Thursday, November 29, 2007

Quinn, Quinn, Quinn







Just wanted to post some recent shots of Quinn...he is talking, talking, talking! When we read books he'll finish each sentence with gusto! He loves seeing family! Sat on Santa's lap this week and gave Santa the once over then gave a wee grin to the camera only when Mickey Mouse was displayed. The wee grin was fleeting and the picture is a bit more stoic :) Another haircut has taken place. Quinn is STILL working on getting his second eye-tooth in (please come in!!!) and likes to chew on ice cubes (like his dad). Quinn is 20 months old Friday! Yeah Quinn!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Quinn's doctor updates

Monday we went to OHSU for Quinn's two appointments I blogged about this past weekend. Both appointments went well and we won't head back up until March. In the meantime, Quinn's swallow study was very, very interesting. The therapist and radiologists gave Quinn goldfish, oreos, banana pudding, and milk all laced with barium. Each time we fed him something, the radiologist would take a series of pictures or film with the x-ray machine. Unbelievable. They were able to record Quinn swallowing, assess the physical structure of his mouth, throat, etc. and watch for reflux. They determined that there is no physical abnormalities that would require surgery so that is a praise.

They did find two things: 1)delayed swallowing-this means that rather than a normal, quick swallow that most people have, Quinn's swallow doesn't force everything in his throat down his esophagus and the remaining part trickles down his throat which can contribute to Quinn's gagging. This is something that will be dealt with over time. 2) Severe reflux-It was immediately apparent, as the therapist reviewed the film of Quinn swallowing and milk entering his stomach, that reflux occurred and items in the stomach were washing back up into the esophagus. This reflux will be treated by medication that will hopefully decrease the reflux, gagging, throwing up.

We'll continue to be in touch with the therapist and see how the medication and feeding plans go.

The cystic fibrosis clinic went well too. The people we work with at the clinic are helpful and kind. Quinn was pretty tired--at the end of our visit we were waiting for one of the doctor's to come back and Quinn was restless. Ryan told Quinn that we could leave when the doctor came back. Immediately Quinn began yelling, "Doc! Doc! Doc!" He was ready to go! Quinn's lungs sound good, he hasn't been sick, and we still are doing what we can to help him get the calories he needs. That is a challenge because of the gagging and throwing up. We continue to value prayers for Quinn and for all of us in this process.

I will say too that whenever we go up to visit at OHSU we are on a floor that has many different kids with many different kinds of issues. Some children are in wheelchairs, some have oxygen, some have severe developmental issues, some don't have any hair. Some have parents that look exhausted, some have parents that struggle to care for themselves or their kids, some have parents that sacrifice everyday to care for their children.

I wonder sometimes if the kids and parents who aren't "perfect" ever hear how special and beautiful they are. These kids are children of a Most High God and their parents are precious to the Lord. I just wonder how we could do more to encourage one another...and how to encourage these families whose "normal" involves medications, treatments, therapy, and doctors' appointments.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Tis the season!

Thanksgiving is next week, the beginning of Advent is right around the corner, and I'm thinking about this new season. Are you thinking about these things too?

My sister and I made pumpkin spice rolls yesterday which is a yummy holiday treat! I'm thinking about a few Christmas gifts for family and friends. I'm thinking about some ways we can give to some places that are in significant need (check out the Sudan African Mission. The site has a link to my Uncle Myron and Aunt Donna who spent time with the missionaries in the Sudan). I get to bring out some Christmas music, and think about what we're going to do with our Christmas tree and a very curious 19 month old.

I'm feeling a bit crafty...as I'm thinking about Advent, I want to be intentional about preparing hearts and home to celebrate the birth of Christ and promise of hope He brings. Something visual is helpful for me so I think I'm going to make my own Advent calendar...simple, colorful, and intentional. I'll post some photos once it is finished (now I have to do it!)

This morning my sister, mom, Quinn and I went to two bazaars which were fun and festive. I enjoyed myself and we made it through the heavy rain!

Time to change the my autumn door hanging to the red berries.

Doctor's appointment

Monday Quinn has two doctor's appointments at OHSU. The first is for a swallow study. Quinn will have his swallowing and digestive process assessed to determine if Quinn has reflux issues or if there is something else going on for him. He gets to have a kind of x-ray video made which will show how he eats and drinks a meal. Anyone who has eaten with Quinn knows that he throws up a meal on a very regular basis so this information will help us know which way to proceed. That appointment is at 11:30am. Quinn has a second appointment at 1:00pm with the cystic fibrosis clinic. This appointment is a regularly scheduled check-up where Quinn will see a nurse, dietician, pediatric pulmonary resident and a pediatric pulmonologist. General check ups but we always value prayers as we spend time at OHSU.

If you think of it, would you pray for the three of us as we head to OHSU on Monday for Quinn's appointments?

Pumpkin Recipes III

I think this may be my final installment of pumpkin recipes but I think I've left the best for last. My sister and I made up some pumpkin spice rolls yesterday afternoon and I think these are the hit of the season!

Pumpkin Spice Rolls (from my Aunt Donna)

Ingredients:
Cake
3 eggs
1 c sugar
2/3 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
2/3 c canned pumpkin
powdered sugar
thin dish towels (not terry cloth)

Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese
2 tbsp butter/margarine
1 tsp vanilla
1 c powdered sugar

First make the "cake". Beat the three eggs and add pumpkin. In a separate bowl mix together all the dry ingredients. Mix wet and dry ingredients all together. Pour batter into a well greased and floured jelly roll plan. I used a pan with sides about an inch high (17x11x3/4). Spread the batter out all over the pan so it is very thin (a spatula or a knife spreads to the edges really well).

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes (watch how it bakes the first time so it isn't too done). Take out of oven and let it cool a bit. Trim off the edges if they are a little crustier and even up the sides. Prepare a thin dish towel by heavily sprinkling with powdered sugar. Coat the towel well so the cake doesn't stick to the the towel. Turn the cake onto the towel (exposed top of the cake flips onto the powdered sugar). Roll the cake up in the towel starting along the long side. Put in the fridge to continue to cool.

Filling:
Soften cream cheese and butter. Put all ingredients together and beat until smooth.

Unroll cooled cake and spread with the filling. Re-roll. Wrap the pumpkin roll in saran wrap and foil.Refrigerate or freeze (will keep for 1 month). 1 large can of pumpkin will make four rolls (the last batch will have a little more pumpkin it it).

This recipe may sound like complicated BUT it actually goes very quickly once you get started! I have two jelly roll plans I use when I'm making these. It is an inexpensive dessert that is easy to make and great to eat (it is even good frozen)! Make some now and freeze it for later! Or cut it in half and give them away as holiday treats!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Karissa

Tonight I'm thinking about Karissa and wondering what she would be doing if she were here right now. Different things remind me of Karissa at different times--whipped cream, coconut, braided hair extensions, a willing spirit, a passionate prayer.

I had to cry tonight and read El's blog and go through my memory banks.

I am reminded that there is a great cloud of witnesses and I believe that Karissa is there. And that she has asked Jesus many questions, and asked Paul about his letters, and asked Daniel about the lions, and asked Mary about the young Jesus, and Enoch about friendship with God, and Stephen about his vision, and Jonah about the whale (was it big? Was it really a whale? Did it smell? What did you eat?) And God is pleased with her and Jesus has shown her around the place he prepared for her. And she loves worshipping without boundaries of space and time.

Pumpkin Recipes II

A few more lovely pumpkin items!

Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients:
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 c pumpkin puree
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c water
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 c chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin, oil, eggs, water and spices. Pour into the bowl with dry ingredients and mix just until all are combined--don't stir too much! Stir in the nuts (if you choose to use them). Pour into well buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pan, bake 50-60 minutes until done in the middle. Remove from pan, cool on rack.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Ingredients:
2 c flour
2 tbsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coriander, ground (I don't use this)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 c milk
1 c canned pumpkin, mashed
4 egg yolks
4 oz melted butter
1 tbsp vanilla
4 egg whites, stiffly beaten

In a large bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg. In a separate bowl, combine milk, pumpkin, egg yolks, butter and vanilla. Pour combined liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just blended. Carefully fold in egg whites. Cook pancakes on a light oiled griddle. Using a 1/4 cup as the scoop for batter, this makes about 20-25 pancakes.

I froze half the batter to use at another time!

Hot Cider Syrup
I haven't tried this yet but I'm going to because it sounds like a great combo!
Ingredients:
1 1/2 c apple cider
1 c brown sugar
1 c corn syrup (or maple syrup)
2 oz butter
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
grated rind from 1 lemon
2 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

In a small saucepan, combine apple cider, brown sugar, corn syrup or maple syrup, butter, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon rind. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Add apples. Heat for several minutes more. Serve over pancakes. (Serves 6)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Pumpkin Recipes

I've enjoyed baking with pumpkin since October 1st and have some favorite recipes. If you need a yummy treat, these might hit the spot.

Old-Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies (From VeryBestBaking.com)

Prep time-10 min / Cooking-18 min / Cooling Time-2 min / Yields-36 cookies

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup Libby's 100% pure pumpkin
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Glaze (recipe follows)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking sheets.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg,and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove wire racks to cool completely. Drizzle glaze over cookies.

For glaze: Combine 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in small bowl until smooth.

For a good addition add about a 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips.

Pumpkin Waffles (from Kim Dougherty's kitchen)

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cloves
1 cup milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tblspn vegetable oil
1 egg

Mix dry ingredients. Add milk thru egg. Stir until moist. Coat waffle iron with cooking spray, preheat. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter onto waffle iron. Spread batter to the edges. Cook 5-7 minutes.

Yields 8 waffles.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy November 1st




Besides a sweet Halloween, Quinn has been the ultimate helper raking leaves with Ryan in the front yard. I thought these two were quite the pair!

It is hard to believe November 1st is here. Only 54 days until Christmas :)

The sippy cup effort is going s-l-o-w-l-y but we did have a break through when Ryan gave Quinn a regular straw to drink from. This straw has been met with interest and curiosity which is great!

We've had some conversations with a specialist at OHSU regarding Quinn's gagging episodes. From those conversations the specialist is suggesting Quinn has reflux. We're learning a bit more about this and will go up to OHSU for a bit of testing in the near future to confirm that thought. There is medication for kids that deal with reflux (which causes the throwing up) and most of the time kids outgrew the reflux and their bodies mature.

In other thoughts, we've been eating lots of pumpkin things so I'm going to post some favorite pumpkin recipes soon!