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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Reflection on 2014

What do I even say.  2014 was a hard year but it also had so many blessings for my little family.  We were sick with colds and the flu for most of the first three months of the year.  Rose was diagnosed on March 25, 2014 with celiac's disease.   I was so happy when the doctor finally diagnosed her because I had spent two weeks feeding my three year old gluten and listening to her roll around on the floor in pain. For those of you who don't know you can't take out gluten in celiac's diet until they have been confirmed allergic to gluten.  Crazy and backwards, but once you take away the gluten the symptoms cease to exist.  We went gluten free that night and we haven't looked back. Rose turned four in April.  I can't believe how big and old she is getting.  She is a sweet heart when she wants to be and a very determined little girl.  When she knows something is wrong she will let you know.  She has a strong desire to do what is right and wants others to do the same.  She is very empathetic and worried about other people. She has thrived as a type one diabetic and is now thriving  with celiac's disease too.  She is the bravest child I know and still amazes me with how well she has dealt with all of these medical blows to her.  We love her dearly and can't imagine life without her.

In May of 2014 we started looking for a new job for my husband.  We had decided that will all of our medical expenses and diet change that we needed to find a job with consistent income. We looked and struggled financially until November 6th, when we received a conditional offer from Union Pacific. We were so excited to say the least.  Brandon had been applying to Union Pacific for two years and we had just about lost hope with everything.  The following week we drove to Hermiston, Oregon for Brandon's physical and eye sight check. He passed with flying colors and we waited for four more weeks for our official offer.  Brandon was patient, it was a really big struggle for me. I kept feeling like it was the calm before the storm and started packing and making freezer meals to help with the move.  I am so glad I did because on December 3, 2014 we received an official offer and we we needed to be in Hermiston, OR by Monday, December 8th. We had three days to finish packing move 4 hours away.  It was a storm of packing, moving, finding a place to rent, and saying goodbye to all of our friends in the Treasure Valley.  We arrived in Hermiston on December 6th and Brandon started working on December 8th.  He loves his new job.  He is an operations administrator who helps the office management with HR needs for the locomotives in Hinkle Oregon.  It is his Dream company and we are so proud of him for getting this amazing new job.  It was a struggle being unemployed for so long but we were taken care of as always,  We are truly blessed. The kids are adjusting and I feel like I have lived in Hermiston my whole life.  I am sure I will have times when I am homesick but for right now I am trying to help my kids adjust which is a lot easier said then done. Rose has struggled being away from friends and family. James could care less about the friends and more that his daddy is gone all day long.  Once I told him that daddy worked with trains he is now proud to say that "Daddy gone, working trains."

In July, my little baby boy turned two.  He is a sweet boy who loves his dad and sister.  He is also very determined and stubborn.  He will dig in his heels until he gets what he wants. He is also very supportive of his big sister.  He asks to get his figure poked often just like Rose, and he also asks if things have gluten in them.  He is very aware of his sisters needs and also knows nothing different.  He was only one when she was diagnosed so as soon as he started eating food we had changed our diet.  My two little kids love to play with each but they also know how to argue with one another. We had Benson checked for sensitivity to gluten and type one diabetes and he does not have any of the early signs of either of them.  Some time in 2015 we will take him to see if he carries the gene of getting type one.

I started out this year with one goal in mind. I wanted to be closer to my Heavenly Father. You know that I am so much closer to Him.  My testimony was strengthened and I am grateful or ever trial this year.  I was called into the relief society presidency in Nampa and I loved the calling.  At first I questioned my own capabilities, but in the end I loved how much it forced me to grow. My testimony of the Plan of salvation as my eyes were opened to how much my Heavenly Father truly loves me. His plan is perfect and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of an eternal family.

This year we visited, Eastern Idaho, Chicago, Salt Lake, Wash Away Beach, and Cascade, Idaho.  It was a hard year but the blessings certainly out weigh the bad. Here is to a new year with fresh beginnings and to finding who we are and loving ourselves.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

One Year

We are alive I promise.  I have felt like I needed to focus on my family for the last couple weeks and you know what I have loved it.  It has bee such a good family and I have been present for it.  My phone and the internet have come second and it has been exactly what I needed.  Today is Rose's one year since diagnosis.  I cannot believe it has been a year already.  Can you?

August 6th, 2013 will always be remembered in our house.  I have been reflecting on how far we have come in one year.  It is amazing.  Last year at this exact moment I thought life was great.  We had just moved to a new apartment, my husbands job was going great, my sister was in from Cincinnati and we were on top of the world.  Rose had some pain while urinating and was wetting the bed 3-4 times a at night.  I had scheduled an appointment to go see her regular pediatrician one year ago at 9:00AM.  One thing that I have noticed about Type 1 diabetic families is that you never forget the date of your diagnosis.

After going to the pediatrician we were told to rush down town tot he children's hospital because Rose might be a type one diabetic.  I remember sitting int he car after my doctor had told me this and just trying not break down in tears.  How in the world could my perfect happy little three year old have Type 1.  This wasn't supposed to happen.  I was supposed to happen.  I never thought as a child that I would ever be a mom to a child with a disease.  I was freaking out.  I started to freak out with my mom on the phone and I remember her telling me " Ashlee, you need to hold it together until you get to the hospital.  Rose can't see you freak out because then she will freak out."  I took a deep breath and drove.  10 minutes later we were at the hospital waiting for my family to come pick up James (who was one year and two weeks old) and my husband.  We met my husband in the parking lot and walked up to the fourth floor. We were the first room on the left and as we walked through the doors of the pediatrics unit we could see our room all prepared for us.  There was a princess pillow on the bed.  Rose was so excited to hear that, that was her pillow case and she could take it home with her.  Rose still sleeps on that pillow case.  We will be forever grateful to the person who donated that princess pillow case

Staying at the hospital was a whirlwind.  There were some many people coming to visit Rose, we were not sleeping because we were up every four hours checking her blood, and we were learning how to take care of Rose all over again.   I remember my having a headache for most of the time with all of the new information they were giving me.  I never thought I would ever get used to this new way of living.  I thought I would spend the rest of my life calculating our carbs and insulin dosage.  It was so overwhelming.  Luckily with time it has become second nature.  I can tell you on average how many carbs are in everything that we have ever eaten.  We can also do shots and check Rose's BG with out any tears from either of us.  And we can also change pump insertions with a little help with incentives.  We have come miles in just a year.  This has by far been the hardest year of my life but we have grown closer as a family and I have come to realize that my Rose is my hero.  She is a remarkable little girl and I am so proud to be her mom.

Rose has changed a lot in one year but I have changed as well.  Because of Rose's diagnosis I was forced to face my fear of needles.  I no longer get panic attacks when I have to get my blood drawn.  I have found a closer relationship with my Heavenly Father and I have found meditation.  I am off of my depression medication and I am more easy going.  A year has changed us for the better.  Type 1 Diabetes is a hard and horrible disease but we have grown and I look forward to what this next year holds for us.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Gluten Free and Egg Free Flat Bread

Gluten Free Flat Bread Dough 
6 c. Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
2/3 c. Powdered Milk
2 t. Sea Salt
5 t. Yeast
6 T. Olive Oil
2 t. Apple Cider vinegar
3 c. Warm Water

Mix wet ingredients in a mixer with the yeast.  Let set 15 minutes.  Add the dry ingredients.  Mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer.  Use more Gluten Free All Purpose Flour until the dough is at a consistency similar to regular bread dough. I never roll mine out with a rolling pin.  I use my hands to flatten the dough.  Spray your hands with non-stick spray and take golf ball size dough and flatten with your hands.   Put on a pre-greased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

 I have also fried these and made Navajo tacos.  They were delicious. Or if you want to make individual pizzas cook them for 10 min, pull them out and add toppings.  Continue to cook them for 15 minutes.  You could also freeze the pizza crust and toppings to make your own frozen pizzas.  This dough is amazing.  I love that I can use it for so many different meals.

All Purpose Gluten Free Flour

When we were first diagnosed with celiacs I was dying because I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to have a chocolate chip cookie ever again.  Well that all changed when I came across this gluten free all purpose flour.  I have yet to find a recipe that I couldn't replace regular white wheat flour with this gluten free flour.

Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

7 c. White Rice Flour
5 c. Tapiocaflour
1/4 c. Xanthum Flour
1 oz unflavored Gelatin
1/4 c. egg replacement
1/2 c. sugar

Mix well and place in an airtight container.  You can freeze this or let it sit out on your counter.  I like to double my recipe so I don't have to mix the flours every week.  When I double the recipe it usually last me about a month.

Gluten Free Lemon Squares

These are my absolute favorite gluten free recipe I have made. I am not usually a big fan of lemon but man these hit the spot during the summer for me.  I loved them when they were loaded with gluten but I love them even more now.  Rose loves them too. they might not be the best thing for her Blood Glucose but every once in a while it is nice to have a treat.

 Lemon Squares
Gluten Free Style

2 cups All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Replacement
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup melted butter

Combine and pat in lightly grease 9x13" glass baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until just golden brown around the edges of the pan. While this is cooking start working on the custard.

2 cups Sugar
6 T. Lemon juice (You can squeeze your own or use concentrate)
1/4 c. All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Replacement
4 eggs

Beat together well in a bowl. Pour over the right after the 15 minutes is up.  Put the pan back in the oven for another 25 min.  Take out when the edges of the pan are slightly brown around the edges.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Let cool and then cut into squares.

***If you don't want this recipe to be gluten free just replace the all purpose gluten free flour with regular white flour.  It is a cup for cup replacement**** I have also used half the GF all purpose flour with almond flour to add more protein to the recipe.  wither way these lemon squares are so good.***

Let me know what you think of this recipe. My family loves them and they are so easy to make. I dare you to just eat one.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

June 2014

Why does life go by so fast?  I can't believe June is already half way over. It has seriously flown by.  We have been so busy, which has been good, but it certainly doesn't leave me much time to write on my blog.  Here are some of my favorite pictures from June so far this month.  The first one is of James sneaking chocolate out of my diaper bag. He has such a sweet tooth it is so funny.  He hears, sees, or smells anything sweet and he is all over you.
The next picture is of Rose and her first dog Champ.  My husband and I got Champ a couple months after we got married from my Brother.  He has been such an amazing and we love him.  When we had to move into an apartment we gave him to my husbands family.  They have loved having him around.  In February he was diagnosed with a type of face cancer.  This last month we have decided that it is time to let him go.  He is becoming more and more uncomfortable and having a hard time eating because of his tumor on his face.  We will miss Champ so much.  

 I have been making a ton of new recipes this month with the gluten free all purpose flour.  Every Friday night we have gotten to go back to making our own pizzas which the kids love. They are so good too.  I will have to post that recipe soon.

 These are tow of my best friends kiddos.  My kids love them and love hanging out with them.  Which is good because we are over at their house all of the time.  We have been working on a garden together and taking swim lessons together.  We love them.

 This is the small garden.  The bigger garden we have been working on is three times as big.  We might be crazy having that big of a garden, but we have been loving it so far.
 These are the goats at my friends house too. They have been so much fun for the kids to play with.  Rose loves them and loves going into the pasture to feed them grass.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Computer is on the Fritz

I have loved being off of facebook but I haven' been able to keep up on the blog because my computer is on the fritz.  We are all doing great.  Rose had another endo appointment and got a 7.3 A1C.  Perfect score.  I was so excited.  Rose has been doing swim lessons and is loving it.  We have also all been working in our garden and enjoying the wonderful weather. I celebrated my 26th birthday.  I am getting so old.  We had family in town and got some family pictures taken.  I love them and I was so excited for them.  It has been a long time since a family photo.  Thank you Carrie you did a wonderful job.  Well hopefully I can get my computer fixed, but until, little short updates will have to do.