Saturday, February 27, 2010

I've 'bean' thinking...

In recent months, I have put forth an effort to cut back on the amount of groceries I buy, and have been  brainstorming some alternative after school snack ideas for my son who has, in recent months, entered the phase "eating me out of house and home."

Lets face it.  Dried beans are cheap.  Really cheap.  And they have super longevity on a shelf.  But probably most important, are the health benefits, as they are packed with tons of protein, low in fat, and very high in dietary fiber.

My mom has taught me how beans cook wonderfully in a slow cooker.  They really do.  And so I recently made a whole crock pot full of pinto beans and made them into refried beans without all the fat.  In fact I didn't add any kind of fat, lard, or bacon grease usually found in refried beans (hence the name), but instead, concentrated on seasoning them well with spices and some bottled salsa and then using my immersion blender to get them nice and smooth with just the right consistency.  (You could just as easily use a blender).

I froze some of the beans in ziploc bags (because beans freeze GREAT!!!), but used most of them to do this:

Homemade bean burritos with a little sharp cheddar on top.

But the really fun thing about it is that I made a bunch of these little burritos, froze them on a cookie sheet, then threw them into a big ziploc once they were frozen, so they can be taken out individually for a snack or meal:

Next time I will use whole wheat or whole grain tortillas to make them even healthier, but I had a couple packages of white tortillas in my freezer that needed to be used.  

A little chicken or beef could be added inside as well, and then a meal could be made by baking them in a pan covered with enchilada sauce with a little more cheese to melt on top.

Porter wholeheartedly approves of his new after school snack.  And it makes me happy that he is getting something more on the healthy side.

But I'm thinking that some Beano might be on my next grocery list.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The blessing of...


Wonderful doctors and nurses.  

Lots and lots of physical therapy. 



These were Evelyn's little fingers at the 2 week mark  after her accident, with most everything trimmed away and cleaned up:

And now, we have this: 

This picture was taken this morning, exactly 4 weeks since the accident.

She's been our little miracle.

In more ways than one :).

**We now have permission to do her physical therapy treatments at home 3 days a week (which is really good because it was getting expensive!) It's gone surprisingly well!  I've learned a lot through the process and I'm now a pro at cleaning and bandaging her wounds.  When we saw the plastic surgeon last week, he was in awe of the incredible healing that has taken place.  He doesn't even want to see us for two more weeks.  The outcome of this accident is becoming more than we could have ever asked for.  We are so grateful!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A weekend to remember

Valentine's day crept up on me this year.

Yes, I saw the plethora of Valentines stuff in every store, and even had multiple people ask me what our plans were for Valentines day.  But I still didn't really put two and two together.

I've been distracted....with Evelyn's injury and appointments, Bill's busy work schedule, and some nice visits from family and long lost friends.  I think having the holiday on a Sunday really threw me off too.

In past years, I have always given Bill and the kids some sort of chocolaty gift/surprise.  Not this year.  I spaced it.  Thank goodness for my parents dropping off some valentines and chocolate for us, and also an unexpected package that arrived from my cousin, that was filled to the brim with some candy and a stuffed animal for Evelyn, and chocolate and candy for the rest of us.  So, even though my mind was elsewhere, we were sufficiently 'valentined'.

Our Valentines day was actually very nice.  Bill started out Sunday morning with a meeting at the
Stake Center with Elder Perry, an apostle.  There was only about 30 people at this meeting, so it was really special for Bill to be able to be there.

Later on, we went to church, where we listened to Porter speak in sacrament meeting.  What a great kid and what a great talk!

After church, I made some enchiladas using some really tender pork from a roast I had made earlier in the week.

That night, we invited some friends over.  We had a wonderful visit while eating some Valentine's cake and ice cream.  (Yes, believe it or not, I did make a cake.  I scrambled Saturday night to at least make a Valentine's cake to give my family).

After our company left, and the kids were in bed, Bill made the two of us some Mexican hot chocolate in the blender.  It was his gift to me, and it was delicious.  Darker than regular hot chocolate, with a hint of cinnamon.  Mmmmm.  I loved it.  There's nothing like a mug of hot chocolate to end a nice, relaxing day with the one you love.

This morning, we woke up, got ready for our day, and had the elders over for a breakfast of french toast on Bill's day off.

Despite my absentmindedness, our weekend was great.  It just goes to show that you don't have to buy expensive gifts or eat at restaurants or put up lots of decorations to enjoy a holiday with your family, huh?

Plus we have enough enchiladas for tonight's dinner, so I have the night off of cooking!

An update on Evelyn's hand:  We had to do a home treatment on her hand yesterday because physical therapy was closed for President's day.  Ron sent me home with all of the stuff that I would need to be able to do it.  I was a bit nervous, but Bill and Porter helped me.  We did it!.... and her fingers are looking amazing.  I mean really amazing.  This little girl has been so blessed.  We go see Ron tomorrow and then to the plastic surgeon on Wednesday where we will learn more.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

a picture...

...for those who have been curious.

(**Don't scroll down if you aren't comfortable looking at hurt little fingers.)

Tomorrow will be two weeks since Evelyn's accident.

I've had a lot of people ask me about it.

How does it look?

What exactly happened?

Where on the fingers did she get the friction burns?

And the most asked question:  Are her fingers deformed?

No.  Her fingers are not deformed.

They're actually looking pretty amazing.

I took pictures today at hydrotherapy with Ron because I was amazed at the healing so far.

Porter hasn't even seen it yet because it always has to be bandaged.

I've had many ask what it looks like.




who would like to see it....

Here it is, right after her 20 minute whirlpool soak, and right before Ron worked on it:

We're getting there!

Monday, February 08, 2010


Ron the PT ended up letting us have a break over the weekend from the hydotherapy treatments.  But we had to be in first thing this morning to see him before we went to see Dr. Maloff the plastic surgeon at 9:15.  It was a busy morning.

Let me just begin by saying that prayer and fasting and priesthood blessings really work.

Evelyn's hand looked pretty amazing today after the long weekend.  There have been some big improvements made.

Dr. Maloff  was so impressed with how the debridement was going (thanks Ron!).  And he couldn't believe how much better it looked from one week ago.  He didn't even mention the words 'skin graft' during the whole appointment today.  Yay!

For the next week and a half, Dr. Maloff is having us continue to visit Ron for debridement, BUT she only needs to go in every other day.  We will visit Dr. Maloff  again a week from this Wednesday for further evaluation.

Until then, Evelyn is doing well.  We have learned a trick.  We put a peanut butter M&M in her mouth if she doesn't cry while her hand is in the whirlpool.  This is helping a lot.  Once the hand is out of the water, then Ron works on it with wet swabs, tweezers and scissors.  This is where I have to hold her hand really, really still.  She doesn't like it one bit, but she cooperates.   I have been so amazed at how brave she has been and how she always says "thank you, Ron" when he is done.

We have felt of your prayers and we thank you.  This act alone has strengthened us.  We have also felt of our Heavenly Father's love for us.  He is so mindful of each one of us.  And for this I am so grateful.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Day 6 of this adventure....

The whirlpool debridement treatments are becoming more difficult for Evelyn.  The nerves are growing back, so there is more pain.  Ron her PT is having to cut away the dead material from the wound as she cries and cries.  She doesn't even like the whirlpool part anymore.  I'm having to physically hold her hand down in the water.  It's no longer a fun bubbly bath for her hand  (Bill even uploaded the movie "UP" to his iPod so she would have a distraction today.  It didn't work.)

We knew it was going to be hard this week.  And it has.  I was SO looking forward to tomorrow because I thought these treatments would only be through Friday, But Ron told us today that he was pretty sure we would at least have to do Saturday too.  So it's going to be a long weekend before we get to go back on Monday morning to see the surgeon.

So, to get my mind off of what's to come, here are some pictures of happier moments from this past weekend.  We put a big mitten over her bandaged hand, I found an oversized coat for her, and Porter took her out on the deck so she could play in the falling snow:

catchin' snowflakes on her face

wanting to explore

snowball, midflight, heading straight for Porter's face

Porter is THE BEST big brother to this little girl

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


I really wish :)

The whirlpool therapy went well today.  Ron, her PT was awesome.  He was so impressed with how brave she was and how much she talked his ear off.  He said most toddlers scream their heads off.

She didn't cry once.

Evelyn got to put her hand in a big silver tub with lots of jetted water and bubbles.  She thought it was great!  After that, Ron swabbed the wound to clean it out a little which she didn't like.  He said that today he would only swab it because if he did any more, she would not want to come back ever again...and we have to do this all week so we're easing her into it.  Baby steps.

Tomorrow he will need to use scissors.

I can look at the wound now.  A little.  It's looking better.  Kind of.  I still hide my eyes when it gets worked on and I DON'T THINK that's gonna change.

And I'm okay with that.

We're being brave around here....and I think we deserve some chocolate.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Evelyn's hand

We met with the plastic surgeon today.

As of right now, she will be going to physical therapy everyday this week for 'whirlpool debridement' of the wound.  This entails allowing the swirling movement of water to debride or remove the dead tissues from her fingers.  There will also be some physical picking or scraping of the wound in areas that need special attention.  Not fun.  The good thing about this is that she will be re-bandaged everyday by someone who knows what they are doing.  This will also reduce greatly the possibility of infection (which we don't want).

The whirlpool treatment will help the wound fully reveal itself.  There is a possibility of needing skin grafts which is another story in and of itself.  I will update on that if we have to cross that road.  The wounds are in a hard place, i.e., knuckles, etc.

We meet with the doctor again, one week from today.  He will further evaluate the wound then.

Evelyn did well at the doctor today.  She was a little apprehensive of the doctor (she did say "cheese" when he took pictures of her hand :), but completely LOVED her nurse Rosie.  Rosie was able to help Evelyn have the courage not to cry and pull back on her hand while they were working on it.  

Please keep Evelyn in your prayers.  It's going to be a long week.