Saturday, September 12, 2009

A good pry bar needed

How often do you have those days where nothing, I mean nothing seems to make you move? You walk past toys on the floor, your cringe at the sight of kitchen but you sneak out again hoping no one saw you, and you question the practice of making your bed everyday.

Today I am doing just that.  I am hiding on the computer from my chores.  Now being a temporary single parent there are somethings I cannot ignore, like cries for help or hunger. I have to do laundry lest we be naked. I must sleep.

But for the other little things like piles of toys, those will wait for tomorrow or the next day. Whatever day I finally get off the computer and back to reality.

Friday, September 11, 2009

For everything there is a season....

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.  Ecclesiastes 3:1

I am reminded of this verse today as I recall our last year and the roller coaster it has been.  This time last year we were selling our home in TX and awaiting new orders from the Army.  We were hoping for Ft. Bragg but until those orders are printed there are no guarantees.  DH was still in school far away and I was home with the boys, dogs, and staging the house for showing.  I also had some surgery that could no longer wait.  We never did sell the house but leased it instead and had about a 10 day notice to get packed up.  Upon arriving in NC we learned that DH was assigned to the brigade that was deploying for a year and leaving in a month.

Here I was in a strange place, no church family, no friends, and soon no husband.  The pressure was intense.  At the time I would have told you I was fine and thought it was going to be fine, but looking back I see how hard that actually was for me.  I did crash initially, for about a month, but only God can pick you up and I was not in a praying place at all.  We weren't doing school, we were barely making it to church, and I wasn't sleeping.  God pulled me out of it enough to realize what was going on wasn't working.  We switched churches (something I do not take lightly), I made friends, and things got better.

Now this was an 8 month process.  I never questioned God's purpose for bringing us here.  I knew we were where He wanted us.  Many friends back in Texas questioned it but I never did.  My DH being in the middle of a war zone never bothered me. God can protect him just as well in combat as he can in North Carolina.  That nagging place in my heart reminding me of how much I missed him is what got me most everyday.  The constant thoughts of how much better things are when he is home is the thing that took part of the joy out of the day.

I say all this now because it started all over again.  He came home for his break after 8 months.  He was only able to stay for 15 days and part of me was thrilled to have him home.  The other part was dreading the inevitable crash which is where I find myself now.  I have been in an awful mood and it finally hit me why last night.  It was this mourning period that I went through the first time.  Another Army wife called it the mourning period which made so much sense to me.  You are experienceing a huge loss but we are caught in between.  Those of us that lose our spouses to deployment lose something big.  We have to exist day to day as if our spouse is gone, but emotionally they are not.  We are still married and have to now communicate electronically and via packages.  We know it will end but it is so very far away.

Please don't mistake this as a plea for pity.  I am in no way comparing this to someone actually losing their husband.  It is different in so many ways.  I think there are more people who can help when you actually lose your spouse or at least who are willing to help.  I get this blank stare and the most common phrase "that must be so hard for you" from most people.  They don't know and simply can't understand.  I know because I was that person 8 years ago before the deployments started.  Before the military took my husband away to schools, TDY, or simply out of the country.

I so appreciate that knowing look from other military wives who have been there.  Who know you have hit a wall, or need an activity, or simply don't ask that question.  It means you don't have to explain and you can relax.  You know she has been there too or worse.  I know several wives who are dealing with their 3rd 12 month deployment.  Those who had children while their husbands were away or major surgery.  We have been so blessed to have DH home for each birth.  I have moved 3 times without him, once while pregnant.  Our last move was his first.  Most wives don't ever have to imagine doing this without their husband.

But, seasons come and go.  Some day he will be on deployment and I will have teenage sons.  Soon he will be home from this deployment and we will pray he gets to stay for as long as possible.  Some day I may be sending a son on his first deployment and doing everything I can for his wife.  Whatever the season, I pray I bring glory to God in all I do.  I know He sustains me on nights when all I can do is cry while doing dishes.  I know He protects us while our Daddy is gone and Boy 1 is convinced there is a giant mouse in the attic.  Whatever the season we are never far away from God.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Blogging outside

I am a notorious indoor person.  I think it has something to with me being allergic to grass.  No part of me can touch anything green and plant like without some fairly itchy result.  I have been like this since I can remember.  I am also not very tolerant of insects and North Carolina is FULL of insects.  We have a large number of trees on the rental property which only increases the insect population, at least I am told.  I think it has something to do with the ability to hide from the birds.

But, as providence would have it I have been blessed with boys.  Boys have a need to be outside and should be.  It is healthy and good for their development, motor skills, social skills, dirt skills. I love watching my boys outside.  Now that we have this other laptop I can blog and watch my boys play outside. 

I don't know why it brings such joy to watch them coast up and down the driveway happily, but it does.  Perhaps because I know they are content enough to play without intervention.  They need the occasional "good job" and a few requests for "mommy look at me" but for the most part they are happy.

Well, although they are happy that computer is about to not be.  The rain is coming as it often does in North Carolina.  So I better run inside!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Kenna's "I Can't Take Ragu Anymore" sauce

I have been meaning to post this for awhile. It is an EASY homemade sauce the makes eating the pasta your 2 year old will only eat and nothing else bearable. It also makes everything else taste so much better.

This recipe is so easy and makes so much I put the rest in 2 quart freezer plastic bags to use later. Fill the bags and lay flat for freezing. Once frozen (usually overnight) move to a more convenient spot. The bag can defrost in a bowl of hot water within 10 minutes which means you don't have to remember to put it out the night before or that morning while you are running around crazy trying to find shoes, keys, purse, etc.

I call it Kenna's Tomato Sauce because I adapted a recipe from a crockpot cookbook enough that it looks completely different. Although I will suggest "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook" by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann. It was adapted from the Marinara Sauce recipe on page 242.


Olive Oil for sweating onions and garlic in skillet
1 - cup finely chopped sweet or yellow onion (depends on your preference and what is in season)
2 - cloves garlic, minced
4 - 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes (organic if possible, flavor seems better)
1 - 6 oz can of tomato paste
3 - Bell Peppers, diced
1 tbls sugar
Salt and pepper to taste (I don't use pepper because both my kids and husband don't like it so it isn't necessary)

1. Put garlic, onions, and olive oil (about 2 tbls in pan) on medium heat for about 5 minutes until translucent.

2. While that cooks chop the bell peppers (probably on the same cutting board you did the onions and garlic).

*Another tip, I buy a bag of onions and chop them in the food processor all at once. I then divide them up into 1/2 cup quantities and freeze them in plastic bags. It saves time and tears. I don't know how many recipes I have decided not to cook because I didn't want to mess with the onions or didn't have one, or forgot to get that one onion for that one recipe, or the one I had went bad. I then put the onions in a plastic container to contain the smell inside the freezer because.....well you know.

3. Now, put everything in the crockpot on low for 6 hours.

This will make about 5 - 2 quart servings which is just about right for 4 to 5 servings of pasta. So you will get 5 meals out this one batch for a family, or 15 lunch servings for you and the 2 year old or more. If you double the recipe you have to add an hour or so to the cooking time.

*I think you could add whatever you like to the recipe. It doesn't have to be bell peppers or you could add something else like mushrooms. I added fresh roma tomatoes from a friend's garden for a chunkier texture this last time around. Bell peppers are all my littlest one will let me get away with right now. He refuses to eat anything with unknown specks or chunks.

BTW - I will suggest the "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfield techniques for sneaking veggies into toddler food. He loves the butternut squash pizza we make. They get very excited about the "goo" we add to everything, but that is another note.


New blog name

Okay, in the interest of privacy and good taste my DH has asked that I change the name of the blog again.  I was trying to remove my first name but I suppose I can't do that since it is tied to the url of the actual blog.  I know most folks use their first name but mine is rather unique and I have only actually met one other person with my name.  It was called Kenna's adventure but the seemed rather, well lame.  Zappleliscious is starting to annoy me as well.  Thoughts, suggestions?

Kennazapple came about in an odd way.  Z is my initial for my last name and Kenna apple was what my grandmother always called me.  She still does when she can remember that I am there but it was a fond memory from childhood.  I was the only grandchild that had a nickname.  So I want to keep the "apple" part of the name because it makes me feel special and connected but what to do with the rest.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Hiding in the playroom

Well, I am actually hiding in the playroom.  The older 2 are on the main computer and we recently got the laptop that is most often used for viewing netflix which is why it is in the playroom.  The baby (2 yo) watches Clues Clues and Calliou because I cut off cable over 6 months ago.  This is the laptop that has crashed twice since we got it a year ago and I consequently do not use it for anything but internet for fear of losing information, again.  The others are backed up with carbonite now that we learned our lesson, twice.

I am hiding because peace and quiet is a rare thing.  I try not to scare it away by moving things around or asking the children to get off my computer.  I know there are single women or mom's with one quiet sweet child or no children yet that think I am silly or wonder why I "allow" my children on my computer at all.  I know you are out there.  I used to be like you.  I have seen you give me that look at the grocery store when I have one boy whining in the cart and one hanging out the front while the other asks ridiculous questions I am trying to ignore.  It is in these moments I remember the phrase "choose your battles".  There are so many things in each day that require attention when your children are at home with you all the time.  I would be "battling" my children ALL DAY if I corrected everything.  I would be worthless and angry if I did that making me an unkind and unloving mom. 

So if I have to hide in the playroom for a moment of quiet or ignore my traveling circus in the grocery store just so I can get something done I will.  Because it means I still I have the energy left at the end of the day to read them books and say prayers with them.  It means I smile at dinner and laugh at their silly jokes even though I heard them 15 times already today.  Besides the playroom is not that bad if you like trucks, and I like trucks.
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