in the mail and done.

Pray for Tyler and Madison, that God may grant them patience with Curt.

Pray for wisdom for decisions

Pray for Curt to continue to be content with being home during the days

Thanks friends and family!
~Sandy


Friday Fave Five

I am back doing a Friday Fave Five! 🙂

And in some ways I must say it was a rough week, due to an annoying migraine that consumed my day on Tues.  I was pretty much plastered to the couch for the day!

But there were plenty of favorites this week.  There are times when life can seem so normal, and moments I actually forget all about Early Onset Alzheimer’s for a bit!

One such occasion was Tyler’s 3 v 3 basketball tournament this past weekend.  The team he played on actually won the tournament, and Tyler had a ton of fun playing in the tourney.  I of course had fun watching him!  Such a great moment of feeling so normal!

Another normal thing is this sign. (Excuse the blur, I had to edit it a bit for privacy)  Baseball season is here!  Ty is playing for our high school varsity team……and watching him play baseball is so normal!!  Been doing it for 10 years now!

A long, hilly power walk on a beautiful spring day, always brightens my day!

Curt and I went to apply for disability at the local Social Security office. Believe it or not, overall it was a positive experience.  I had done a lot of the paperwork ahead of time online, so it made the whole process go much easier.  Hopefully we will find out by May if Curt was approved.  We stopped by Costco right afterwards and indulged in this scrumptious Chocolate, Almond ice cream bar!!

Unexpected surprises bring a smile to my face……and bless and encourage me on this crazy medical journey we are on!  Someone stuck some delicious Wilbur Buds ( dark choc. of course) in my mailbox at school, another friend brought over an absolutely wonderful dinner for us on Monday night ( and it was a hectic Monday so the timing was perfect), and I got beautiful daffodils at school  for Daffodil Days.…don’t even know who was kind enough to grace my classroom with that glimpse of spring beauty, but I sure am enjoying them!

For more Friday Fave Five stop by and visit Susanne at Living to Tell the Story

Thanks again for praying for our family!!  It’s the prayers and power of God’s strength that get me through each week!

~Sandy

Frustrating Friday

Yesterday was my big day…….no students at school, I was so hoping to get lots of needed paperwork done in my classroom!  But I ran into a problem………this was the first time in a very long time I was alone for the day.  Alone with my thoughts!

Wow and didn’t those thoughts, emotions, worries, and fears start to take over!  I had trouble focusing on the task at hand, I kept getting sidetracked by the worries of this world.  And I have plenty to worry about these days, so needless to say it was really pretty easy to get sidetracked!

Pity for me and our situation

Worries for the future, we are applying for social security disability on Monday, what if we are denied?

Missing Curt and the fun loving husband and household leader he once was

Money

Tyler and Madi, how will this affect their lives and future

Oh and I can go on and on, but I will STOP there!  I now see why keeping so busy can be a mixed blessing for me.  I also realized what I worked through yesterday is NORMAL, and it’s ok……it just hit me unexpectedly, unplanned and unabashed.  And I guess that is normal too.

I am by nature a positive person, fiercely independent and a bit feisty at times. 🙂  But I am realizing day by day, to learn to be less INDEPENDENT and more DEPENDENT.

Dependent on GOD!

To truly understand the meaning of 1 Peter 5:7 Cast ALL your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Yep, cast them ALL on Him……hard to do at times, yet it is a journey we are all on.  And as with any journey, it takes time and there is much to be learned along the way.

So in some ways my unproductive day was good for me because I was reminded of something much deeper and more powerful then the paperwork at hand!

And as I drove home alone from the grocery store at the end of the day, I heard this song on the radio.  It was a good reminder to me of the Greater things that are yet to come!

Pressing on……………...

~Sandy

 


Dead Trees and Life

We had a very dead tree come LOUDLY crashing down in our woods this past week.  It was a ways down in the woods by our creek, so it really did not damage much…….thus it was quite fascinating to look at.  And let me tell you,  I don’t even know how this tree remained standing as long as it did……it was totally hollow on the inside!!!

It had NOTHING on the inside!  Nothing……. hollow, empty, dead!

How did this emptiness occur?  I also noticed the tree had NO root structure, no foundation, nothing holding it to hill on which it stood.

As I stood staring into the emptiness of this tree, it occurred to me, our life right now does NOT resemble this dead tree in anyway!

Some tough and unexpected challenges have come our way…..but we are not empty on the inside!  I see now the fruit of the foundation Curt and I built for our kids so many years ago!  We raised them clinging hard to the foundation of the word of God and a life in Christ.

Luke 6:47-49

I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice.

48He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.

49But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

We instilled in Tyler and Madi roots that dig into the word of God……I can assure you my kids are far from perfect! 🙂  But they are also not falling apart, sure their foundations crumble and crack, as do mine and Curt’s…..but we continue to stand strong.  We are not empty and hollow, we are vibrant and strong.

I am so thankful for the foundation we have in Christ, we may falter, but we will not fall!!!


I am also so thankful for the foundation of GREAT friends we have.  Never in my life have I seen and experienced the kindness, care and coveted prayers of so many dear friends!  And let me tell you, it really helps to sustain us.   I was thinking the other day how after close to 5 months of knowing Curt has Early Onset Alzheimer’s  this is starting to feel “normal.”  We are daily reminded of the evils of the wretched disease.  It presents in such unusual ways.

  • Curt will ask numerous times how to do something on the computer, he may have asked the same thing just day before, or hours before.  But he keeps pressing on to accomplish his task at hand and usually does!

  • Curt has great trouble filling out forms, but he keeps pressing on with “white out” being his new best friend

  • Curt still loves to go out and throw baseball with Tyler and now Lax with Madi, and he’s still got it in the old athletic department!

  • He often misplaces things, but he keeps pressing on and will eventually find it!

  • I once asked him what he had for lunch when he went out with a friend….he had NO idea…..about 15 min later, it comes up easily in conversation what he had.

I can’t even begin to explain all the odd things we see during the day……..yet, Curt can keeps pressing on with life, and so do we.  We can learn a lot from a man with Alzheimer’s!!!

It’s always seem so unreal in many regards that this is our new normal, but I can assure you we could not be walking this path with out our friends and that firm foundation!

Please keep praying for us as spring sports  (baseball for Tyler and Lax for Madi) officially begin next week, and life will get much busier!  I am a bit worried how I will stay on top of EVERYTHING!!!

Also, we have an appointment in a week with the Social Security office, it is to get the ball rolling in applying for social security disability….I have no idea how that will go!!!